November seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From seasonal fruit to vegetables and game and, take a look at our seasonal update to decide what to put on your menus this month

Where to get oysters 

Of all the produce Britain can be proud of, oysters ranks very high indeed. In season from September through to April - all of the months with an R in them - high quality, sustainable native oysters can be found up and down the country. 

The best known locations are Essex, Kent, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, the west of Scotland and Ireland, and each region's are known for their particular characteristics. 

The most prized are those from the Pyefleet fishery in Colchester, where oysters were bred as early as the Roman era.

Rock oysters were introduced in Europe three decades ago to boost stocks. They take half as long to grow to an edible size (two years, as opposed to four for natives) and are available year-round, but tend to be less flavoursome and firm than native oysters. 

Why not try Gary Foulkes' recipe for mackerel tartare, oyster, green apple, shiso, or watch 3-Michelin star Azurmendi chef Eneko Atxa create a recipe of Oyster tartar and oyster gelee?

When is pollack in season?

Not to be confused with pollock, a small, cod-like fish native to Alaska, pollack (latin name, pollachius pollachius) is a close relative of coley.

Known as lythe in Scotland where much of the UK's stocks come from, pollack is a great tasting fish, very popular in France - which explains why it is often referred to as its French moniker, colin. 

Pollack has a white, flaky texture similar to that of cod, and has the advantage of being cheaper. It is best poached in stews and curries, but can equally be pan fried. 

Why not try Karl Goward's royal fish pie recipe with cockles, gurnard, pollack, salmon and smoked cod, or Ross Clark's butter-fried pollack with pine nut purée, brined pepper, vodka pickled tomato, olive oil meringue and balsamic air?

When are cranberries in season?

Cranberries are a staple of British Christmas foods, and for good reason: this is when they are most abundant. Both sweet and acidic, they can be eaten fresh, but their slight bitterness means that they are better cooked or dried and incorporated. Because they are so versatile, they can be incorporated into sweet and savoury dishes. 

We all know the classic sauce, cakes, breads and puddings, but why not try this cherry and cranberry parfait with pistachio biscotti recipe? 

Better still, treat yourself to a video of Michelin-starred chef Nathan Eades making maple glazed roast venison with stuffed cabbage, celeriac, cranberries:

Do beware: though mustard cress is different to mustard, it does contain the substance that causes allergic reactions to mustard.

When are clementines available?

Available November to February, clementines are normally sweeter than tangerines and oranges and have very high vitamin C content. They rarely contain seeds, are notoriously easy to peel and are smaller than other varieties of oranges, which makes them perfect for lunch boxes. The zest is often used as flavouring, or you can try this recipe to make a cake from them.  

Try this boiled clementine cake recipe by Peter Jackson, former pastry chef

AL012 06 clementine

What to cook with dates

Dates have been eaten for thousands of years, but by no means does this make them boring. Most often you will find the brown type, with its sweet flavour and chewy texture, but red and yellow dates do exist. Dried dates will be available throughout the year, but fresh ones with their stones from November to January. Dates can be eaten as they are, put into cakes and puddings or made into chutneys.

Try this recipe from Clare Smyth, Roasted Bresse Pigeon with grilled polenta, smoked pork belly braised shallots, beetroot, and dates:

00 30 50 549 roasted bresse pigeon with smoked pork belly grilled polenta braised shallots beetroot and dates
Roasted Bresse Pigeon with grilled polenta, smoked pork belly braised shallots, beetroot, and dates

Watch head chef Nick Beardshaw make Banana Custard with Dates and Honeycomb:

When is venison season?

The season for wild venison starts at the end of October, but venison is also farmed throughout the year. Venison in Britain means the meat from deer, although in other countries it can include antelope, moose, elk and other animals of the same family. Various cooking techniques apply to the different cuts of the meat.

What can you do with roasted chestnuts?

With its rustic flavour, you can't beat the taste of a roasted chestnut, but this delicious ingredient deserves far more recognition than just being used around Christmas time. It is always recommended that you roast chestnuts before consuming or cooking with them. Chestnuts can be used in savoury dishes like pasta, soups, risottos and in bread and purees. 

You can also use chestnuts in desserts such as cakes, especially when you pair it with chocolate! pasta resized.JPG
Chestnut Pasta


We love this delicious chestnut pasta dish from Simon Rogan - why not try it for yourself?

Watch this video of Nick Brown and chef Will Lockwood creating a dish combining raw beer fed Dexter beef with chestnut and bone marrow.


Swede is a root vegetable that belongs to the same family of vegetables as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables. Swedes are recognsed officially as a cross between a turnip and cabbage.

Stout braised beef with carrots, swede, and toasted onions

Are you using any of these seasonal ingredients in your menus? Upload your pics and recipes to our Chef+ mobile app!


In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st November 2022

November seasonal update