25 September 2016

The Artisan Smokehouse opens new café-deli

'Goose Barn' home to The Artisan Smokehouse's café-deli. The interior is stylish, relaxed and informal with a range of tempting cakes on the counter.
Photo: © The Artisan Smokehouse
It feels as if both The Artisan Smokehouse and ourselves at The Artisan Food Trail have grown up together.

They became members when we first started back in 2011 and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow from their humble beginnings, with a smoker in their garden, to where they are now.

After a year of gathering materials and the help from friends and family, Tim and Gillian Matthews now have a new premises which is situated on land which used to be a goose run at Gillian's old family home.

Moving their business from their home in Trimley St Martin in Suffolk, they have travelled up the road to Falkenham and built a barn to house their smoker and working kitchen as well as adding a fully licensed cafė and deli.

We were kindly invited to enjoy some food and drink at The Artisan Smokehouse's pre-opening afternoon which gave Tim and Gill the opportunity to test out the running of the kitchen and front of house.

The fish platter with both cold and 
hot smoked salmon and the most 
delicious juicy smoked prawns.
Photo: © childsdesign
The menu is simple yet delicious, putting products from The Artisan Smokehouse centre stage.

Lovers of smoked foods will be impressed with the fayre on offer from charcuterie meats, fish or cheese themed platters, served with bread, to salads with some tempting combinations and sumptuous sandwiches.

For those with a sweet tooth, choose from a range of gorgeous cakes and pastries displayed on the counter to go with a cup of freshly made coffee or perhaps tea.

Relax in the airy and informal surroundings with views of the fields beyond and on good weather days big sliding doors can be opened to let in the breeze.

Tim and Gill's new venture is also a breath of fresh air for the local area.

Tim Matthews, owner of The Artisan Smokehouse explained:

"There was nothing like this for the local community and I hope we can make it a valuable part of the local economy in terms of tourism."

The Artisan Smokehouse has created a nice little foodie destination on a relatively small budget too. Making use of reclaimed and recycled materials and secondhand equipment mixed with some new items the result looks well finished.

Top left: Choose from a wide variety of foods all smoked on the premises; charcuterie, fish, cheese.  Top right: A range of unctuous smoked oils. 
Bottom left: The wine cage stocked with something to suit all tastes and budgets, and more importantly, specially selected to complement the foods. Bottom right: The large back door of the café-deli opens out to a view of open fields, hills and trees.
Photo: © The Artisan Smokehouse
The Artisan Smokehouse Café-Deli is now open and we recommend that you give it a try – you can even take the experience home with a little shopping before you leave.

Opening times
Thursday: 10am – 5.30pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Occasionally they may be closed on certain days so please check if you’re making a special journey.

The Artisan Smokehouse
Goose Barn, Back Road
Falkenham, Ipswich
Suffolk IP10 0QR

Tel: 01394 44814
Mob: 07854 940181

For more information about The Artisan Smokehouse Café-Deli
visit the website www.artisansmokehouse.co.uk

22 September 2016

The Artisan Food Trail speaking on panel session at Restaurant Tech Live 2016

Visitors to the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo 2016, on the 27th and 28th September, will have the opportunity to listen to and interact with industry leaders as they discuss the current key issues within the technology and food industry.

Several events under the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo umbrella; Restaurant Tech Live, Restaurant Design Show, Street Food Live and The Food Entrepreneur Show are being held under one roof at ExCel, London.

Graham Childs speaking on panel session: 

Marketing Ideas To Beat The Competition

Graham Childs, co-founder of The Artisan Food Trail, will be speaking on one of the panel sessions on Wednesday 28th September 15:00 – 15:30.

'Marketing Ideas To Beat The Competition' will discuss the ways restaurants and takeaways need to be smarter in order to succeed. Competition has never been tougher for these sectors so their marketing needs to be as fresh as the food they serve.

Although focusing on the restaurant scene, much can be applied to any type of food business so it will be well worth attending.

Remember, you can visit us on our stand for a chat to find out how we can help your business.
The Artisan Food Trail can be found on stand 922.
We look forward to meeting you

16 September 2016

Meet The Artisan Food Trail at the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Show 2016

If you would like to meet The Artisan Food Trail, we will be exhibiting at the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Show at ExCel, London on 27th & 28th September 2016.

You will be able to find us on stand 922 where we'll be available for a chat to find out how we can help your business.

For more information about the show please visit our website.

