Fresh local produce is the underpinning of all that Head Chef Paul Leonard and his team create in the kitchen.
We aren’t just focused on what you eat when you dine with us. We are concerned where our produce is it grown, raised or reared. We are proud to serve ingredients grown and reared on local farms. Ultimately we are striving for a more sustainable and organic food chain – in other words we want to use local suppliers as much as possible.
Being able to actually buy from the producer, grower, and maker of the food products we use in our menus is massively important. It gives us the opportunity to visit the producer and ask key questions about husbandry, growing practices, feeding, production methods and techniques.
The other bonus of course is that by using locally sourced produce we are further contributing to the local economy, which is also massively important to us.
Many of our ingredients are also Homegrown in The Forest Side gardens in Grasmere
What we can’t source locally we grow in our own kitchen garden, which provides us with about 60% of the fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables we need, as well as an array of flowering plants and herbs.
That said there are some ingredients in Paul’s food that simply can’t be obtained from anything other than the natural environment that surrounds us – so it’s a case of strapping on a pair of stout boots and heading off into the Cumbrian landscape.
Foraging for a particular leaf, berry or flower or visiting a secret spot over on the coast for sea herbs may take time and effort. But with a little patience, knowledge of the landscape, understanding the right time to harvest, coupled with an innate love for what we do and for getting the most out of each ingredient we are able deliver truly unique flavours… that is the skill of the master forager, grower and chef.
At Forest Side we recognising, know and care about each step of the journey from field, hedgerow, fell top, sea shore and even forest floor to the plate.