A key value of Jess Cooks from the outset was to use the same standard of ingredients that I would use in the food I cook at home. When it comes to meat this means keeping it local, and as high welfare as I can afford.
All my beef, lamb and pork mince is sourced from the artisan butcher Palfrey and Hall. They have been running their butchery in Debenham, Suffolk for almost ten years and supply many shops and supermarkets across the region. All the meat supplied by Palfrey and Hall to Jess Cooks comes from the abattoir HG Blake, who only source their beef, pork and lamb from Norfolk farms. As part of their welfare protocol they subscribe to the “Five Freedoms” initiative, and are Red Tractor and RSPCA certified.
All of the chicken in Jess Cooks meals is St George’s High Welfare chicken breast sourced from the respected family firm Diaper Poultry in Stowmarket, Suffolk. As much as I wanted to use free-range chicken, unfortunately it was prohibitively expensive. Before agreeing to work with Diaper, I wanted to find out if the St George’s range was genuinely high welfare, so I spent a morning up at Diaper’s production facility. I also went up to the sheds to see how and where the St George’s birds are raised and met the team, who are genuinely passionate about the welfare of their birds. I was really impressed with the high standards. The chickens had a lot of room to move about and access to plenty of natural light. And because they are reared only a few miles from the production facility, they only spend a very short amount of time in transit.
I chose to use rapeseed oil in my recipes because it has a much higher burn point than other oils, which makes it great for frying and roasting. Plus, unlike olive oil I knew I could source it locally, a major plus point. Hill Farm Oils have been pressing and bottling their delicious oils since 2004. The rape is all grown on their Suffolk farm, and pressed and bottled on site in their impressive, solar powered barns. It is also “100% natural, and has half the saturated fat of olive oil” (Source: Hill Farm Oils website).