15 September 2016

The Artisan Food Trail proud supporters of the Farm Business Innovation Show 2016

The Artisan Food Trail is proud to be one of the official supporters of the Farm Business Innovation Show for the third year running.

The trade event showcases innovation in rural industries and takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on the 9th and 10th November 2016.

Grow your rural business
The Farm Business Innovation Show is the show designed for all farmers, smallholders, land owners, estates and everybody with an interest in rural business, who are looking for new ways to use their land to bring in more money. It is not an agricultural show with farm machinery, plant and livestock, but a farming business show with new ideas, advice, suppliers and resources to make your business more profitable.

This event is the unrivalled place where you can find the support, inspiration, products and advice you need to not only ensure your rural business is a success, but ensure it stays a success.

It is completely FREE to attend and both days of the shows which are packed with un-missable seminars (including one from Graham Childs of The Artisan Food Trail), industry experts, leading suppliers, innovation ideas and fantastic networking opportunities. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

If you would like to meet us, The Artisan Food Trail will be exhibiting on stand 1480.
Look out for further blog posts to find out more about what we are doing at this event.

For more information about the shows and to register for your FREE ticket visit the website:

14 September 2016

TruffleHunter launches new Black Truffle Ketchup

Photo: © TruffleHunter
A good sauce to accompany a bacon sandwich, in a burger or just simply on some crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside chips, is an essential item on the table.
Tomato ketchup is delicious, but what if it could be made even more so?

TruffleHunter has taken the ubiquitous red condiment and added its own very special ingredient to launch a brand new product – Black Truffle Ketchup.

TruffleHunter is the UK’s leading truffle product maker and fresh truffle
supplier and the new ketchup is part of their plan to make truffles more accessible to customers.

James Rutter, TruffleHunter’s Head of Sales, said:
“Truffle can have a stuffy, exclusive image and this isn’t something that I necessarily buy into.
We want the masses to appreciate the luxury and depth of flavour that truffle can bring to everyday cooking. We know that tomato and truffle goes hand in hand, so the introduction of a truffle ketchup seems a natural progression of our already successful condiment range.”

The Black Truffle Ketchup is made by blending TruffleHunter’s minced black truffle into a rich tomato ketchup made with sun ripened tomatoes and a secret blend of herbs and spices.

Photo: © TruffleHunter
If you’re looking to add a little more luxury to your food then add some TruffleHunter’s Black Truffle Ketchup to whatever you fancy. It could be a full English breakfast or with sausage and mash. TruffleHunter suggests adding to cottage pie, bolognese or tomato soup. Amaze your dinner guests with your ‘secret ingredient’.

It’s not too sweet or too sharp and almost buttery in texture. The black truffle adds a nutty, savoury depth to the flavour.

Being dairy free and not containing nuts and seeds it is suitable for those with special dietary needs. It is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Available in an attractive glass jar in either 200g or 320g sizes making it an appealing item to place on the table and simply spoon from the jar.

TruffleHunter Black Truffle Ketchup is available to buy online from their website http://trufflehunter.co.uk/shop/

Wholesale customer should contact James Rutter on +44 33 3344 5579 or james@trufflehunter.co.uk for pricing and further information.
Please mention that you found TruffleHunter on The Artisan Food Trail
– Thank you.

To find out more about TruffleHunter visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here

Photo: © TruffleHunter

30 August 2016

Artisan Food Trail members at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2016

It'll soon be time for us to make tracks to London to visit the Speciality & Fine Food Fair which runs from 4th – 6th September 2016.

As usual, The Artisan Food Trail will be going on the Sunday to enable us to take time out of our busy schedule.
As well as visiting the Artisan Food Trail members that are exhibiting, we'll be looking out for other food and drink producers who could fit the bill.

There have been some exciting developments here on The Artisan Food Trail which will give a whole new angle on what we can do to help food and drink producers get noticed and another opportunity for them to make more sales.

Sounds interesting? If you'd like to talk to us, we can drop by your stand and have a chat. You should be able to spot us walking around as we'll have our white shoulder bags with The Artisan Food Trail logo on them.

Artisan Food Trail members exhibiting at the show

If you're visiting the show, we thought you may be interested to know that several of our members are exhibiting…

Blossoms Syrup – Stand V129
Producer of unique British syrups – a range of award winning fruit syrups that are 100% natural and can be best described as premium quality food and drink ingredients.

Breckland Orchard – Stand 1853
Award-winning 'posh pop'. Delicious carbonated soft drinks which are not available in the supermarkets.

