10 Questions with Peter Prescott, Founder of Cultjar
Describe your perfect breakfast
I try to have a different breakfast every day, whatever I think is perfect for that day. It can be anything from marmalade on toast to smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, a full English to just a piece of fruit or some granola with yoghurt and honey. The only constant is coffee, and never tea!
What is your favourite Cultjar?
Hard to say as the range of styles and ingredients is extensive but if I have to choose one it would be the Kohlrabi Kimchi. When we first moved to the farm, I immediately started growing different varieties of kohlrabi because I’d found it hard to buy them, even at some of the better greengrocers. The consistency and taste isn’t a million miles from daikon, which is regularly used in kimchi, and I like the idea of combining a classic English kitchen garden veg with the ancient Korean recipe - it's also delicious.
Give us a top tip for how to enjoy Cultjar
The Daikon & Red Shrimp is wonderful on its own but when added to some udon noodles or rice it completely transforms the dish to something wonderfully zingy.
What’s your other favourite jarred food or condiment?
When it comes to food, I think there are just too many wonderful ingredients and fantastic recipes to state a favourite. I love so many delicious foods in jars, from jams and chutneys (although, I don’t think there are that many good commercially available chutneys - there’s a huge difference to shop bought chutneys and those made at home or in top restaurants) to regional French rillettes and terrines and things like tuna in olive oil from Sicily.
What is your favourite restaurant?
I’ve authored three books on restaurants and in each i've said that it's impossible to answer this question. However, I would say that over recent years one of my best meals has been at Coombeshead Farm, and I’ve had some very good food and wine at Brat. During lockdown, the restaurant I was missing most was St John.
What is your most thumbed cookbook?
Given that I have about 750 cookbooks, this question is hard to answer. I’m a big fan of the River Cottage books, everything from the Handbook series to the more recent healthy food tomes, and I think that all 550 pages of Hugh’s Meat book (published in 2004) are brilliant, with information and technical advice on everything from why we eat meat and animal welfare to butchery and, of course, brilliant recipes.
Tell us your favourite cocktail
I can’t answer “what’s your favourite” questions; I enjoy too many things! Some evenings a stiff Martini is essential and on others only a negroni will do, even a margarita or pisco sour are right sometimes. When I visit a good cocktail bar, I always like to have two cocktails, the bartender's Martini and the house signature cocktail.
Can you give us a recipe for a delicious, quick supper?
Pasta with pesto and some green veg. We always try to keep some homemade pesto in our fridge; wild garlic regularly features in the spring and we also make others like rocket with walnuts. And, of course, a classic basil version that we only ever make in a pestle and mortar.
What is your favourite sandwich?
I like Ligurian focaccia sandwiches with prosciutto and cheese. I’d probably also add some of the CULTJAR fennel, orange and chilli pickle.
Are there any foods you miss when you go on holiday?
Absolutely not, I'm more attracted by the idea of trying new things or enjoying classics from the region that I’m visiting. For me, travel is intrinsically linked to trying new foods and drinks.