Review: Farmer Butcher Chef, Goodwood - A celebration of field to fork

Picture: Mike Caldwell
Picture: Mike Caldwell

Farmer, Butcher, Chef, based on the Goodwood Estate, is a celebration of field to fork.

Launched in November 2016 the sustainable restaurant can control every aspect of its produce from the fields the livestock graze to the in-house butchery and eventually the kitchen where dishes are created.

One of the starters: caramelised cauliflower doughnuts

One of the starters: caramelised cauliflower doughnuts

My husband and I visited on a Friday lunchtime to sample the set lunch and pre-theatre menu, where you are able to have two courses for £14.95 or three for £19.95.
Each course has three choices - vegetarian, meat and fish.

For our starters I couldn’t resist the caramelised cauliflower doughnuts, while my husband picked the crispy pork jowl with radicchio jam, sea beets and quince.
The doughnuts were phenomenal, the subtle taste of cauliflower with a cheesy sauce it was like having my all time favourite cauliflower cheese with a light and airy dough ball.

My husband thoroughly enjoyed the jowl with its quince sauce which married everything together nicely.

For main courses I opted for the pork cheeks with caramelised squash puree and pumpkin granola, it looked like autumn on a plate with the bright orange puree, and tasted delicious. The knife cut through the meat with ease and it work fantastically with the granola.
We also picked parsnips and the chunky chips as sides. The parsnips, sweet from the honey and salty from pancetta while the chips were like delightful roast potatoes - crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

The pork cheek mains

The pork cheek mains

While across the table my husband went for the fish of the day - sea bream with cauliflower puree, pickled raisins and sea aster with chive oil.
“Although it is fish it is really meaty rather than delicate like you would usually expect, it works so well with the slightly sweet cauliflower and sea aster was a surprise as I had never had it before but it completely works,” he said.

As someone with a sweet tooth I couldn’t resist a pudding our choices were a dark chocolate delice, a pea and white chocolate panna cotta and a quince and earl grey crumble with orange and liquorice ice cream. I love a crumble so I picked that and although my husband said he was full I was intrigued by the pea and white chocolate panna cotta.

Served very much as a deconstructed crumble it had bold flavours running throughout with the quince and liquorice, not an overly sweet pudding so great if you want something extra but don’t want too much sugar.

The revelation was the pea and white chocolate. On the first spoonful my husband wasn’t sure - “It’s odd….but not awful.”
While after one spoon I couldn’t resist going back for more, eventually we swapped puds with the crumble tempting my husband.

The pudding of pea and white chocolate panna cotta

The pudding of pea and white chocolate panna cotta

The panna cotta was creamy and rich with white chocolate but the pea sorbet, which did taste a lot like peas, cut through the sweetness balancing each other out perfectly. It sounded odd on the menu but worked a treat and was something if I saw again I would definitely order. The setting is also fantastic light and airy with interesting pieces all over you can lose yourself in your surroundings.

What we found is that the price is fantastic value sampling the delights of the kitchen, ideal if you want to give it a go but are unsure of unusual cuts of meat like shin, jowl or cheek.

We can’t wait to head back to Farmer, Butcher, Chef it really is a treat and feeds the soul.

Farmer, Butcher, Chef recently appointed Ben Hammet as its new head chef.
Ben started his career at Goodwood aged 16 where he spent two years learning the basics before jetting off to Italy.
During his career he worked on Bond Street, and also on the private island of Necker. Here he quickly learnt to create dishes using only seasonal and local produce, and taking a boat to pick up supplies for the day meant that he learnt to be extremely resourceful.
Hammet then took his skills to Australia with a stint as Chef de Cuisine at a One & Only resort, and a restaurant in Melbourne, before finally returning to England, and to Goodwood.

For more information on Farmer, Butcher, Chef, visit www.goodwood.com/estate/farmer-butcher-chef

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