Online Agriculture Show – Rutland Focus7 May 2020
The Greatest Online Agricultural Show
We were very pleased to be asked to get involved with The Greatest Online Agricultural Show in our role as ambassadors for Love British Food. This gave us the opportunity to look closely at what we have on our doorstep and look to get a perspective from others immersed in the food scene in the area.
Food From Our Local Area
Based in Rutland, in the middle of the country, and surrounded by the wonderful counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, it is easy to feel at the heart of rural Britain.
Enveloped with fields bristling with a wide range of livestock and crops, peppered with quality producers, it‘s no coincidence that famous offerings originate from the area. World renowned favourites like Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies are local heavy hitters, however there is much more to find if you know where to look, or who to ask.
Oak House Kitchen is firmly routed in the area. Preston’s family care home, where we first set about improving the way healthcare food could be delivered, lies in the picturesque thoroughfare of Greetham. Preston grew up living amongst his ‘extended family’ who were cared for by his parents. James went to school in Stamford, just over the county border in Lincolnshire. Returning to the area to coach hockey and then settle with his family when he and Preston started to work together.
Rutland’s geography gives it access to wonderful ingredients and there have been great opportunities for people who know a thing or two about food and drink. There are many great places to eat that have established themselves here. Notably, also in Greetham there is The Wheatsheaf, a wonderful country pub, serving the local needs and excelling in the food, drink and service they offer.
You can also find more formal fine dining in a beautiful setting at Hambleton Hall, nestled in by the waterside on the peninsular at Rutland Water. This established restaurant of exceptional quality, with its Michelin star, is presided over by Head Chef Aaron Patterson. Hambleton Hall was where Preston learned his trade as a chef and where he was exposed to the ethos of quality ingredients and precision cooking that underpin our philosophies at Oak House Kitchen.
The Olive Branch Pub
The schooling of chefs at the restaurant has meant that many knowledgeable and talented people have been able to set up fantastic places to go and find some of the best food going.
One such place is The Olive Branch in Clipsham. Set up in 1999 by Sean Hope (add-hopes.com), Ben Jones and Marcus Welford, who Preston trained with in the kitchen at Hambleton. The pub was to be somewhere released from the shackles of formal dining where great food and drink could be accessible to anyone.
This village pub made a massive impact locally and nationally and the work vision paid off as it became the place they wanted it to be. Without compromising on the founding principles it grew quickly in stature and reputation, winning numerous awards and international recognition with its Michelin star
We had the pleasure of catching up with Olive Branch founders Ben and Sean, isolating at home, to talk about a wide range of interesting subjects relating to food and the local area. Take a look at some of the fantastic insights into setting up The Olive Branch, sourcing great ingredients, educating teams, comparisons of hospitality and healthcare and much more…
Concept and Evolution of The Olive Branch
The Individual Needs of Guests
Hospitality and Healthcare Compared
Cooking with the Boys!
We also did a little cookery class with the boys… Finley, Leo and Rory. It was great fun to do and you can find HERE on the Love British Food YouTube Channel along with all the other great features from the day!