Branston has joined forces with executive chef Jack Stein, to urge UK consumers to fall back in love with potatoes. The UK wide initiative, timed to coincide with the Cornish new potatoes harvest - the first UK mainland crop of the season - aims to encourage consumers to appreciate seasonal produce as making the best of the whole range of potatoes all year round.
“Jack is a Cornish chef who is passionate about native seasonal produce and is the perfect partner to help raise the profile of Cornish potatoes and inspire people to cook with them, ” says Branston Sales and Marketing Director George Christoudias.
Son of well-loved television presenter Rick Stein – Jack is executive chef of the Rick Stein Restaurant Group, which employs 550 people across its 12 restaurants in the South and South West of England.
“I’ve grown up eating Cornish new potatoes,” says Jack Stein. “They are grown in the lush fertile soils close to the sea, which means they are protected from frosts. Early harvests have such good salinity that they often don’t even need to be seasoned in the pan. All the flavour is just under the skin so you get a lovely earthy flavour and the essence of the best parts of the potato in one hit.
“Growing up in Cornwall, I am passionate about its produce and it seems ridiculous to say it now but I remember when my parents Rick and Jill opened their first restaurant in the 80s, they had no choice but to use seasonal produce because there simply was nothing else.
“Now we have an enormous amount of choice in the ingredients we can use, but it’s so important not to miss out on the wonderful flavours of truly seasonal produce available in the UK – the first asparagus, spring lamb, watercress – these are the things I look forward to as a chef but also as a consumer.”
Jack has developed six new Cornish potato recipes to inspire and excite British cooks to serve up delicious new potatoes as an alternative to standard varieties or even other carbohydrates like rice and pasta.
“Potatoes are a vital carbohydrate and are incredibly healthy, gluten free, fat free and full of vitamins,” says Jack. “But most importantly served simply with a knob of butter, they are the most delicious ingredient and so incredibly versatile.”
“I am delighted to be leading this campaign to encourage people to eat Cornish and hope that I can inspire people with my recipes.”
Seasonal Spuds, which launched in June includes a new consumer website and social media channels, a library of inspirational recipes, videos and information as well as practical guides on how to use differing varieties for different recipes and dishes. For more information, visit www.seasonalspuds.com