Welcome to the first in our new 'Quicke's on the menu' series, uncovering some of the most prestigious and interesting restaurants, bars and places using Quicke's cheese.
First up is The Pig Hotel, with locations in Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and Kent. More accurately, restaurants with rooms, these food-first hotels have a true commitment to home-grown, seasonal and local produce. Each hotel is based on a 25-mile menu, meaning that the menu changes depending on which Pig you are at. Working hard in the polytunnels, The Pig's kitchen gardeners work with nature to grow vegetables, salad leaves and mushrooms on site, whilst working hand-in-hand with the chefs to create menus bursting with simple British garden food.
A trip to The Pig is always a memorable one; from the knowledgable and talented bar stuff creating incredible pre-dinner cocktails to the delicious homemade bread with oil and home-smoked salt, The Pig really knows it's the small details that count.
We spent five minutes with James Golding, Group Chef Director at The Pig, to find out about his food journey so far and how The Pig is using Quicke's on the menu...
Five Minutes With James Golding
What was the dish/food moment that changed everything for you?
I'm not sure that I can pinpoint one moment as I think it's still happening to this day! If we're referring to my childhood it would have to be my Nonna’s Porchini Risotto!
What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Most things, but usually the unexpected…I loved anchovies, cheese and anything I could gather from the garden…once I kept a whole bunch of spring onions in my bed and just nibbled them…my mother went nuts when she found them!
What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with?
Tough question…I love using butter and cold-pressed rapeseed oil and locally cured meats. I would say the overarching theme is daily seasonal produce.
How do you use cheese in your cooking?
In many different ways…its such versatile product which can be used as a nice addition to salads, melted or used as a burst of flavour to soups and risottos.
If we could give you a lifetime supply of something from Quicke’s, what would you choose?
It would have to be the Vintage Clothbound Cheddar as I’m a bit traditional in my tastes. It's a bit of a go-to product.
Our cheese is made with 4 simple ingredients, 5 if you add time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work?
In work, it has to be The Walled Garden and the chefs I work with at all levels. Another key part is the local produce and sustainability aspect. In life, it has to be shooting and fishing, family and friends.
How is Quicke’s currently used on the menu at The Pig?
We always use Quicke's cheese on cheeseboards but currently, it's on a Dairy Cow Carppacio with mustard dressing, garden little gem & Quicke's Vintage Cheddar shavings.
What do you love about working at The Pig?
I'm very lucky to travel around all The Pig sites, so being able to talk and develop dishes with the head chefs and see all the menus changing is a real highlight for me!
Three words to describe dining at The Pig:
Home-grown, seasonal, local.
Your food message to future foodies growing up now:
Enjoy the journey, try everything and always ask as many questions as you can about the food, product or producer. Don’t ever be scared to try things and remember that food is a constant learning game that will never end!
You can taste this dish at The Pig at Combe in Honiton, Devon this summer.