October 2018

Professional Cookery students' micro herb visit bursts with flavour

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Professional Cookery students’ micro herb visit bursts with flavour 

From micro herbs to edible flowers, Professional Cookery degree students received more than a flavour of the garnishes that adorn today’s Michelin-starred plates during an inspirational study trip.

The first year lecture group visited Evesham-based Westlands - one of the world’s leading producers in herbs and horticultural advancement – as part of the foundation degree’s The Gastronomist module.

The company’s huge portfolio, developed over the last 80 years, includes everything from micro leaves, salads, cresses, petite leaves and speciality salad leaves to edible fruits and flowers, grown-in-the-dark leaves, coastal vegetables and flowers, as well as speciality heritage tomatoes.

Student Rebecca Bourne said: “Being a chef, it’s important to know where your ingredients come from and how the crops and produce you are using have been cultivated and cared for.

“A huge trend in the culinary arena right now is micro herbs, as the plates of Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe are garnished with these tiny leaves, all exploding with flavour. We tasted various herbs from different classifications and the flavour seemed to only grow and grow.”

She said the day at Westlands the opportunity to try the speciality produce, as well as watch a presentation about the company, to help with their assignments.

“We looked at what could possibly be incorporated into future dishes and had a tour of the incredible facilities, which included detailed explanations of the growing process and all the unique sustainable developments and horticultural advancements being made.

“The tour was amazing and after talking to my peers, the consensus was that this was a really exciting and interesting addition to the course.”

Chef inspired, Westlands is very aware that modern chefs are province-minded and that where the ingredients come from has a huge impact on the quality. The company has purpose-built greenhouses and is 100% water efficient to ensure everything runs smoothly and with the least damage to the environment.

Find out more about college and degree courses at UCB’s College of Food.

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