Lucy Boyd, cook, food writer and culinary director for Petersham Nurseries Café, rose to the challenge set by local charity School Food Matters to give a Kitchen Garden Ideas session to two Richmond schools to celebrate Grow Your Own Picnic day this Friday, 20th June.
Sixteen youngsters from Chase Bridge Primary School in Twickenham and Thomson House School in Mortlake paid a visit to Petersham Nurseries this morning to harvest whatever they find growing in Petersham’s grounds. Then with the help of Petersham’s kitchen team they turned their freshly picked produce into tasty picnic treats to take back to school and share with their classmates.
“The Petersham Nurseries team really enjoyed spending the morning with children, harvesting courgettes and their flowers, radishes, lettuces and beetroot from the kitchen garden and demonstrating to them how we are inspired to create fresh, simple and healthy dishes for our restaurant”, said Lucy Boyd, Culinary Director at Petersham Nurseries.
As Lucy showed the groups around the Kitchen Garden she sparked their curiosity with “words beginning with Z” ….Zucchinis. “That’s what some people call courgettes,” she explained. Having picked the ripe produce, the children helped to carry it back to the greenhouse that had been transformed into a green classroom where they were shown how the zucchini flowers could be deep fried whilst they striped off the scales off the artichokes they had grown themselves. Petersham Nurseries head chef Tim showed how he removed the choke and then prepared the hearts. At first some were a little reticent about trying the artichokes and zucchini flowers but to their credit every single one of them did. They also tried 3 different dips that the kitchen team had made and ate them with perfectly fresh crudités. Before leaving, they each chose their favourite dip and packed up the picnic boxes to take back to school and heading for the bus debated how they would be able to save any for their friends. They concluded that it would be hard indeed.
Kitchen Garden Ideas was designed by School Food Matters to celebrate the two life skills of growing your own food and cooking simple nutritious meals, and aims to inspire children and families to have a go at both. Recipes from the event will be available for download from the School Food Matters website in July. http://www.schoolfoodmatters.com/kitchen-garden-ideas.html
For recipes and tips on how to savour your kitchen garden with Le Parfait click here.
About Lucy Boyd
Lucy Boyd has been head gardener at Petersham Nurseries since 2004 when it came under the ownership of the Boglione family. She has developed and cultivated the Petersham House kitchen garden to grow vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and fruit for the family and award-winning restaurant Petersham Nurseries Café. The last year has seen this relationship develop further by bringing Lucy’s experience as both a chef and gardener together in a new role as Creative Culinary Director of Petersham Nurseries. Lucy is the author of “Kitchen Memories; recipes and stories from a lifelong love of food” (Harper Collins 2013).
About School Food Matters
School Food Matters campaigns for fresh sustainable food in schools and for children to understand where their food comes from. To achieve this SFM listens to schools, parents and children. They work with local authorities and schools to improve school meals and to support food education through cooking, growing and links with local farms.
About Grow Your Own Picnic Day on Friday, 20th June 2014
Grow Your Own Picnic day takes place on Empty Classroom Day, celebrating kids learning outdoors. It is an initiative developed by Food Growing Schools London, a partnership organization funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the Mayor of London. The partnership is led by Garden Organic and currently includes the following organisations: Capital Growth, Food for Life Partnership, Mayor of London, Morrisons Let’s Grow, RHS Campaign for School Gardening, School Food Matters.
For press enquiries, please contact: Isla Meynell at School Food Matters on 020 8878 8333 or firstname.lastname@example.org