Capsicana Ltd – Stand 4263
Makers of Latin American themed food products, including new Cook Sauce range, featuring the UK's first Peruvian and Brazilian cooking sauces in single use pouches.

Fudge Kitchen – Stand 3907
Since 1983 they have been making all things fudge from the gourmet fudge to liquid fudge, home kits and they also the inventors of drinking fudge. Products beautifully presented in premium packaging ideal for delicious gifts.

Mr Filbert's – Stand 1810/d
Award winning, gourmet snack producers. All the freshly made recipes are hand roasted using natural ingredients. The range is free from and gluten free. They will be are launching their new Olive Snacks at the show.

Simply Ice Cream – Stand 4014
Multi award winning indulgent ice creams and sorbets in a range of over 32 retail and food service packs. A truly handmade artisan product.

Spice Drops – Stand 3825
Concentrated extracts of herbs and spices made using natural ingredients. They retain the flavour, aroma and health benefits of the raw ingredients while being easy
to use.

Spice Kitchen – Stand V41
Award winning handmade spice blends, spices and teas from a Birmingham based family-run mother and son team. Made fresh to order, supplying shops, delis, farm shops, butchers and chocolatiers.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair provides an opportunity for independent retailers, delicatessens, chefs, hoteliers, restaurateurs and importers, distributors and wholesalers to:

  • Meet UK and international producers and suppliers of new, artisan food and drink
  • Keep up with trends: from the latest menu ideas and flavour advancements to sustainability, health issues, provenance and much more
  • Source new and innovative products: from over 850 UK and international suppliers
  • Make new contacts and meet old ones
  • Learn from industry professionals in the live visitor attractions

Speciality & Fine Food Fair is an experience for all the senses, giving you the chance to see, taste, smell, touch and hear the delights of the fine food industry.

For further information: www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk

29 August 2016

Ragini's Chicken Curry (Cari Poule)

Photo:  © childsdesign
This recipe is from Ragini's who make a delicious Mauritian curry powder which, of course, is essential to make this dish.
Teggie and Tim of Ragini's asked us to try out their recipe so that we could fully enjoy their curry powder.
Rather than use a whole chicken, we used chicken thighs.
The resulting curry was thoroughly enjoyed with its warm, aromatic flavours and we'll definitely be making it again.

  • 1 medium chicken
  • 1 medium onion
  • 10 curry leaves
  • ⅓ tsp of each of ground cinnamon, ground cardamom and ground cloves
  • ¾ tbs garlic and ginger paste
  • 3 tbs Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder
  • 2 fresh tomatoes or 200g (half a tin) of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbs chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 200g potatoes and ½ cup of peas or small mushrooms (optional)

Equipment needed
Karahi – A karahi is a large pot, usually cast iron, but a wok or large pan can be used just as well.

Cut chicken into either small or medium (according to preference) sized pieces.

Peel and slice the onion.

Cut tomatoes into small pieces.

Add 60 to 100 millilitres of cold water to Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder to make a paste.
Heat oil in karahi (a karahi is a large pot, usually cast iron, but a wok or large pan can be used just as well).

Add the peeled and sliced onion and cook until translucent (clear).

Add curry leaves, garlic and ginger paste and cinnamon, cardamom and cloves powder, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add curry paste into karahi and stir well, leave to cook until oil and curry paste starts to separate slightly. If the mixture sticks to karahi add 60 to 100 millilitres of water and stir well. This makes the curry sauce.

Add the pieces of chicken to curry sauce and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Cover with karahi lid and leave to cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, add tomatoes and cook for further 10 minutes. Every now and then give the pot a quick stir.

Optional – After 20 minutes wash and cut the potatoes in half and add to curry with peas, or clean and cut the mushrooms into halves and add to curry and leave to cook for a further 5-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked.

Take off heat and sprinkle chopped coriander over the chicken curry.

Then you can serve it with a combination of white basmati rice, Mauritian roti (paratha), dhal puri, a nice green cucumber salad, watercress and lettuce.

The authentic taste of Mauritius

Photo: © childsdesign
Curry powder should be an essential store cupboard ingredient in any
spice lovers home as it can be used in a multitude of dishes for adding
some quick zing.
However if you’re looking to make a decent curry you do need a top notch curry powder that delivers all the complex and fragrant flavours of the spices.

Ragini’s make a particularly special blend. Made in the UK, their recipe has its roots firmly in Mauritius and if you’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in Mauritius and tasted the wonderful food there, that experience can be recreated at home using Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder.

