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Birchden Asparagus

Birchden Asparagus

This is the time of year when the chef’s all want to become gardeners; working outside in the glorious sunshine.

Late April is when English produce really starts to kick in. The first taste of green asparagus after all those months of waiting is a real treat. Picked daily or weather depending every other day and cooked just hours after, you can't beat it. 

This week Executive Chef Darrel, Alexander House went to Visit Stephen Barnes at Birchden Asparagus our local supplier for Alexander Hotels. Having owned and run Birchden Farm and its 30 acres of land for over 20 years Stephen is a seasoned farmer with a hands-on approach, battling the mercy of the British weather to deliver a deliciously tasty and health asparagus crop every year.

Stephen explains; once the asparagus is cut and collected from the fields, they are brought back to the grading and packing area to be sorted and dispatched to the local clients so they can really utilise the natural and fresh taste of the vegetable. He explains; when the asparagus stem is cut, like most vegetables, the natural sugars start transforming into starch and a piece of asparagus over two days old tastes very bitter in comparison.

Whilst visiting the farm, Darrel took a few minutes out to explore the fields and pick his own small crop which he describes as a ‘back to produce experience’.

Chef Darrel teases us with his favourite asparagus dish, explaining that he chooses to blanch and finish with a large knob of butter and hollandaise sauce, Darrel’s choice dish has proven to be a favourite with our team here at Alexander House with most saying that this is their preferred cooking method.

You can find our latest asparagus dish on our Reflections Menu served with poached Hen’s egg and soft herb hollandaise. 

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