FOOD PROVENANCE IS THE NEW NORMAL AND WE COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!
Like you, your food has a back story—a history. Whether you’re eating a meal at home or in a restaurant the ingredients have been grown, raised, or caught. Then they have been processed, to a lesser or greater extent, and transported. The journey an ingredient makes from its natural place of origin to your plate, and the processing involved, is a supply chain.
Food provenance is understanding and knowing about this supply chain. Where was this grown? Is this organic? Is this free range? Was this caught sustainably? How far has this travelled to reach me? These questions, and their answers, are more important to people than ever before.
THE RISE OF MINDFUL EATING
For something you ingest, it makes sense to care about where your food comes from and the processing it’s undergone.
The problem is for a long time we assumed for it to be fit for sale (and consumption) …food must be exactly that. We also, on mass, were not thinking about intensive farming practices. Whilst these are a direct response to enormous consumer demand, huge population growth, and consumer price consciousness—animal wellbeing and environmentalism are casting a dark shadow over availability and convenience.
OPENNESS IN FOOD THE INDUSTRY
In a digital age it’s easy to learn about the world around us and this includes learning about the food industry—where it does well and where it doesn’t. Especially with recent high-profile food scandals, the general feeling in society is it’s not okay for our food to have any question marks hanging over it. Food provenance is an emotional response to mass production and shady corporate practices. At the very least our food must be safe and not mislabelled.
Ideally, our food must be locally sourced, ethically produced, and the supply chains involved must be transparent. As a society we no longer want to eat the unknown and desire a clear conscience. Considering we have a right to our own bodies; this is a fair enough. We’ve even developed apps to help us trace and demystify our meals.
FOOD PROVENANCE AT THE MOAT HOUSE
For our head chef, James Cracknell, and team to create mouth-watering, seasonal dishes, and uphold our double AA Rosette fine dining status, food provenance plays an integral part. Quality, a delicious taste, and culinary flare goes hand in hand with fresh, and where possible, local produce. Those passionate about food, want to be as close to their ingredients as possible and this is what underpins our kitchen.
In the spirit of disclosure, here’s a list of our food (and drink) suppliers at the Moat House—all of which we’re proud to work with.
Dunwood Farm is 170 acres of lush pasture, deep in the Staffordshire Moors, on the fringes of the rugged Peak District.
Both experienced cattle farmers and butchers, the family team at Dunwood Farm have been providing exceptional quality beef since the 1970s. They specialise in supplying traceable, high welfare, native breed produce to the finest local restaurants and gastropubs.
WELLS FARM DAIRY
For a century the Holt family have farmed at Wells Farm near Stafford. Their dairy produce is superb, owing to their passion for the business and rigorous quality control methods.
HARVEY & BROCKLESS
For good cheese it’s hard to beat Harvey & Brockless, one of the most respected suppliers of fine food in the country. However, they’re not just about cheese. They can supply anything from flour, to pesto, to charcuterie. What makes them special is their insistence on quality and genuine love for the finer things in life.
THE CATERING BUTCHER
Starting from humble roots in 1926, what was once H.H. Jackson Limited, a popular local butcher, is now one of the most trusted meat suppliers in the Midlands. The Catering Butcher whilst having grown substantially, is still family run and retains an excellence focused ethos.
When it comes to fine food catering, this is the crème de la crème. By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, Ritter Courivaud is a renowned national supplier of exquisite ingredients and foods for the upmarket dining sector. When browsing their selections, it’s easy to lose yourself in the wonderful decadence.
Originally two friends, two vans, and a market stall, Interfruit is now a top Birmingham supplier of the freshest fruit and vegetables.
Chartley Coffee in Stafford is another brilliant family venture, now in its second generation. They are more than a coffee distributor, they roast their own beans by hand, producing the best coffee we’ve tasted.
BREW TEA CO
100% rolled leaves, all-natural ingredients, hand packed in Manchester, and with transparent supply chains. The Brew Tea Co is leading the way in food (and drink) provenance and making tea a more inclusive, fair, and fun business. Their ethical approach is right with us, and they also do a fantastic brew—win win.
Marston’s might just be the most popular brewery in the country, responsible for some of our favourite beers. Almost 200 years in business isn’t possible without doing something right. Their ethos is very much rooted in the local pubs, hotels, and social centres of our country. This rejecting of a corporate mentality is probably why the quality of their beer has never wavered.
Based in Market Drayton, Joules Brewery is a small craft brewery that brews very tasty ales—each of which is made care. Unlike the modern wave of craft breweries Joules bucked the trend by over a hundred years or so.
If you’ve investigated it, even for minute or two, you’ll know there’s a vast amount of knowledge to acquire in respect to wine. It’s said that a certain quality of light in a certain part of a certain vineyard can produce a distinct wine—identifiable to those that know.
At the Moat House we’re big fans of wine, and how rewarding it can be to learn about (and drink!). When thinking of a supplier we needed a company that would avoid mass produced, generic wines and give us a unique array of authentic wines.
Addison Wines is exactly that, and more.
Freshview Foods offers fresh, seasonal produce, expertly selected and proudly delivered. From fresh fruit and vegetables to dairy products and charcuterie, the company works with local growers and suppliers in Staffordshire and beyond, offering high quality food with a passion for quality, taste and origin.
If like us you love a nice cheese board at the end of a satisfying meal, the artisan cheeses Moyden Cheese supply us with are simply exquisite. Try handmade Caer Caradoc, Wrekin Blue or Shrewsbury Freta using traditional cheese-making methods. We can advise on which quality red wine will complement these dairy delights best. All you need to do is ask.
The Moat House is delighted to announce we are now registered for the Government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme. Join us Monday to Wednesday in August and enjoy up to 50% off* all food and soft drinks in our Lounge Bar and Orangery Restaurant.
Please note, our Orangery Restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.*maximum discount value of £10 per person.