Chef’s Farms, the ethical Sussex farmers, has launched its online farm shop to bring restaurant quality produce to your door. Originally supplying leading hospitality establishments in Sussex – such as Ockenden Manor, South Lodge, The Parsons Table and Bailiffscourt - Chef’s Farms introduced a home-delivery service of local, quality, seasonal, sustainable produce in 2020. Its commitment to biodiversity, moral food production and healthy eating is ideal for the consumer with a conscience, as are doorstep deliveries considering challenges facing shoppers today.
The Chef’s Farms website www.chefsfarms.co.uk - links the customer with seasonal produce – with little or no packaging - completing a direct ‘field to fork’ chain. In under 24 hours, crops are harvested and delivered from ethical and ecologically mindful producers from over 25 Sussex farms, all of whom are within easy reach of Storrington-based Chef’s Farms. During a typical agricultural year, over 150 varieties of Sussex produce are available to pursue a plant-based diet, varying from winter root vegetables, cauliflowers and herbs to spring greens, rhubarb and asparagus; summer brings a harvest of salad leaves, beans, courgettes, new potatoes and soft fruit before autumnal apples and blackberries arrive. Chef’s Farms selects heritage crops where possible, which include their ‘bunched beetroot’, a mixture of three varieties - red, golden and striped, and beehives are interspersed throughout the farmland, producing an abundance of honey with varying floral flavours according to location. Simple seasonal cut flowers and bulbs can be included in deliveries, narcissi and tulips will lift spirits. Sussex produce available from Chef’s Farms is not exclusively from the soil; other high-quality selections are available via dedicated sections of the website ‘The Pantry, Fishmonger, Butcher, Baker and Dairy’. Popular items include sourdough, rye and the famous cinnamon swirls baked in Petworth; slow-maturing beef from native rare breeds, including indigenous Sussex cattle, ensures the most tender cuts; whilst the highly-acclaimed South Downs Butter has been awarded 3 stars from the Guild of Fine Foods ‘Great Taste Awards’ for seven consecutive years and High Weald Dairy’s Brighton Blue cheese was awarded an astonishing ‘Super Gold’ at the 2017-2018 World Cheese Awards. Sussex’s kombucha and the purest kefir, produced using unhomogenised milk from a single herd complement the line-up from the county that is increasingly recognised for its culinary excellence.
Managing Director, Tom Denman’s vision of growing and harvesting crops to order, championing culinary start-ups and supplying to leading commercial kitchens became reality in 2018 when he unveiled Chef’s Farms. Initially created to supply hotels and restaurants, the unique collaborative scheme across Sussex farms is driven by Denman’s various passions. Born into a Sussex farming family, he trained as a chef at the Tante Marie culinary academy before working in Switzerland, then studying food production at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester and running off to New Zealand where he worked growing potatoes and asparagus. Upon his return to Sussex the philosophy of seasonal and sustainable, ingrained at an early age, had become even more relevant in current times. The extensive range of quality produce available in his home county combined with his local knowledge sees him ensure that Sussex’s culinary gems feature in the Chef’s Farms collaboration.
“My desire to showcase the range and outstanding quality of Sussex produce by simplifying the supply-chain has led to the development of Chef’s Farms,” says Tom. “I am fortunate to work with suppliers who share my belief in protecting and working harmoniously with our environment using ecologically beneficial methods of agriculture and I look forward to revealing exceptional produce to a wider audience as we adapt our business to support the local community.”
With home cooking and dining having taken far greater hold in the past year, Chef’s Farms will facilitate this increasing trend while also supporting British farmers and the local community, as well as reducing food miles. Chef’s Farms worked with Goodwood and Chalkstream trout to provide families suffering hardship in the local the community with Christmas hampers and are again supplying food for ICU staff at St. Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. Home deliveries by Chef’s Farms arrive on Tuesdays and Fridays, with orders to be made in advance at www.chefsfarms.co.uk A weekly ‘Fruit and Veg Box’ is priced from £20. A restaurant standard Valentine’s Day meal, healthy living and plant-based boxes as well as weekly recipe cards are offered to encourage the discerning lockdown cook, inspiring culinary creativity from land and sea.