There’s a wealth of local, fine food on your doorstep
Cooking is all about love. It can be hard to remember as a busy parent juggling jobs and family life. But deep down, that hastily cobbled together meal on the table, keeping the tribe fed and watered, isn’t just cooked for survival – it is cooked out of love. Most restaurant chefs I know, cook for love too… well, love first, then ego and money!
Sadly, for those of us who love to cook as much as we love to eat, it can be pretty hard falling in love with something wrapped in cellophane, especially when you have no idea where all the components have come from! The good thing is Cumbria is more than a little bit different and … I can tell you the secret:
The food you love to eat is grown right here in Cumbria
Imagine this: a world-renowned restaurant headed by a mega-celebrity chef in the beating heart of any global metropolis. You know the place, right? Well I love the adventure and excitement of eating there too – even if I like less the burning hole it leaves in my wallet.
The contrast? A tiny cafe and farm shop tucked away in green valleys surrounded by craggy mountains, perhaps in Borrowdale, Buttermere, Eskdale or Langdale. Even those old Viking names evoke how close we are to our Cumbrian heritage, the beauty of our natural landscape and the food we grow. Now imagine stepping outside that cafe and seeing the sheep, the cows, the smell of wild garlic in Spring, or the rich pickings of damsons and brambles in the Autumn, the background noise of the mountain stream that feeds the micro-brewery that made your lunchtime beer. For those of us lucky enough to live and work here in Cumbria, we love it too and it is the secret to why Cumbrian food is special. Not much cling-film round here!
Cumbria isn’t quaint or stuck in some by-gone era. We are ahead of our time. We are leading the way when it comes to getting real about the food chain, animal welfare, sustainability, the relationship between the man-made and the natural environment. It’s about our responsibility for future generations, and why the quality of what we put in our mouths and where it comes from is just so important. It’s also about enjoyment!
You can see, hear, smell, touch and TASTE the difference. Give yourself a bit of love and enjoy what’s on offer right here in Cumbria this year. I can promise you, we will love you right back with some life-changing Cumbrian food and hospitality.
Nick Lawler is the Chair of the Taste Cumbria Food Festival Working Group, held in Cockermouth during the last weekend in September and the Chef/Proprietor of Winder Hall Country House & Restaurant