Baron Bigod cheese on the menu at Jamie Oliver’s anniversary picnic
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk farmer and food hero Jonny Crickmore was delighted to discover celebrity chef Jamie Oliver had selected a wedge of Baron Bigod cheese from his Fen Farm Dairy to enjoy at an anniversary picnic with wife Jools.
The Essex chef and his wife celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last week with a romantic picnic - and the hamper was packed with delicacies including Italian summer fruit, blackcurrant leaf cordial and a selection of cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy.
The cheeses included a wedge of Brie-style Baron Brigod, made by Mr Crickmore at Fen Farm in Bungay.
Mr Crickmore, who along with wife Dulcie won the food hero award at the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019, said: “It was really nice to see it on his menu, we never know where our cheeses will end up.
“We were on Prince Harry’s wedding menu a couple of years back.”
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Mr Crickmore believes the secret to his success - and the reason his dairy products are so popular - is the milk used to produce them.
“At Fen Farm we are a real farm, we have a herd of cows and that allows us to control every step of the process,” he explained. “We understand that good dairy products come from good milk, provided you get the milk part right then it easy to make good dairy products.”
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Fen Farm was not the only Suffolk producer to get a mention - on a handwritten menu of food on offer at the ‘J&J picnic’ there was also chocolate mouse and creme fraiche from the Pump Street Bakery, based in Orford.
“It is nice to see another Suffolk business there,” said Mr Crickmore.
Mr Crickmore said he now referred to the celebrity chef as Saint Jamie after his efforts to support small food producers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“He has been a big supporter of real farm house cheeses,” he said. “Since Covid there have been real concerns about the restaurant side. We know farm shops and delis have done well out of lockdown but that is only a part of it, a lot of our cheese goes to restaurants and the hospitality industry and there are many that won’t open again.
“Jamie Oliver has played a big part in bringing awareness of small, independent food producers.”