Learn all about fresh seasonal produce grown without pesticides or herbicides at this wonderful Slow Food Evening at Glouglou with Haven Hills & The Hungry Guy (Wednesday, October 19, 7pm) - Picture credits Karen Hartnell-Beavis.
Join the team behind the Shropshire based Haven Hills Field and Kitchen at Glouglou in Shrewsbury this Wednesday, to find out about their passion for hyperlocal, top quality food produce - over a four course tasting menu.
This evening, presented by Slow Food Ludlow, will see the newly appointed Haven Hills Field & Kitchen chef Steve, aka The Hungry Guy, bringing their produce to Shrewsbury. It's a great way to network with other slow food producers and like-minded foodies and your ticket (£15 members, £17.50 non-members) also includes a free drink.
The Haven Hills team Jonathan, Karen, Janine and Steve are known for their slow food weekly hampers (pictured above), and are champions of real food, made with fresh ingredients, with no weird preservatives, flavourings or additives. Their hampers contain a ready meal, a jar of soup or salad, a tart or galette, home made pasta and a pasta sauce, a bread such as focaccia, ciabatta and a seeded loaf, a bag of salad and a dressing.
Karen, who is a fabulous food photographer, said: "Basically we are growing vegetables, and using them to create delicious homemade meals. We are attempting to tackle various problems within the food system, so use returnable packaging, mostly glass jars, compostable salad bag and brown paper bags for the veg.
"We use organic ingredients where possible and also local where we can, including our neighbour's heritage flours, which we use to make the tart pastry, the bread and the pasta."
They only deliver to within five miles of their Shifnal HQ: "The whole idea is that it should be hyper local," Karen adds. "We are really trying to encourage people to eat more vegetables and show them interesting ways in which this can be done."
The idea came about when Karen and husband Jonathan could not find organic vegetables to buy locally: "We were getting a Riverford veg box, which is fabulous but it relies on big logistics as they travel quite far," Karen explains.
As a well-regarded food photographer, Karen became increasingly interested in the food she was photographing - and the buying choices people make.
"I found it difficult to understand the impact of the food I was buying - should I buy plastic, organic, fairtrade?"
At that time, she had started working with Nadine Abensur who she describes as a 'genius' in cooking vegetables. Karen read a lot of books and also completed a diploma in culinary nutrition and became very interested in the nutritional value of the food we eat: "Essentially, I learned how broken our food system is, and at what point do we change it, how far are we prepared to go in terms of damaging the environment and damaging our health."
Her husband Jonathan set up the first online supermarket back in the 90s - called the Food Ferry - which, Karen says, was very successful for over a decade, before the bigger players came on board: "He used local suppliers, so it was more about quality than price. His concerns lie more in single use plastic and our reliance on fossil fuels so is trying to avoid that."
Last September, the couple hired Janine, a horticulturalist who shared their views of looking after the soil as a priority, to ensure more nutritious vegetables, and growing without synthetic fertilisers and peat free.
"We have been going over a year and the kitchen has been running for about five months. We met Steve (the Hungry Guy) at another slow food event and discussed him working with us. He's a Slow Food Ambassador who shares our values about the ingredients he uses. It was Steve who talked us into doing the event at Glouglou!
"We're looking forward to coming to Shrewsbury - All four of us Steve, Janine, Jonathan and myself will talk about the various aspects of the business. Steve will introduce the food and talk about the Slow Food values we hold, Janine about how we grow, I will touch on health and how we value food, Jonathan on environmental considerations."
The Haven Hills Kitchen event starts at 6.30pm, on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 - included in the ticket price of £15 (members) or £17.50 (non members) is a free glass of wine and four small courses (it’s a tasting menu). BOOK TICKETS HERE