Meet the Producers at the Empire Room
The Empire Room restaurant at the Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate, is to play host to a series of Meet the Producer events, allowing diners to learn about the food and drink on the tables – directly from the local growers.
The restaurant is a member of Produced in Kent [PinK], a not for profit organisation which promotes food and drink companies in the county, and is holding the events with a number of its fellow members.
The Empire Room's renowned chef, Craig Mather, noted for creating gourmet seasonal menus using the Kent's abundant high quality produce, decided to run the events to highlight the premium food and drink products available locally.
Commenting on the programme of special dinners, PinK Manager Stephanie Durling said, “Produced in Kent are thrilled that The Empire Room is showcasing the fantastic array of local produce available.”
The first such dinner will be with Little Stour Orchard on Friday 27th January, when Craig will prepare a special four-course menu featuring the orchard's apple juice, cider and cider vinegar, costing around £30 a head.
We have known Craig since 2012 when he was working at East Kent College – he is a massive supporter of local producers and uses as much local produce as possible, said Little Stour Orchard owner in The Empire Room, said orchard owner Sarah Bowers, adding, “Interest in local food is growing - people want to know where their food comes from.”
The second Meet the Producer event will be held on Friday 3rd February with the Windmill Community Garden, when Craig will employ organic vegetables and honey produced on the project's allotments.
The Empire Room intends to hold further monthly Meet the Producer events with local fishermen, wine makers, cheese producers, game keepers and farmers.
“No other part of the country can compete with Kent when it comes to the rich variety of top quality ingredients – with our artisan cheese producers, rare breed farms, sustainable fishing, wild game, foraging, fruit and vegetables – it's a chefs' paradise,” said Craig, adding, “Produced in Kent does sterling work promoting the offerings and supporting local businesses – given the sharp rise in wholesale prices of imported food due to the fall in the value of sterling, there's now even more incentive to buy local produce.”
The Empire Room has been nominated for 'Best Restaurant' in the Taste of Kent Awards. Food lovers can vote online for their favourite eateries and producers at www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk.