WHY CULTJAR BY PETER PRESCOTT, FOUNDER & OWNER OF WORMINSTER FARM
Why? I want to have a single plan that combines environmentally responsible growing of top quality nutrient rich produce WITH a creative kitchen that is focused on modern and delicious food. I also want more people to appreciate all the wonderful things about fermentation and other preservation techniques, so that we all work towards minimising food waste.
Having worked in the exciting London restaurant and food retail world for almost thirty years, much of my day-to-day focus has been on two key areas - fresh and immediate. I’ve had the great pleasure to work with a multitude of talented chefs that make it their preoccupation to source the best quality freshest ingredients and then apply their creativity before immediately serving delicious food to expectant diners. Now, I'm applying that same energy to preserved and slow. CULTJAR is all about prolonging the seasons and preserving ingredients. While we still chase immediacy in terms of getting the freshest and best quality ingredients to our kitchen, we then slow things down. This is when natural or wild fermentation starts and when we combine herbs, spices and seasonings before allowing time to do its thing - bringing new characteristics and depth of flavour to these already excellent ingredients.
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of high-quality food in jars - from the obvious Seville orange marmalade to touring around France and enjoying lovely pâté and rillettes or soupe de poisson and even whole meals, such as cassoulet, confit de canard and coq au vin, all in wonderful glass jars. Perhaps it's the joy of intense flavours combined with the convenience of popping the lid and immediately enjoying something delicious.
CULTJAR combines all of this.
For a few years now, I’ve been making all manner of fermented, pickled and preserved foods at home. And, when visiting some of the more imaginative restaurants, especially in Copenhagen, its been interesting to see how some of the worlds top chefs are now remastering these ancient preservation techiniques with the aim to maximise flavour and introduce new taste profiles. From the outset, I wanted our recipes to reflect what’s going on in the modern restaurant and chef world, and offer much more than just kimchi and sauerkraut.
Initially, we’ll be focusing on age-old fermentation and pickling methods, but subtly updating them with the use of creative ingredient combinations, international recipes and some new ideas. We’ve chosen these methods as they enhance the flavour and bring new characteristics, introducing complexity and depth of flavour. For some, preserving food in these ways is a family ritual and in certain quarters it has become part of the culinary zeitgeist over the last few years. Whatever the situation, we want more people to appreciate food in this way.
More than anything else, I want our CULTJARS to be delicious, whether they are enjoyed on their own, accompanying charcuterie or cheese, included as an ingredient in a recipe or just eaten from the jar alongside a glass of wine.
Peter, CULTJAR founder and owner of Worminster Farm.
INSPIRED BY SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST RESTAURANTS
Noma, for many years the world's best restaurant, recently said that for more than one year at their restaurant in Copenhagen, every dish on every menu featured at least one fermented or pickled ingredient. This has inevitably caught the attention of many chefs and has been a catalyst for change. Now, some of the world’s leading restaurants are establishing specialist fermentation operations and dressing their restaurants with large glass jars brim-full of pickled vegetables, fruits and berries. It’s also the case that the more innovative chefs spearheading the culinary world are now exploring a wider remit of tastes, looking beyond savoury and sweet, and embracing bitter, sour and umami, not to mention complex spices. Cultjar embraces all of this, combining freshness, preservation techniques and new ideas to create something delicious in a jar.