IN 2010 FOUR FRIENDS set up The Ethicurean restaurant in an enchanting Victorian walled garden in the Mendip Hills, just outside Bristol. The ethos of the restaurant is a focus on seasonality, ethical sourcing of ingredients and attention to the local environment. In just two years, this inspiring restaurant has been awarded both the Observer Food Monthly Best Ethical Restaurant 2011 and a Michelin Bib Gourmand 2013. The Ethicurean Cookbook is a beautiful book that follows the Ethicurean team over the course of a year in their quest for innovative dishes, seasonality and freshness of ingredients. 120 unique and exciting recipes, presented season by season, reflect the best of ‘new British’. Most of the produce comes from within just metres of their kitchen.
The recipes are truly mouthwatering and visually stunning: Confit rabbit is paired with lovage breadcrumbs, Cured roe deer with wood sorrel, and foraged nettle soup with young Caerphilly cheese. The salads are as fresh as a daisy: beetroot carpaccio with honeyed walnuts; ewe’s curd and cucumber salad. And of course British food means pies and puds: pork and juniper pie, milk stout steamed pudding, Eccles cakes with Dorset Blue Vinny & sherry sauce. The Ethicureans are also known for their cocktails, making their own vermouth to create the perfect Negroni. They produce natural apple juice from the orchard that is home to eighty varieties of apple.
Over 200 stunning photographs by Jason Ingram follow the team and garden through the seasons and day to day in the restaurant and kitchen. Interspersed throughout the book are short sections on food history, traditional British festivals such as the midwinter Wassail festival, specific ingredients and key producers. Also included is inspirational guidance on preserving, smoking, curing and other techniques that make the most of produce and reduce waste. The Ethicurean Cookbook reflects the growing trend for artisan food and local produce and is truly an inspiration for how we should be sourcing our food and cooking at home over the next few decades.
Inspired by their shared passion for ethical eating and British seasonality, The Ethicurean was founded by Matthew, Jack, Paûla and Iain at Barley Wood Walled Garden, a few miles to the west of Bristol in 2010. Jack Adair-Bevan is a writer, wild meat hunter and mixologist fascinated by the curiosities of food history. Paûla Zarate, born in Mexico, is the backbone of The Ethicurean. Her previous career as senior legal counsel provides countless skills and the tenacity needed to support this sustainable venture. Matthew & Iain Pennington are self taught chefs with well trained palates. They focus on balancing bold flavours & culinary technique fortified with foraged wild produce. Since The Ethicurean’s creation the team has been responsible for a series of eccentric and delicious events and popups, from a Mexican yurt on the Brecon hillside to a BBQ from the back of an old ambulance on the Mongol Rally launch. They work alongside Mark & Linda Cox from Barley Wood Kitchen Garden & The Community Farm near Chew Valley. They actively support the Bristol art scene and resident artists at Barley Wood Walled Garden.
This years wassail was an absolute stonker. Thanks to all that made this event so special.
We are now closed for a couple of weeks to recoup after a monumental year. Our book is off to the printers very soon ready for launch may 16th. We’ve seen the final cover this week and my is it beautiful. We are ecstatic with the whole project. Thanks to all involved.
See you all again from Tuesday 29th January as normal.
Happy new year to you all.
We have to go all out this year. Its going to be a serious business blessing the orchard. A whole crop of apples depends on it. This past year has been the toughest year for apple growers in recent history and we need your help to reverse this trend.
Upholding a fine Pagan tradition a future crop is in our hands. There will be toast in the trees for Scamp the robin, our guardian of the orchard.
Cider shall be poured on the roots of these Victorian trees by a Wassail King & Queen chosen by the hidden bean in the Wassail cake fed to all.
The Mummers will enact their play in a circle of fire.
The occasion has never been so important.
This years ticket price includes:
A meal at The Ethicurean:
West Country Smoked Cider Welsh Rabbit (rarebit)
A whole, hot, Sticky Toffee Apple Wassail Cake with hidden Yin Yang bean.
Flaming torch procession.
Orchard Wassail Ceremony.
Flaming circle Mummers Play.
Live & very talented musicians:
Lori Campbell Live
Pip’s Human Jukebox
The Quintessential Sound System DJ’s
Warmth provided by our log burner.
Available during the late night entertainment :
Fully Licensed bar.
Janet’s Jungle Juice
Bath Ales Bar
Tickets are truly limited this year with many already sold. We have chosen to cap the event numbers to provide a boutique and intimate evening for a select lucky few.
Tickets are guaranteed to sell out in advance so act quickly.
6pm Doors. Food At 7pm. Bar till 1am.
Tickets £35. They can be purchased from the venue in advance by phone 01934 863 713
Return coach tickets available from Bristol with price to be confirmed upon final numbers.
The Ethicurean Family.
Jack Adair Bevan’s Vermouth Competition
Published for the first time, our cook book will feature a unique British Vermouth recipe. A Victorian herbed, fortified wine that has many hooked for its use not only as a drink over ice, but as the base to a myriad of classic cocktails. Jack has decided to give away a 700ml bottle of this epic creation in the run up to December frivolities. Its worth hours and hours of time and to be in for a chance to win book and join us for dinner on Saturday 22nd December. Remember to quote ‘Wormwood’ with your booking. The competition will be live that evening and consist of three questions and a tie breaker! Gem up our friends!
The coming January Wassail is having the final details sewn up and toast and cider for the trees set aside. Details will go live next week. This year is set to be a corker with, food, ceremony and music. Ticket numbers are capped this year so we can offer a truly unique event including a meal & wassail ceremony cake in the ticket price. Live acts to be confirmed.
