Inspiration Fresh from our Kitchen Gardens 20 May 2020 – posted in: Restaurant, Uncategorized
On March 23, the day the nationwide closure of restaurants took effect, Cupitt’s Estate closed and took stock of what we could offer to be sustainable during the pandemic. Our business would need to rely on the local population to survive. We wanted to keep our team safe, and while the restaurant would not be operating, our first instinct was to deliver fresh garden produce, wine, beer and cheese to the community.
We quickly developed a produce box that included vegetables and herbs from the garden, Cupitt’s cheese, eggs and other produce that was purchased for the restaurant. The produce boxes were delivered directly to our customers, removing the need for them to visit the supermarket during the lockdown.
The chefs visited the garden and planned menus for meals that could be frozen and delivered for the community to heat and eat at home. Now the regulations have eased slightly the chefs have returned to the garden to create a special tasting menu based around seasonal eating from our Kitchen gardens. The rapeseed cover crop destined for the cattle also made it to the first menu.
The autumn garden is teaming with produce and guests dining with us can enjoy a wide range of organic estate-grown food. This includes butternut squash, sugarloaf cabbages, snow peas, eggplants, Kestral potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, tiny Mexican cucumbers (cukamelons), radish, beetroot, carrots, rhubarb and strawberries, as well as herbs and various salad leaf.
The experience of the pandemic has taught us how important having our food system is on-site. It has not only been a food source for us but a place of inspiration for the Cupitt Chefs. Our gardens have been brought to life through the menus that have been created entirely off what we have on-site at Cupitt’s Estate.
The hibernation of the business has also provided the opportunity to expand the top market garden with the overall goal to increase production but also provide a new area for customers to visit and learn more about our approaches to food production and farm to plate dining.
Now that we can open our doors again, albeit, ten diners at a time, we have decided to stop the delivering produce boxes. The produce in the garden once again has a destination to our customers’ plates in the dining room. The chef-prepared meals for delivery or pick up will continue, and soon we are introducing meal kits for those not ready to dine out but still want the delicious food from the restaurant.
The Cellar Door is open again for takeaway sales only from Thursday to Sunday 11am- 5pm. Our weekend offering will include sweet baked treats including eclairs and Portuguese custard tarts, which can be pre-ordered.
Now there has been a relaxation to the regulations; we have changed our delivery schedule. We will be delivering Fridays to the greater local region and offer pick up from 11am – 5pm Thursday – Sunday. Meals can be purchased without the need to pre-order from the Cellar Door Shop.
We want to thank everyone for supporting the business – buying wine, beer, cheese and meals from us. We also want to thank everyone who has enthusiastically booked in the restaurant. We have loved being able to serve you again.