Organic chef cooks up a plot

Top organic chef Barny Haughton cooked up food for the first time on an allotment on Sunday.

Haughton was guest of honour at Acton Gardening Association’s open day, and gave two cookery demonstrations in the open air surrounded by fascinated plotholders.

Haughton who is more used to being the star at events like the Organic Food Festival or Natural & Organic Products Europe, or running  restaurants like Bordeaux Quay in Bristol, said afterwards of his experience: “An event like this gives me hope that food is going beyond just being a fashion statement”.

Apart from lemons, olive oil, salt and pepper all the ingredients he cooked were from the allotments around him. He said: “I’ve cooked with a random variety of things before. But I’ve never cooked for a group of people who knew about vegetables, and actually grew them”.

His message was simplicity, even crushing with a fork raw courgette, before adding olive oil and garlic. Beside salad, an omelette made from eggs from chickens based on the allotment, he also made a soup.

The Association’s chairman John Hancock said: “He was incredible. He cooked anything flung at him, and made it so simple”

Haughton revealed that he is planning a bakery business run by the prisoners at a Bristol prison that will be commercially viable and provide jobs when sentences are finished.

Michael Wale