Unique restaurant partnership celebrates its first ground-breaking year at Goodwood
Restaurants of note never stop pushing boundaries.
In a world in which customer expectations and preferences are constantly evolving, top chefs know they cannot stand still.
No Sussex restaurant did more to embrace the challenge of change in 2016 than Farmer, Butcher, Chef on the Goodwood estate.
It wasn't merely that they renamed the venue to reflect the unique local partnership of all those involved in the field to fork process.
They reinvented the menu to ensure not a single cut of meat was wasted.
As they celebrate their first anniversary with a guest dinner by acclaimed chef Tom Kerridge, group executive chef Darron Bunn admits the original concept was a risk.
"It always felt right what we were doing but there is always a risk that the customers come just the once."
On the contrary, customers have voted with their knives and forks and returned again and again. They have fed more than 26,500 customers since opening, but despite soaring statistics they haven’t had to increase the number of animals being processed at the farm.
By being clever about butchery and celebrating the use of unusual cuts of meat, they have made the produce go a lot further.
The concept made full use of Goodwood's unique position with its own organic farm and was inspired by the relationship between farmer Tim Hassell, butcher John Hearn and Darron. They work together to create the frequently-changing and diverse menu that showcases Goodwood’s organic farm produce.
All the meat served at Farmer, Butcher, Chef is born, bred and butchered just yards away on Goodwood Home Farm. Not many can control every aspect of their produce in the way Goodwood can. From the fields where livestock graze to the in-house butchery and eventually to the kitchen – where the dishes are created – Goodwood oversees the whole process.
The butcher is directly involved in designing dishes according to what cuts are available. An original approach that means nothing is wasted. Not only does this show the utmost respect for the animals, but it allows guests to enjoy unusual and rare cuts.
Of course, cuts are sometimes forgotten for a reason - they can be tougher than prime fillets although they are also packed with flavour.
But kitchen technology and techniques have moved on apace which means the wonderful texture and tone of these cuts is retained while it still remains a joy to eat.
This approach also meant that prices could be kept low - and despite huge inflationary pressures in the past 12 months they have not been reflected in the bill.
Affordability was as important as sustainability at the launch - and both concepts have been well and truly honoured.
Naturally, the menu is dominated by meat.
Butcher's Boards offering lamb, beef or pork are the specialty mains and are £20 per person to share. But there are also plenty of options for those who prefer fish, vegetarian or a more tradition range dishes.
In 2017 the applause for the venture came from the most important critics - the paying customers.
Darron hopes that 2018 will see external accolades to reflect not just the success but the sheer ground-breaking vision and enterprise of the undertaking.
Not surprisingly, the first birthday is a big milestone which will not pass unnoticed.
To mark the first anniversary, celebrated Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will be creating a special three-course menu inspired by Goodwood.
Available for one night only on December 4, 2017, Tom’s indulgent three-course menu will feature the organic beef, pork and lamb reared just yards away on
Goodwood Home Farm.
Details of the Tom Kerridge event at Goodwood:
Date: Monday, December 4, 2017
Time: From 7pm