Andrew Hirst from Le Talbooth introduced our latest Essex Food & Drink Guide and explained to us what it was like being a chef in one of the wealthiest areas of the country.
“Working as a chef in Essex today means having a place among a host of high-profile names. It also means having the privilege of working with truly exceptional ingredients. Essex’s unique location – close to the capital but largely rural – enables
us to keep a finger on the pulse of the food scene while also sourcing the very best ingredients from our doorstep. The region’s rich pickings include everything from native lobsters and Dedham Vale beef to Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus, and as the seasons change, so does the bounty. I love nothing more than working with my team to develop both new and traditional ways to cook with the wonderful produce that each month yields.
“Foodie events like the Essex Festival of Food & Drink and the numerous farmers’ markets held throughout the year help to promote our natural larder. Year on year we see exceptionally talented artisan producers set up shop in Essex, drawing further attention to the county’s food scene.”
“When I was asked to introduce this year’s Essex Food & Drink Guide, I was delighted. We’ve had another exciting year when it comes to eating out in Essex; our excellent location continues to attract new talent so new restaurants are opening all the time – foodies in the region are spoilt for choice.”
“As an Essex boy through and through – born and bred in Colchester – I can think of nowhere I’d rather live and work. My role at Le Talbooth has allowed me to return to my roots, so I now live near Maldon with my partner and two children.”
“My affection for the region persists, and I’m proud to work at Le Talbooth, a restaurant that has undoubtedly played an important part in the Essex restaurant scene for years. In fact, this year marks the 65th anniversary of Le Talbooth and we’re celebrating with a series of special menus. Diner in Essex are a discerning bunch who expect near perfection; my talented team and I strive to meet their exacting standards when they come to dine at Le Talbooth – happily we have the best ingredients to work with.”
Here’s to another wonderful year in Essex, we hope that Andrew keeps up the good work and the region continues to provide fantastic produce and innovative menus. You can read our review of Le Talbooth here, or find restaurants in Essex on our website.