Meet the chefs behind the Great Surrey Menu

Surrey producers, growers and cooks joined forces to create the Great Surrey Menu bursting with flavours of the county

Surrey producers, growers and cooks joined forces to create the Great Surrey Menu bursting with flavours of the county, under the direction of Local Food Britain - Credit: Simon Weller

Check out the dishes on the Great Surrey Menu, created especially for Surrey Day 2022 to showcase a selection of the producers, growers and cooks on our doorstep

Surrey has a vibrant food scene with a variety of homegrown produce, well stocked farm shops and talented cooks and it's high time to discover it all. 
‘During lockdown, many small independent businesses reinvented themselves almost overnight,’ says Tracy Carroll, founder of Surrey based Local Food Britain (localfoodbritain.com), which champions local farmers, growers, makers, restaurateurs, chefs, publicans and more. ‘For instance, we’d see farmers setting up online delivery systems for the community, to not only sell their own produce but also goods from other local businesses. Although life is returning to normal, those lockdown initiatives go on to thrive and flourish and, in turn, grow the market.’ 

SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Surrey Life for the very best of the county – from food and drink to style and interiors

Ruth Macintyre of Ruth’s Little Kitchen

Ruth Macintyre of Ruth’s Little Kitchen - Credit: Simon Weller


It’s a sentiment that is shared by Ruth Macintyre of Ruth’s Little Kitchen, who’s a passionate supporter of local ingredients and her community. 
'We've had a complete renaissance in what food and drink we have locally,’ she says. ‘Surrey is home to championship bread makers, loads of award-winning chefs and The Salt Box, which gather and forage and use real ingredients.
‘I have meat in my recipes where I have met the herd at Wotton and the lady who runs the farm, who is really into conservation of the North Downs and uses the cattle to graze,’ she adds. 'Then there’s Secretts farm shop in Godalming – the family business has been going for ages and you can get fresh vegetables and other produce, plus lots of local ingredients. There are cheesemakers, too – you can source everything round here.'
The options for stacking up your plate and inventing your own delicious recipes are abundant. 
‘There are lots of options for those living in Surrey to source food locally, because the county is so big and borders so many other counties,’ says Lizzie Marsh, who runs Abinger Cookery School (abingercookeryschool.com). ‘From fish to meat, vegetables, cheese, wine, beer and bread – there are myriad local, independent small bakeries now that produce amazing bread. Farm shops stock a lot of their own foods too. It’s really nice to use what you have around you, when you look closer to home. Where I live, there is a lady who makes honey on her allotment.' 
Let's take a look at some of the dishes on the menu... 

Hot Smoked Trout with a Watercress Salsa Verde by Abinger Cookery School

Hot Smoked Trout with a Watercress Salsa Verde by Abinger Cookery School - Credit: Simon Weller

Hot Smoked Trout with a Watercress Salsa Verde  
By Abinger Cookery School 

Set in Abinger Hammer, this cookery school is run by Lizzie Marsh and chefs Jake Pinn and Cat Rochefort, as well as a host of guest chefs who help to deliver a comprehensive range of classes using classic local ingredients wherever possible. 
Lizzie says of her dish: ‘We wanted to incorporate local produce grown and produced within a mile of the school. We have used watercress from Kingfisher Farm and trout from Tillingbourne fishery. Watercress has been grown in Abinger for many years and is a great representative for Surrey. 
‘The watercress gives more of a bitter flavour compared to tarragon or parsley, and it goes really nicely with the trout, which has been hot smoked,’ she adds. ‘The dish has been purely created for the Great Surrey Menu but is quite easy to recreate at home. You could opt to have the trout hot smoked too, straight from the barbecue, with Jersey Royal new potatoes.’ 

READ MORE: Walking the Surrey stretch of the North Downs Way

Baker Laura Scott with Morgan Arnell of Crumbs Brewing

Baker Laura Scott with Morgan Arnell of Crumbs Brewing - Credit: Simon Weller

Rye Coffee Porter & Treacle Loaf 
By Laura Scott 

‘This loaf includes my favourite Crumbs Brewery Rye Coffee Porter. I already use the brewery’s porter in my Christmas pudding so I decided to create a loaf with real depth of flavour as well as a delicious aroma,’ says Laura, an Epsom based chef, baker and founder of How to Cook Good Food (howtocookgoodfood.co.uk), which runs popular Supper Clubs. ‘I love making bread and wanted to bring a new spin to a traditional loaf for Surrey foodies.’ 

Beef Pasty featuring Oregano Pastry by Ruth’s Little Kitchen

Beef Pasty featuring Oregano Pastry by Ruth’s Little Kitchen - Credit: Simon Weller

Beef Pasty featuring Oregano Pastry  
By Ruth’s Little Kitchen 

‘Surrey is so special in terms of produce and the landscape lends itself so well to growers and producers,’ says award-winning baker and food editor Ruth McIntyre of Ruth’s Little Kitchen (ruthslittlekitchen.co.uk) in Brockham, which offers classes for all ages and an online DofE approved cookery school. ‘I have chosen a dish that not only includes beef from Manor Farm – where the cows enjoy pasture infused with wild herbs – but the pasty is something that can be enjoyed while out and about in the beautiful Surrey Hills.’ 

