Seasonal Cooking at Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre

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Anyone happening to wander into the kitchen at Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre in the mornings is likely to be greeted by a worktop groaning with seasonal produce picked from our garden that morning by our Head Gardener, Phil, waiting to be turned into any number of warming, inspiring seasonal dishes.

Seasonality is very much at the heart of our menus at Sheepdrove and meals are devised to make use of whatever is most abundant in the garden at that time of year. In addition to this, we try to grow traditional, hardy English varieties wherever we can – a quick chat with Phil reveals that we grow no less than five varieties of English apple.

As we head into winter our pumpkins, squash, beetroot, kale, parsnips and apples are all at their very best and Mel, our Head Chef, along with her team, work hard to create delicious, inviting lunches. In addition to the wide variety of vegetables grown here, we’re also lucky enough to be able to cook with the finest organic meats sourced straight from the farm – although vegetarian guests are equally well catered for. We always provide a creative vegetarian option (and usually find that the carnivores tuck in sneakily!) – our parsnip and cheese roulade is hard to beat and usually finds people queueing up for seconds.

Today’s delegates were presented with a choice of a hearty chicken and bacon pie, a pork, apple & cheese crumble or a pumpkin tart – served with garlic sauteed kale, carrot, swede & celeriac puree and homemade cheese & onion focaccia bread. For dessert, we served a sinful sticky toffee pudding – it’s a wonder the delegates made it back to their rooms!

As well as our passion for using seasonal vegetables, we love to make use of meat that is at its best at this time of year – our mutton season is now well under way and a rich, fruity mutton tagine or a velvety mutton and red wine casserole might well be featured on the menu in the forthcoming weeks. One thing is for sure – delegates never leave Sheepdrove hungry!

One of the dining room tables at lunchtime

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