Chef finds the grain of truth

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STAMFORDHAM cereal farm, Gilchesters Organics, has been chosen by one of New York’s top restaurateurs for his latest project highlighting food waste.

Dan Barber, famed for his farm-to-table approach, is importing his “WastED” concept from the Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village to London’s Selfridge’s.

And on the menu will be grains grown by Gilchesters in its Tynedale fields. Mr Barber, who was recruited by Barack Obama to his nutrition council, chose the Northumberland producer because he was so impressed by their re-establishment of old cereal varieties and the way they are produced.

WastED was launched in New York two years ago – a pop-up devoted to the theme of food waste and re-use.

The Selfridges version opened on the department store’s iconic rooftop last week and continues until April 2. It will task some of the country’s most famous chefs to create delicious menus out of too often ignored ingredients.

Diners will munch on menus created from cabbage cores, cover crop sprouts and meat from waste-fed pigs for example. And renowned chefs such as Yotam Ottonlenghi and Jean-Philippe Blondet will be getting on board.

Dan Barber said: “Coming to London has meant discovering new partners, but also tapping into a fully evolved movement — a conversation around food waste spearheaded by chefs, advocates and industry leaders, and supported by vital culinary traditions.”

Gilchesters Organics is run by husband and wife team, Andrew and Sybille Wilkinson.

Organic since 2002, their farm runs a herd of rare breed white Galloway beef cattle and acres of rare breed cereals. They have specialised in the production of spelt, Emmer, Einkorn and heritage wheats for baking flours with outstanding flavours and texture.

Andrew said: “Having followed Dan Barber’s outstanding achievements in America through his Blue Hill restaurants and his publication ‘The Third Plate’, insightful observations on food in the future, we were delighted to have been approached last year to help him with the WastED project for London. There is so much common ground in the way we produce and process our grains and how Dan and Blue Hill source and use their produce in the restaurants that the close work with his team is a real pleasure. There is so much energy and enthusiasm around the whole project, it’s really incredible to be a part of it.”

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