Tom’s kitchen

I’m on a mission. Quite simply, I want to put the passion back into your cooking. I’ll help you get the best out of produce, seasonality and methods of cooking, as well as tackling the more serious topics of eating habits, food miles, organic versus super-market, and nutrition. I want to make what you eat more exciting and inspiring.

But why start in March? It’s a strange time, an in-between season, but it’s also a month with enormous potential. At this time of year, we’re all anticipating the arrival of spring and its dramatic change in the choice of ingredients avail-able?that is, if you’re buying produce in season.

I passionately believe we should all spend a bit more time and effort on buying food that’s in season as opposed to ingredients that are flown around the world. We’ve all been so spoilt that we expect and demand to see things such as fruit all year round.

But remember?the consumer is just as powerful as the major chains: what you don’t buy, they won’t buy. So if something is out of season, don’t buy it?look for an alternative. Not only are you being eco-friendly, but you’ll be doing your bit for the UK’s producers as well.

It doesn’t help that the way we package produce and processed food varies from the beautiful to the insane. I hope we’ll soon do away with all that clingfilm and polystyrene that most of our vegetables come in. Is it all necessary and what does it achieve?

If only the supermarkets would all change to a simpler format of stacking without the needless array of pre-packed vegetables. Loose bunches of herbs and vegetables that are just arranged in a pile are simple and can look amazing if the required love and attention to detail are there.

Over Christmas, I was on a skiing holiday in Sun Valley, Idaho, in a tiny village called Ketchum. When I went shopping at the local supermarket, what a wonderful surprise I had. The array of produce on show and the service from the staff were amazing. Water was sprayed onto the vegetables every two hours, so they stood proud and immaculate on the shelves. What a joy!

It was a picture of beauty, but, most importantly, most of the produce was locally grown or came from the next state. But what I want to know is?why can’t we have that?

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