21 November 2018, 08:19 AM
  • Josh Overington, head chef and owner of Le Cochon Aveugle in York, is a champion of quality ingredients simply prepared
The Independent Shopper: Josh Overington

We serve a contemporary European menu which is rooted in classical French techniques and showcases the very best produce available to the kitchen each day. That means that our menus can differ massively from day to day, or even on the same day if we have a limited amount of a certain ingredient. It’s hugely challenging but extremely exciting.

I like to do as little as possible to our produce and simply show off the ingredients we have. With that in mind, the produce we source has to be the very best and we spend a lot of time researching and finding producers who are as passionate as we are. For example, we are very lucky to have an amazing butcher in Ryan Atkinson at R&J Yorkshire’s Finest whose family rear and butcher our beef, which is then aged for 60 days in a Himalayan salt chamber which gives it a distinct flavour. The result is meat of a truly outstanding quality.

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb from the Yorkshire Triangle is delicious and completely unique to us. The quality and the sweetness makes it a very special product to work with. I’m a firm believer that when it’s in season in January it’s something that absolutely every chef should use. I think it’s really important to focus on quality, and if
this happens to be available locally, then of course we should use it.

If there is a farmer making something better than anyone else locally then we will use them, but I would never use products sourced locally just for the sake of it, and compromise on quality. If something is produced better further afield we will use that, as it is more important to have a higher quality product than a product from within a certain distance from the restaurant.

R&J butchers in Ripon do an amazing job for us, whether it is ageing meat in the salt chamber, sourcing great game or getting squab of amazing consistency from France – they really are best in the business. Plus, they listen and work with us to produce a better product each time, which creates a brilliant relationship.

Renowned vegetable producer Ken Holland and I have been working together for about two years now. Since I started using his vegetables, my business changed for the better!
Every Tuesday, he sends me a box of what’s best that week from his walled garden and indoor growing module and then I write my menu around what produce he has sent that day.

Hodgson Fish is where I source my fish and shellfish. They have supplied my restaurant from day one. Alysia Vasey of Yorkshire Foragers does an amazing job around my area and she has an incredible amount of knowledge. She is always bringing me great new things for me to try and it’s always exciting to see what’s growing in my area which I can use on my menu.