Ragini’s kindly sent us two of their 100g packs to try (along with a couple of their recipe sheets) and we have been cooking some of Ragini’s own recipes plus experimenting with a few of our own too.
It is evident, from the aroma alone, that the spices are very fresh. The smell is rich and musky from the cumin, followed by the sweet perfume of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
Everything is finely ground for a super smooth finish to a curry sauce – no fibres, sticks or husks!

Having been impressed by the smell, we put it to the taste test and made Ragini’s Chicken Curry (Cari Poule). Our cooking filled the kitchen with a heady aroma and had us in eager anticipation of eating it. After a tantalising forty minutes or so, the curry was served and we could dig in.

The Mauritian curry is subtle in heat and as stated on the pack, the curry powder is ‘medium’ having just the right amount of chilli tickle. The overall flavour is exceptional, full of earthy cumin savouriness, accompanied by sweet, woody cinnamon and cloves. Hints of nutty citrus from coriander seeds, light aromatic almost floral notes of cardamom, warm black pepper and a tinge of turmeric all combine to create a truly comforting and delicious meal.

We are pleased to award Ragini's our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Mauritian Curry Powder (Medium).

To find out more about Ragini's visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here.

26 July 2016

How to make things truly scrumptious

Photo: © childsdesign
Most things are good in their own right but have you noticed when they find a partner they become even better?
It’s like the best comic double acts where the two-way interaction is essential for it to work.

Photo: © Susannah's Sauces
The same principle can certainly be applied to flavours. When we first tasted a spoonful of Susannah’s Scrumptious Savoury Sauce from the jar, it was good, but somehow, there seemed to be something missing. Obviously we wanted to give a fair assessment of this handmade condiment so introduced it to a piece of juicy sirloin steak. They took to each other immediately and a perfect taste relationship was formed.

The warmth from the steak allowed the flavours in Susannah’s Scrumptious Savoury Sauce to be released and in combination, the meat was even more… yes, scrumptious!

To find out more about Susannah's Sauces visit their page on 

6 July 2016

Turkey Steaks with Lemon & Mint Avocado

Photo: © childsdesign
Really, the star of the show in this dish is the avocado which is enhanced with a splash of lemon.
The flavours are fresh and bright and the meal is light, but also satisfying, as well as as being quick and easy to prepare.

You don't have to have it with turkey either. The avocado would go equally well with other meats; a beef steak or lamb, perhaps or even tuna.
It would even be perfect smeared on toast for lunch.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 turkey steaks
  • 2 tbs garlic infused rapeseed oil*
  • 2 soft ripe avocados
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 1 tbs lemon infused rapeseed oil*
  • small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • small handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs capers (in vinegar), drained
  • salt and black pepper

First marinate the turkey steaks by placing on a plate and pour on the garlic infused rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper. Rub the steaks all over with the oil making sure they are well coated. Leave to marinate for up 30 minutes.

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Roughly mash the avocados with a fork.
Add the lemon infused rapeseed oil, parsley, mint and one tablespoon of the capers and stir well until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper
to taste.

Heat a griddle pan until very hot and put in the turkey steaks.
Cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Divide the avocado mixture between two plates and place a turkey steak on top of each. Scatter over the remaining tablespoon of capers and a few
parsley and mint leaves and finish with a drizzle of lemon infused rapeseed oil.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
Both Yare Valley Oils and Old Forge Larder produce infused rapeseed oils which can be bought online here and here.

4 July 2016

Pesto, Chicken & Vegetable Tray Bake

Photo: © childsdesign
By all means have pesto on pasta but do try it with other foods too. It is great on fish and has some simple chicken thighs and vegetables singing in the oven.

Make an all-in-one tray roast with sliced leeks, carrots some skin-on potatoes, a few tomatoes and skinless chicken thighs and spooned over some pesto Pesto 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. Delicious!

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 500g new potatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil*
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium leeks (white part only) sliced into chunks
  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp pesto*

Heat oven to 220C / Gas 7. Tip the potatoes, carrots and leeks into a large shallow roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 mins until the potatoes start to crisp.
Add the chicken thighs to the roasting tin along with the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining oil, then return to the oven for 20 mins.
Spoon over the pesto, and roast for the last 20 mins until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Take a look at our '20 Ways with Pesto' for some more ideas.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            

The Hungry Guest makes variety of pestos including a fresh basil one available from their Petworth store.
For cold pressed rapeseed oil try a Berkshire variety from Old Forge Larder their 'RG17' can be bought online.
A Norfolk variety is available from Yare Valley Oils. They sell directly from their website here.