We sat down with Tom Jones, of Farmer Tom’s kitchen fame and asked him serious questions like Snog, Marry, Kill and Guilty Pleasures…
Tom is a farmer, butcher and cook and together with his sister he runs Farmer Tom’s Kitchen. At Farmer Tom’s Kitchen they offer field to plate dining at tiny, wee prices! They are plating up Hereford beef burger, rocket, pickled courgette and strawberry chilli jam, Moorit lamb burger with homemade pesto, Black Bomber cheddar, rocket and harissa mayo, Hereford Steak with seasonal green salad and also for Christmas parties we’ll rustle up partridge, celeriac puree and cider braised red cabbage and rabbit, lentils and roasted carrots amongst many other tasty, hearty dishes.
They are in residency at The Convenience every Wednesday to Sunday evening until December 21st
Farmer Tom, can you tell us a bit more about how you got into the farming game?
I was born and raised on a farm in Herefordshire, so didn’t have much time to escape. It’s in the blood. As far back as I can think I am a fifth generation farmer.
What’s your earliest foodie memory?
Family Sunday lunch with luminous cider and very salty gravy.
Who would your dream Sunday lunch guests be?
John Frusciante, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Dylan Thomas, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry. What a party.
So what do you think makes a good farmer?
The best farmers I know love the job, despite its challenges, the worst ones hate it and should never have gone into it. It is a huge plus to follow the food from the field to the plate, because then you can get the best out it.
You’ve supplied meat to some of our favourite restaurants, The Clove Club, Lyle’s, Pitt Cue Co, etc. Are there any you restaurants that you haven’t yet supplied to that you’d like to be involved with?
I am lucky enough to supply some very good places, which all happen to be on my top list. The Ledbury, probably.
Do you think it’s important to know where our meat comes from and how it arrives at our plate?
I naturally want to know as much as I can about the food I eat, some people really don’t care. It’s a question of taste and food values, but I think it’s odd to not care at all.
Farmer, Butcher, Cook – Sounds like a big job! Who else is behind the scenes?
Lots of elves. And my mum. I always have my sister in the kitchen with me whipping up the puds.
Have you had any disaster recipes whilst putting together the menu for The Convenience residency?
Not yet. All the dishes are favourites from previous stints so they are well tested. Although I could tell you about a jalapeno and chickpea fritter I made a few years ago which still terrifies me.
If you had to snog / marry / kill 3 food trends. What would you do?
Burgers. Sushi. Intensive farming.
What are your plans for Farmer Tom’s Kitchen for 2015 and beyond?
Possibly a place of my own. There are ideas and suggestions, and the location is being looked into. Whatever happens I will be buying more cows. Can’t stop.
As if moving from residency to a permanent home wasn’t hard enough without throwing more cows into the mix huh!
What would your dream kitchen be like?
My dream kitchen would be big, light (with a dark corner) and would have to have a wood fired Rayburn in it.
Do you have any pointers for people cooking meat at home?
You are on the front foot if you start off with top quality meat. It is so much easier to cook. Bad meat does not want to be loved and will shrink, rubberise, toughen and hate you.
We, of course(!), would say that London has a busy underground dining scene that’s growing fast with secret pop ups and supper clubs; what is the scene like in your home town?
Well my chums @aruleoftum have just open a fantastic burger shop in Hereford which is flying. Other than that the food is a bit staid.
Food guilty pleasure?
Lol. We can’t judge you on that one 😉