We chat to Aaron Patterson, head chef at Michelin-starred Hambleton Hall, about Leicestershire and Rutland’s booming dining scene.
Leicestershire and Rutland has long had a history of being home to some excellent produce, and that’s not counting the infamous Melton Mowbray pork pie! It’s an area of often stunning scenery where passionate people produce some of the country’s finest ingredients. Thanks to this, there’s been a huge growth in excellent restaurants.
‘Those of us who live in Leicestershire and Rutland can take the area’s beauty for granted’, begins Aaron. ‘With so many passionate farmers and producers in the region, it’s not surprising that the area is fast becoming a foodie-haven’. He continues, ‘every year there seems to be more and more great gastropubs and restaurants popping up over the region, and it’s great to see so many talented chefs, many of whom were trained at Hambleton, returning to the area.’
Rutland and Leicestershire’s larder is brimming with first-rate game and farmed meats, both of which feature on Aaron’s menus. All of his ingredients are sourced as locally as possible from trusted suppliers in the two counties. ‘It’s the passion and hard-work of these people that make this area’s produce so good. Game in particular is excellent, coming straight from the shoot, and there are some really knowledgeable individuals who bring in foraged treats like crayfish and wild mushrooms. Hedgerows are fabulous to explore, and can yield rich pickings of wild cherries, blackberries and young nettles if you know where to look.’
‘This year promises to be another excellent one for the Leicestershire and Rutland dining scene. Take advantage of it; go to your local farmers’ market, go foraging and take a moment to explore the beautiful landscape.’
Read the latest review of Hambleton Hall or discover our brand new Leicestershire & Rutland Food & Drink Guide online. If you can’t get enough, order a free guide here.