Britain’s chefs and pub landlords are beginning to pay as much attention to the garden fork as they do the knife and fork, a good food guide claims.
The new Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide 2015 recommends 590 pubs from Great Britain and Ireland.
All have been selected, first and foremost, for the quality of their food.
But an increasing amount of fruit and veg on the menu is being home-grown, according to the guide’s editor, Rebecca Burr.
“Pubs are a quintessential part of British life and the standard of food being served in them continues to reach new heights,” she said.
“Customers are now demanding that chefs use more local produce and want to see local recipes and specialities on the menu.
“Chefs and pub-owners are not only embracing this idea but some are taking it a stage further by growing their own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and by keeping chickens and rearing pigs,” Rebecca added.
Chef Tim Bilton (pictured), of the Spiced Pear Restaurant in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, is converting a once weed-infested hillside into a three-acre kitchen garden.
He aims for his restaurant to be 75 per cent sustainable in fruit and veg from the plot.
Tim, who trained under the renowned chef Raymond Blanc, employs a full-time gardener at the pub.
“I want to celebrate and promote the joys of growing your own and spread the allotment agenda,” he said.
Elizabeth Balmforth, head gardener at the Mount St John Estate near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, runs a walled kitchen garden that supplies Provenance Inns, a group of seven pubs.
Elizabeth said: “It is gathering momentum. There are several other pubs that do the same. It makes a huge amount of sense and is a growing trend.
“They want heritage varieties of produce as well as modern ones,” she added.