Meet the Suppliers...
We have some great produce in the West Country, matched with great suppliers! We are very passionate about supporting our local suppliers here at the Horn of Plenty, and try to incorporate as much seasonal, local produce into the menu as possible. Over 70% of our produce is sourced within the County, and 90% from the South West.
We have selected a few of our favourite suppliers to tell you more about the great work they do and the fantastic produce they supply to the Horn of Plenty kitchen.
Situated just down the road in Tavistock, Country Cheeses have been supplying the Horn of Plenty for over 15 years.
Established in 1989, they supply and produce a variety of artisan Westcountry cheeses. They have their own range of cheeses which are kept in the shop’s underground cellar, allowing them to mature and develop for a wonderful unique characteristic and flavour.
Country Cheeses have a number of award-winning cheeses and have previously won the prestigious National Retail Cheese Award twice. In May 2011, they were awarded Gold at the Devon County Show for their Cave Aged Yarg.
They have also had national coverage, recently appearing on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, converting a fridge into a smoker and smoking several varieties of cheese. The cheese that came out on top was the soft goat’s cheese which was then used in a recipe for the River Cottage Canteen in Axminster.
Country Cheeses have also been visited by Queen of Shops, Mary Portas who wrote an article in the Telegraph about Tavistock and awarded the shop 9 out of 10!
Matthew Stevens is situated in the quaint fishing town of St Ives in Cornwall. They supply up to 30 varieties of quality fresh fish and seafood to the Horn of Plenty, and have been for the last few years.
Matthew Stevens established in 1948 and are a third-generation family business who have earned a reputation as the restaurateurs’ choice, working with Rick Stein, Fifteen Cornwall and The Tate Group, amongst others. This is because they only use E grade fish (European Quality and Freshness Grade Classification) which is the highest grade available on the market and not something every supplier can promise.
They operate in a specialist factory in St Ives, preparing produce from a variety of markets and suppliers including the ports and day boats of Newlyn, Plymouth, Appledor, Brixham and Looe. They care about the environment and work closely with suppliers and local fishermen to ensure produce is sustainably sourced.
The team have come across some very large catches over the years. To date, the largest has been a 70kg halibut which took 6 people to lift! More recently it’s been a 40kg Halibut which Darren and Paul are pictured holding in the picture above.
What’s on the menu?
Below is some more information the seafood that currently features on the Horn of Plenty menu...
Matthew Stevens’s shuck and cut all their scallops on-site straight from local day boats. This means the shells are not opened until the moment before orders are placed, which helps them retain optimum freshness. Shells are rinsed thoroughly to purge any sand or particles, taking great care not to soak the meats, so they don’t absorb water. All Scallops are sold with roe intact which is a beautiful bright orange colour. Scallops have a sweet, delicate flavour and are best pan-fried, steamed or grilled.
Crab & Lobster
Matthew Stevens has a fantastic purpose-built crab production area, run by a specialist team, which houses boilers that cook crabs at the precise temperature required for safe harvesting of crab meat. The team hand-pick crabs in the traditional way, using no machinery, which helps the meat retain a succulent texture and beautiful flavour. The pouches make delicious stocks, soups or bisque. Lobsters are sourced from Cornish waters, mostly St Ives Bay, or from Scottish shores towards the end of the season.
The majority of Mackerel is hand-line caught in St Ives Bay. A superb and very popular fish, it is both tasty and extremely healthy, with a higher Omega-3 content than its Sardine counterpart. Mackerel works best with citrus-type marinades as sharp sauces complement its rich flavour.
Sea Bass & Sea Bream
Wild Sea Bass that are hand-line caught are a prize catch. Available for eight months of the year, price is variable depending on availability. Wild Bass has a strong flavour, ideal for Thai inspired dishes, with white, flaky flesh that has a firm texture. Matthew Stevens also supply farmed Sea Bass, imported from Greece. The controlled nature of farming means they are consistently available. Wild Black Sea Bream are also a superb tasting fish, similar to Sea Bass, but with sweeter flesh. Due to this, Bream suit dishes with subtler flavours such as Mediterranean vegetables and herbs. Farm Gilthead Bream is also sourced from Greece. Both species are delivered whole and filleted at the factory, this ensures they remain firm and hold good texture.
Philip Warren is a butcher for Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Situated in Launceston in Cornwall, the company established in 1979 but has previously been a butchers since 1880.
They supply a range of meat to the Horn of Plenty. All their beef is directly bought from local farms stretching from Bodmin Moor to Dartmoor. They also supply single suckled beef (not dairy) from traditional beef breeds farmed in a natural way, fed on grass.
Lamb is sourced the same but with the additions of Suffolk, Jacob and Dorset breeds. Pork is all from Devon and Cornwall, with a number of popular breeds including Middlewhite, Saddleback, Gloucester Old Spot, Tamworth and Berkshire rare breeds.
Chicken and duck are from Crediton, near Exeter. Venison is rough shot on local land and sausages and bacon are hand cured and made on the farm.
Phillip Warren are professional butchers who also have a farm, and have a core group of approximately 120 different farmers who all supply them with livestock throughout the year, which provides seasonality and a supply chain which is tailored to their customer’s needs. They are very passionate about using and supporting local farmers.