The Walled Gardens

Eddie Shepherd, owner and chef at The Walled Gardens in Manchester, UK, how do you embrace seasonality?
– I approach seasonality in a different way. Being alone in the kitchen, I have complete control over my menu. For instance, my dandelion dish is available year-round, and although the syrups for my pine dessert can only be made in spring, the dessert itself is served throughout the year. During the four-hour tasting menu, I take the opportunity to tell my guests about the various seasonal ingredients I use and how preservation and creativity allows me to extend the seasons.

What does that mean in terms of interaction with the guests?
– When guests arrive, I personally share detailed information about the ingredients, 95 percent of which are local. I explain what I’ve foraged and talk about my small-scale suppliers. For herbs and flowers, I use what I grow locally and have invested in a greenhouse to provide edible flowers in winter. I also run a YouTube channel where I showcase my dishes and communicate my practices to those who can’t visit the restaurant.

How do you manage food waste?
– I cook for only eight guests each night and know exactly what everyone will eat, which helps minimize waste. For example, I use fermented cabbage in one dish and its liquid to season a sauce in another. I also have a license to distill alcohol, allowing me to capture flavors in a unique way. I strive to use every part of my ingredients. For instance, I turn leftover bread ends into crackers. Whenever possible, I find creative ways to utilize every component.



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