Red Tractor Dinner

RED-TRACTOR[we will post some pics of the evening soon]

To start at the beginning, about 2 months ago we were contacted by Red Tractor offering us the chance to come to the famous Westminster Kingsway College (where many a famous chef has earnt their whites) to be guests of honour at a dinner. This was a complete surprise and a real honour to be asked to speak to potentially very important people about our project. Weeks of secrecy, dress hunting, and speech writing later the night was upon us and after a quick dash to change and prepare ourselves we were on our way to London to our very first British Family official engagement.

In the end the guest list consisted of about 30 individuals made up of press and those at the forefront of the food industry. The atmosphere was amazing and so warm and positive toward what we are doing. We had a tour of some of the kitchens with a chilled glass of Nytimber in hand, meeting staff and students along the way. Everyone was happy to chat and exceptionally professional and I must admit the smells from the kitchen were some of the finest I’ve smelt in a very long time. Following this there was a short interview for Chinese Central Television as we were told they are fascinated with our project as well and that the clip would be seen by up to 15 million people! Certainly not something we had expected.

After all this there were two great speeches from the Head of the Culinary Arts, Gary Hunter and also from the Chairman of Red Tractor, David Gregory. Then we were ready to eat, and wow eat we did! The all British menu consisted of;

Parsnip soup, Cornish sea salt crisps
Wild Garlic custard, pickled fennel slaw, Citrus reduction
Baked goats cheese, onion seed cracker, Tomato chutney and lemon thyme cream
Roast and pressed “Old spot” Pork belly, Sweet potato dumplings, green apple sauce
Yorkshire Rhubarb and custard

English Coffee

Lavender shortbread

Sorry if you are now starving hungry – it really was as fantastic, if not even more fantastic, than it reads. All this wonderful food was washed down with some excellently paired English wine from Elysian Fields Vineyard and not having tried it before I can say for certain that we will be getting some in very soon! After stuffing ourselves silly there was the small matter of our speech which went mostly according to plan and was very well received, thankfully.

I don’t think there are words to describe how grateful we are to everyone who contributed to and attended the evening, it was very special and made us start to realise that we might really have started something here. Thank you also to everyone following our blog as really it’s why we keep writing them and documenting what is turning into a very memorable year.


  1. This sounds great and it is great that your project is making such an impression as it may have positive consequences for all of us and for the economy, but…are you telling us that both the sweet potatoes and the lemons were british??

  2. I’m assuming so. The lemon thyme is a herb in its own right and sweet potatoes happily grow here so should be fine 🙂

    • Thanks Emily, and apologies: it was not lemon but lemon thyme, so native.
      Local businesses…I would like to point at the following: if you remember, there was a lot of Hullaballoo when the manager of the Todmorden (where I live) slaughter house was arrested. He has now been released without charges. This is a local busines in danger of going under because innocence has not been publicly advertised. Plus: his is a small business and has little to do with big agro multis, even if the whole sorry affair would have wanted us to believe the opposite.

  3. Have just come across your blog & think what your doing us fantastic! We could all do with looking a littkd more at how we buy and trying even if in a small way at first to support our local economy! Good on you guys & best of luck in the coming year xxx

  4. Gary Hunter says

    I can state that all ingredients used were british sourced, including the lemon thyme and sweet potatoes. Even the wild garlic was foraged in the chef lecturer’s field at the back of his house!

  5. Wow, what an amazing evening that sounds & good for you spreading the word about your challenge . However, reading about it has left me feeling everso hungry !

  6. Steveo says

    Another very positive blog! I would be very interested to know how the Chinese managed to get hold of this. Was it simply due to the ‘power of the internet’?

  7. Hi there
    I regularly follow your post and I am keen to buy british when ever possible. i just came across this petition to get a Standardised Made in Britain logo that can be used by all businesses manufacturing in the UK. click the link and I wonder if you could possibly mention it on here? as I guess there are lots of people who are following this blog who will be keen. many thanks

  8. Congratulations on such a fantastic effort to publicise the same fact that I have been relaying to everyone I meet about buying British and helping get our wonderful country out of this recession. I have done exactly what you have done by going round the shops and looking at everything and only buying what is grown or produced in this country. Once you get to know what is ok to buy then it’s easy isn’t it! I did find soap hard to find but Boots own brand is made in the uk, but shampoo etc is quite easy to find. Food is easy too but then it starts to get difficult after that, but I’m sure not impossible, some things we can manage without completely. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing. I live on a farm so am always promoting British produce! Thank you to you for making the general public aware of such a fantastic idea.


  1. […] On the 14th March Red Tractor Assurance threw a dinner for us to speak at, with the guest list including the great and the good of British food production. You can read how it went on our blog here. […]

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