“Eating out is a pleasure we all enjoy for many reasons; the occasion, the company; the venue. But the food is of most importance; mostly how it tastes, but also how it looks. The way food is presented adds a special dimension to a meal”
This spring we’ve been shining the light on some of our incredible suppliers. Time to welcome to the stage, Norfolk’s mighty micro herb growers Allan and Sue.
From small acorns
The transition from chef to horticulturist may not be the most obvious choice, but for Allan Miller and Sue Drane it was a life changing decision and one that we’re delighted they made.
So where did it all start? Allan and Sue both worked full time as chefs for 20 years before becoming growers of Micro Cress. They decided to grow cress themselves in a small greenhouse in their back garden and began supplying the restaurant they worked in.
Having successfully grown Micro Cress for use in the restaurant, with very positive feedback, they were asked by a wholesaler if they were able to grow in a larger volume. Allan and Sue decided to invest their time and money into their business, which is when ‘Nurtured in Norfolk’ really began.
Co-founders of the company Allan Miller and Sue Drane saw a niche for new garnishes in the kitchen and wanted to add depth and flavour to the palate rather than just a garnish.
When micro goes macro
Allan and Sue chose micro herbs that where strong in flavour and still looked appealing on the plate. Varieties that are most popular because of their robust flavour like coriander, lemon balm, baby mint, ruby frills mustard, fennel, garlic chives, Red vein sorrel and basil are still by far the most popular varieties to date. The range of micro cress has now been extended to over 70 different types. All together there are over 280 different edibles in the range.
To mighty Oak trees
10 years on… Now a 4-acre nursery the business has gone from strength to strength. Constantly growing and developing as a company ‘Nurtured in Norfolk’ now supply a top-quality selection of cut Micro Cress, Pea Shoots, Micro Herbs, Edible Flowers, Baby, Micro and Sea Vegetables, Edible Leaves and Mint Tips in various flavours.
As ex chefs, their simple ethos is that the quality and consistency of the product has to be of an exacting standard that they would have expected and been happy to use themselves.
Why do they taste so good? Aside from the loving care from Allan and Sue, all the products have been grown on a natural soil base, benefiting from nutrients that are present throughout the growing stages and therefore extending the shelf life. Biological controls are used throughout the growing process to keep the crops clean and pest free.
If you can’t wait to sample Sue and Allan’s incredible produce, find your closest Young’s pub below and there’s one thing we can promise you they’ll taste as good as they look.