Murgh Basanti by Mandira’s Kitchen

Murgh Basanti by Mandira’s Kitchen - Credit: Simon Weller

Murgh Basanti  
By Mandira’s Kitchen
 
Based on the Albury Estate, Mandira’s Kitchen (mandiraskitchen.com) offers homemade authentic Indian dishes available to eat on the patio or to take away. Its creations are also available at a number of local retailers and online.  
Chef Sabina Baretto says: ‘In our little corner of Surrey we have Albury Vineyard, Norbury Cheese and Silent Pool Distillers as neighbours. In fact, our orange and gin chutney which goes with this dish is a collaboration with Silent Pool Distillers and for our Great Surrey Menu dish, we sourced the free-range chicken from fellow Local Food Britain member Brightleigh Farm at Outwood, and combined it with tomatoes, coriander, ginger, garlic and our special spices.’  

Christian Armstrong, co-founder of The Salt Box

Christian Armstrong, co-founder of The Salt Box - Credit: Simon Weller

Rabbit and Wild Garlic Arancini with N'Duja and Wild Garlic Seed Caper Mayonnaise  
By The Salt Box 

‘Our menus are always wildly inspired, with a strong focus on wild game, which we carefully and responsibly source from local estates,’ says Christian Armstrong, co-founder of The Salt Box (wearethesaltbox.co.uk). ‘Wild garlic is a big player in our spring kitchen – its garlicky hum adding a delicious flavour to our rabbit arancini. Throughout the year, we are always out foraging for wild greens, roots, fruits and nuts from nature's larder, with as little impact on the environment as possible.’ 

All Day Breakfast Pizza by The Wood Fired Larder

All Day Breakfast Pizza by The Wood Fired Larder - Credit: Simon Weller

All Day Breakfast Pizza  
By The Wood Fired Larder  

The family-run Wood Fired Larder (thewoodfiredlarder.co.uk) specialises in pizzas made using their own recipe handmade dough and, wherever possible, locally sourced ingredients.  
‘Our All Day Breakfast Pizza is made with slow-proved handmade dough topped with passata, grated mozzarella, and plenty of Surrey ingredients including Hill House Farm streaky bacon and Cumberland sausages, as well as eggs from Simon’s Free Range Eggs,’ says co-founder Debs Nelson Yates. ‘It is an ideal dish to add to the Great Surrey Menu, giving us a chance to collaborate with other Local Food Britain members and to champion small local independent businesses.’ 
You can sample their food via Patsy, a mobile teardrop caravan available for private events, and Mo, a Shepherd’s Hut café at Priory Farm in South Nutfield. 

READ MORE: 25 glorious Surrey gardens to visit in 2022

Scones by Chalk Hills Bakery 

Scones by Chalk Hills Bakery - Credit: Simon Weller

Scones  
By Chalk Hills Bakery 

‘One of the great things about Surrey’s food and drink scene is that it is so easy to collaborate and celebrate each other’s produce,’ says Chris Robinson, who founded Chalk Hills Bakery (chalkhillsbakery.com) with his wife Rosie. ‘For example, today we paired our scones with Jam Packed Preserves strawberry jam – which features strawberries from Secretts Farm Shop – and topped them with the freshest of fresh cream from Nutfield Dairy. The perfect taste combination and a great way to enjoy Surrey Day.’ 
The bakery’s produce can be sampled across the county in leading farm shops, cafés, pubs and hotels. You can also check out the bakery’s Reigate shop and Horley kiosk. 

Surrey drinks to sip

  • Albury Estate Blanc de Blancs. Produced in the heart of the Surrey Hills, the makers describe this certified organic sparkling wine as ‘an English garden in a glass’. You can drink it on its own, but its crisp acidity means it pairs well with foods such as smoked fish, a cheese starter (such as a goat's cheese salad) or picnic. £29.95 (75cml), alburyvineyard.com 

  • Dorking Brewery Pilcrow Pale. The flagship ale from one of Surrey’s favourite brewers, it packs a punch with its citrus and tropical flavours. £36 (12 x 440ml). dorkingbrewery.com 

  • The Godstone Brewers Junction 6 Pale Ale. This brew offers a great taste of summer sun thanks to its ‘orangey citrus character delivered by the Amarillo hops in the blend’. What could be more local than an ale named after an M25 junction? £33 (12 x 500ml). thegodstonebrewers.com 

With thanks to Local Food Britain
Photography: Simon Weller 
Styling: Turmeric House Independent Creative Studio 
Venue: Priory Farm Estate 

Good to know  
Several Local Food Britain members will be hosting tastings, including items and ingredients from the Great Surrey Menu on Surrey Day on May 7 2022. To find out more, visit localfoodbritain.com