From Pasture to Plate: Celebrating the Sustainable Sourcing of Our Suppliers
24 May 2023 | Blog
At the heart of Roth Bar & Grill is the sensational seasonal food and drink that we serve from our farm and local suppliers. We are passionate about using fresh British produce from incredible gamekeepers, farmers, and gardeners who focus on ethical sourcing and sustainability and share our values.
We are proud to work with and champion many British growers and farmers who are only a short distance from the restaurant. These suppliers are vital in creating our honest seasonal food, and they are featured throughout our menu. They include White Lake Cheese, Sandridge Farm Bacon, Castlemead Chicken, Bruton Dairy, Westcombe Cheese, White Horse Microgreens and many more.
White Lake Cheese
White Lake Cheese, based near Pylle in Somerset, is run by third-generation farmer Roger. Passionate about cheese, Roger revived the family cheddar cheese business with artisan goat’s cheese. The focus at White Lake is on product evolution and continually adapting the company as customer tastes change. The current trend in cheese is for a more intense flavour, and they are developing new cheeses to suit taste buds craving punchy flavours.
Passion is essential to the business, enabling them to produce the best cheese possible. The team is always learning and developing, asking themselves what they can learn from each experience and how they got to that point. By constantly adapting and innovating White Lake Cheese can continue to create incredible cheeses for us to enjoy.
The aim is to have consistency in each cheese so that the customer gets the same great taste every time. The team thrives on this variety and the chance to be creative throughout the process. Many of the team members have come from traditional office jobs or a chef background and love working in a different way where creativity is encouraged, and they have the chance to try something new!
The cheese-making process changes every day as the seasons and temperatures alter. For example, when we visited, it was cold, so they did not have to have the chillers on, which led to more moisture in the air, and so they adapted the process for the cheese for the day. While we explored White Lake, cheeses were being turned, brined, washed (with beer), and packaged. There was a calm hive of activity.
Change also comes from the goats themselves. Roger’s beloved herd has a mix of Toggenburg, British Alpine, and Saanen goats. Although they live in all year round, the day length and seasons change, which alters the fat and protein in the milk and could lead to different cheese. White Lake always aims to have the same flavour profile to create consistency for customers, so the process is changed to keep the cheese the same flavour that we know and love!
White Lake Goat’s Cheese is often a feature on the menu in our starters and on our dessert cheese board. Currently, on our starters is Fetish, their take on a Greek-style cheese that is matured in brine for 3-4 months, which has a lovely, rounded flavour.
Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon
Sandridge Farm creates artisan bacon cured on their 350-acre family farm in Wiltshire. You might ask why we get bacon from Wiltshire and not Somerset! We go to Wiltshire for our bacon as this is the traditional home of bacon curing. The Wiltshire Cure is an important heritage practice that was created by the Harris family in Calne, Wiltshire in the 1840s. They packed a roof with ice, which required less salt, so a milder cure was created. This is the origin of the wet cure method still used today.
In the 1980s, the family at Sandridge Farm were concerned about the loss of local bacon curers in the area and how this would affect the piggery, so the family started curing their pork on the farm. This led to a thriving business that continues to produce this delicious bacon today.
In the curing process British pork is preserved with salt so that it lasts longer. They use three methods to create bacon: The Wiltshire Cure, where the pork is immersed in brine for 3 to 4 days and then stacked in a cellar for two weeks to mature, smoking over beech and oak sawdust, and dry curing, where pork is packed in salt from 28 to 56 days. Time to mature is vital in their process and is what makes their bacon stand out from supermarket bacon that has been injected with water and flavour enhancers to speed up the process.
This incredible bacon with a wonderful history can be found on our breakfast menu. Try the Sandridge Farm Bacon and fried egg brioche roll or portobello mushrooms and bacon on our sourdough.
Bruton Dairy is a small, family-run business passionate about producing the finest quality Somerset milk and cream from a collection of local farms’ herds. Their focus is on the highest quality, locally farmed milk so that their produce is of the best standard possible. The welfare of the herds at each dairy farm is something they closely monitor, and they focus on paying farmers a premium price for their milk to help protect the future of the Somerset dairy industry.
Milk is collected daily from their trusted farms which are within 10 miles of Bruton Dairy, so that the milk is the freshest it can possibly be. They process organic unhomogenised, pasteurised milk. This traditional approach focuses on quality and taste. Homogenising (processing the milk) is done to create a more aesthetically pleasing milk as the fat is broken down so that cream is evenly spread. Bruton Dairy doesn’t follow the process as they want to create a rich and creamy milk that is cream in colour.
All the organic milk is sourced solely from Godminster Farm in Bruton which is next to the dairy. The herd is made up of British Friesians (what is envisioned as the standard dairy cow) crossed with Swedish Red, Norwegian Red, Normande, and Fleckvieh to produce cows that are suited to life in a dairy herd. As much as possible, they grow the food for the cows on the farm so that what they eat can be closely monitored.