Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb

5th February 2020

On a cold and dark winter’s night in January, Tom Jackson, one of our area managers, invited two his catering teams on a tour of E. Oldroyd & Sons in Yorkshire, a five generations family-run grower of rhubarb and other seasonal fruit and vegetables.


Forced rhubarb production is a particular speciality and each year tourists from far and wide flock to their farm at Carlton to see the rhubarb growing in the dark being harvested by candlelight.


As E. Oldroyd & Sons supply our business, Tom thought it would be good for his teams to meet them and to see first-hand the forced rhubarb process.


“To see the rhubarb harvest by candlelight was a magical experience”, said Tom. “It has given our teams a real understanding of the process, but it was also a great opportunity for us to be together outside of our normal working day.”


They came away with armfuls of pale pink tender stems of rhubarb and full of creative ideas.


The next day, each on-site team made a rhubarb taster table, followed by a range of rhubarb-based dishes. For example, they pickled and roasted it to make a compote and used this to fill some homemade doughnuts – all washed down with a Rhubarb & Ginger lemonade.


The beauty of rhubarb is that it can also be used in savoury dishes, paired with spiced Moroccan lamb tagine or with a locally hand-crafted Wensleydale cheese.


With over 450 suppliers on our books, many of whom are family-run artisan growers and producers, we are always delighted to support local enterprises.