Food, fresh from field to fork, inspires £350k rustic dining venture

A Cheshire food business has created 22 jobs, following £350,000 of investment, in its new dining concept.

Groobarbs Field Kitchen, at Groobarbs Wild Farm in High Legh, serves food fresh from the field, direct to the fork.

The venture is the brainchild of farmer and owner David Fryer and wife Becky, situated in a converted 223 sq m barn.

Every dish is inspired by Groobarbs Wild Farm’s harvest and introduces guests to what Fryer describes as “true seasonal dining,” using only ingredients freshly picked from the farm and prepared on-site, alongside complementary meat and core products.

These are all selected from some of the region’s best artisans and producers including freshly baked bread from Lovingly Artisan, drinks from Dunham Massey Brewing Co, dairy products from Clotton Hall Dairy in Chester and Sheldon’s Dairy in Knutsford, and meat from Ken Webb’s Traditional Farmhouse Meat.

Heading up the kitchen and responsible for the weekly rotating menu is esteemed local chef Mark Price, who returns to the North West after 12 years working in the South of England, most notably at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen. Here he was head chef and achieved a Michelin Listing just months following opening.

Guests dining at The Field Kitchen will have the opportunity to see all of the Field Kitchen’s staff at work, with vast bi-folding doors wrapping two sides of the barn providing views onto the fields from which the organically inspired products are lovingly grown and picked.

For those that wish to get even closer, guests are invited to walk the Market Garden either before or after service.

A large open kitchen, running almost the full length of the venue and sitting at the heart of the modern rustic barn, affords the opportunity to see Price and his team at work.

David Fryer said: “As a farmer you have these mad ideas of creating a restaurant to showcase what you grow, but to see Mark turn our fresh produce into truly inspirational food is brilliant.

“Over the last eight years we’ve been delivering our freshly picked produce direct to people’s doors with our Groobox veg deliveries. Now, thanks to our loyal customers, not just here in Cheshire but across a 35-mile radius reaching as far as Buxton, Bury, Liverpool and Stoke on Trent, we’ve been able to build something we like to think is really special, and are pleased to be able to invite people to enjoy the produce in the very environment in which it’s grown.”

Head chef, Mark Price, said: “I’ve been fortunate to work all over the country but to get the chance to do something like you would see down South and in my own back yard is great. Cheshire has always had the potential to do something like Groobarbs Field Kitchen.

“As a chef I thrive on the opportunity to be creative. Working with produce from the fields right in front of me … if you can’t get excited about that, it’s time to pack up.”

He added: “Each week I get to walk the fields and discuss with David what is being harvested next, then I get a day to play around in the kitchen and come up with that week’s menu. Every week is different, that would be a challenge in most places but because the farm works around a weekly veg box harvest it works really well for the kitchen, too.”