Our December fix price menu is available here. Great value for group bookings for lunch and dinner. We are providing popular again this year so grab the remaining few tables at the earliest opportunity. Should bookings number 30 or so guests we can offer exclusive use of our venue in the evening. Don’t delay to book for a truly atmospheric bash.
Cocktails at The Ethicurean
Apple Flip. Rich smooth and almost certainly an unjustly neglected libation.
Somerset cider brandy, Pomona, egg, syrup, nutmeg.
Double Sloe Gin and Tonic. Drunk on terraces across the Empire. Served in the finest china tea pot with a cup of ice to avoid disapproving stares.
Sloe gin, gin, Fever Tree tonic.
Autumn Sherbet. This is sweet, aromatic and completely brilliant.
Gin, raspberry and elderflower sorbet, elderflower syrup, our own raspberry and black pepper bitters.
Whisky Turin A twist on another man’s drink. Made for autumn, rich, strong and smoked.
Pedro Ximénez, bourbon, vermouth smoke.
- All the more reason to hang out at ‘the wall’.
Friday & Saturday Opening
We are now open every Friday and Saturday night for fine food, great cocktails, beer & mulled cider. Further warmth provided by our team and the log burner. We have been inundated with requests so tables will certainly be snapped up.
Goat Bacon & Cured Goat Leg.
‘All Things Goat’ was a recent event hosted at The National Gallery in London by James Whetlor from Cabrito & Bob Granleese from The Guardian Newspaper. Celebrating a revival in ethically sourced British goat meat a cause that we have supported with this excellent producer since it began. We were featured at The National Gallery as the creator of Goat Bacon. Our home cured Cabrito goat bacon was made into Goat BLT canapés and snaffled up by a fascinated audience.
Our cured goat leg has just come out of the curing room at Vince Castellanos Charcuterie. Vince has aided us develop this recipe to the style of a dry cured ham akin to Italian Violino di Capra. You won’t find a better producer so go and check out his wares pre festivities and stock up!
The cured leg with cumin, Douglas Fir & black pepper is blimmin’ tasty and features on the menu here now as:
Cured goat haunch, black cardamom carrot, liquorice pickled onion, toasted hazel, roasted cobnut oil, & par-cel.
Recipe development is relished by our kitchen team who are teaching all they know to our new apprentice from Bristol College.
Get booked in soon to sample our British wares. We are part of a national, grass roots, food revival. Support British, buy local and from small producers. We wish you all a great year end festivities and thank you for your continued support.
On the eve of our second anniversary, not only have we made it into the Michelin Guide, but we have been awarded a Bib Gourmand. Michelin inspectors designate the restaurants they feel deliver the most value to consumers. These are Bib Gourmands. They are an ideal resource for consumers looking for the perfect meal at a reasonable price. The Michelin Guide has always built its success on the diversity of its selection, especially on small establishments offering a high-quality dining experience at an affordable price.
“Rustic, informal and a break from the norm, it strives to be both ethical & epicurean. Daily changing menu of fresh simple dishes, uses excellent ingredients; many sourced from the garden. Friendly knowledgeable service.”
The reason we are most proud is that we have illustrated it is possible to achieve this standard with entirely British seasonal produce. We have much to be excited about the UK food scene at the moment and how it is moving towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
We also learn today that after last years win of The Observer Best Ethical Restaurant that we are runner up this year to the award wining social enterprise Create. We are more than delighted to pass the baton to such a forward thinking catering company that create jobs for homeless, marginalised or vulnerable while putting out some bang tidy food. Hurray to them indeed. They also received Michelin recognition with a Bib this year too! Parallels that prove that times are changing right now for the better. Congratulations to all involved from The Ethicurean family.
Biting our nails now over the RSPCA Good Business Awards on the eve of Wednesday 24th October! Will we win this one?
Wish us luck.
Thanks for all your continued support.
The RSPCA Good Business Awards recognise businesses in the food industry who consider animal welfare by sourcing food products in an ethical way. We are biting our nails in anticipation yet simultaneously know that we have done all we possibly can in an attempt to win this one. Head over to the RSPCA Web site to lend your own support to this superb cause. Winners announced on 24th October. Surely, surely surely? We do dream.
You may not realise the extent to which you as a diner are contributing to improving animal welfare standards. By considering the supply chain for meat and animal products and by choosing restaurants that source high quality local and/or organic products you are contributing to improved animal care on farms, transport and slaughter.
So there you have it. You can and do help often. We are shortlisted as a result.
Thanks for your continued support.
The Ethicurean family.
Bristol Good Food is the key message of the Bristol Food Policy Council. Their main aims are striving to ensure that food in Bristol is good for nature, good for its producers, local businesses and good for animal welfare. We won their award for Best Supporter of Local Produce.
We look forward to many more years of supporting commended and awarded winners: Homewood Cheese, Trethowans Dairy, Castellanos Charcuterie, Fussels Oils, Upton Cheyney Chilli, Woodchester Fine Foods, The Bath Pig, Trealy Farm, Thoughtfull Bread & Bristol Beer Factory.
We would also like to congratulate Toby Gritten and his team at the Pump House for winning Best Bristol Restaurant. It is well deserved, something we can attest to given the high numbers of times the Ethicurean Family all eat there. An a la carte menu of the highest order with plenty of interesting foraged foods, great wine list and loveable front of house team.
It must have been ever so close between them and Josh Eggleton’s Pony and Trap pub. We hold them in equal high regard and urge anyone who hasn’t tried either pub to do so quick sharp.