It begins with a grass-fed sirloin steak in a handbag

It begins with a grass-fed sirloin steak in a handbag

Hosted by Richard Cossins with chefs and farmers.

In February of this year, Richard and Joseph were fortunate enough to open our inaugural restaurant concept in Manchester: Higher Ground. During the evening of the launch, we were introduced to a local, regenerative cattle farmer named Jane. Jane is based in Nantwich, Cheshire, and has been regeneratively farming cattle for over a decade and is in the process of converting 200 acres of depleted dairy pasture into more diverse ecosystems as she expands her herd.
A young organic grower called Michael Fitzsimmons also attended the evening. Michael has been working with small-scale organic farms and growing operations within the UK for ten years. We first met Michael when he interned in the kitchen at Where The Light Gets In, Stockport. The purpose of his visit was for him to study how to develop the direct relationship between growers and chefs.
A few weeks later we found ourselves around a dinner table, eating and discussing all things soil related. During this discussion, Jane mentioned her vision to have an organic vegetable production as part of the ecosystem she is creating out at her pasture farm, and so began the idea of us working in collaboration. In the past few months and during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have explored how a relationship can mutually benefit everyone involved and how to share responsibilities between us and through this have begun work on the creation of our collaborative project – Poole Bank Market Garden.
The session explored the opportunities for chefs and farmers to collaborate.
Joseph Otway sees ingredients through a lens that is dictated by nature. He is in constant pursuit of the ingredients which have the most exciting background and draws inspiration from his travels around the globe. Joseph’s quest for sustainability, connection to agriculture and talent for showcasing flavour ensure his kitchens will be forward-thinking and delicious. Most recently, Joseph was Head Chef at Where The Light Gets In, creating a dining experience that took guests through a journey of British heritage and the history of where our food in the North-West originates. A dedicated focus on working with small organic farms has allowed him to create an intimate network of producers and growers to work with. Joseph worked at Relae in Copenhagen, identified as one of the world’s most sustainable restaurants. Working closely everyday with ‘The Farm of Ideas’, this role has focused his ability to use ingredients to their maximum potential. As a cook at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Joseph pushed his thinking about how vegetables can be used in a new direction. In 2016, Dan asked Joseph to present at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow conference, he spoke about the missed opportunities to be found in culturally undesirable tomatoes.
He launched his first restaurant in Manchester in 2020 called Higher Ground.
Richard Cossins’ foray into restaurants began at his local seafood restaurant in Hertfordshire, England. A passion for representing well-sourced, sustainable ingredients was soon established and in 2008 he moved to London to work at the acclaimed fine dining restaurants Pétrus and Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. For a brief period Richard traded the food world for that of marketing but his love for restaurants was too great and became restaurant manager of Roganic in Marylebone in 2012. Richard worked for Simon Rogan for four years and was a part of Fera at Claridge’s senior opening team that won a Michelin star in the first three months of being open. At the beginning of 2016, Richard relocated to Westchester County, New York, to join the management team at Dan Barber’s restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. During his tenure the restaurant reached a high of number 11 in the World 50 Best Restaurant List and won two Michelin stars when he was General Manager in 2019. He left at the end of 2019 to launch his first restaurant in Manchester in 2020 called Higher Ground.
Michael Fitzsimmons is a Liverpool-born organic grower. After training at Abbey Home Farm in The Cotswolds he has gone on to intern at Farm of Ideas in Copenhagen and currently works as Assistant Grower at Moor Hall in Ormskirk. He is passionate about collaborating with chefs to bring the farm to the fork.
Jane Oglesby owns Jane’s Farm in Nantwich, Cheshire, and has spent years developing an approach to rearing livestock and understanding the nutritional value of her produce. She has established firm principles upon which she wishes to build her business relating to suppliers, range and customer experience. Jane is converting depleted dairy pasture into a more diverse ecosystem as she expands her herd, currently farming 200 acres.


Oct 05 2020


1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

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