Feature - Issue #1
Our food culture is shaped by many things, but chefs are some of the biggest influencers. Like supermarkets, their choices impact the whole supply chain - from farm to fork - and the very foundations of our food system and food culture.
As a child growing up in Northern Ireland I remember how during the summer months the grocer’s shelves would become awash with colour - from tomatoes to rhubarb, raspberries to broad beans. It would also be a time when we would go blackberry picking to make jams, or help the local farmer harvest his potatoes.
The food we had access to, just 30-odd years ago, was restricted to what nature was willing and able to offer at any given time. As a result we ate according to the seasons, and were largely dependent on what was available locally, or imported from across the water in Britain. Despite only having a brief window of opportunity to enjoy seasonal delicacies, life didn’t seem so bleak, and we somehow survived.
Now the possibility exists for me to consume more summer fruit and vegetables than I could ever have dreamed of as a boy. Regardless of the time of year, and whether you crave an apple or an avocado, brussels sprouts or smoked salmon, you can pop down to your local supermarket and buy whatever you want - four seasons have become one.
Chef Anahita Dhondy. (Photograph courtesy of Forest/Sabrina Dallot-Seguro).
Chef Justin Horne
The Chef's Manifesto