October seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From seasonal vegetables to game and seasonal fruits, read our monthly market report to draw inspiration for your October menus

How to prepare pheasant

The pheasant shooting season begins on October 1st. One of the most popular game birds there is, the hunting of pheasant meat for pleasure - and the ensuing waste - have long been a source of controversy in Britain.

But as more and more chefs use it and the public appetite for game increases, self-regulation in the industry has improved, meaning waste has diminished and more pheasant has made it onto plates. 

This micro-vegetable works with most poultry or game and  is also the perfect addition to soup or salad. Ghoa Cress is an interesting ingredient; most people are unaware that the seedpod can also be used.

Why not try this recipe for Asian poached pheasant with game stock?

game broth
Asian poached pheasant and game stock


When is skate in season?

Skate refers to the 'wings' or the fins of a cartilaginous flatfish which is rarely used, but its distinguishable flavour and firm flesh give it a scallop-like profile. 

It is fairly versatile in that it can be paired with subtle, aromatic flavours, but does a good job of balancing out stronger flavours too. 

We suggest pairing skate with sea fennel. A plant found from the beaches of the Black Sea to the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean, it tastes of fennel and asparagus. Precise dosage is needed due to its concentrated aromas. 

Gregory Marchand's recipe for skate (or aile de raie, as it is called in French) à la Grenobloise with seaweed is a great example of how to make the best of an underrated cut of fish. 


How to cook Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichoke bears its name because it tastes like globe artichokes, however it is not from the same family at all - it is in fact a variety of sunflower native to North America. 

Like the French artichoke its flavour profile is nutty and sweet, but it is slightly tangier and more earthy than the globe, and its texture is crunchier -  meaning it pairs well with game and deep flavoured-sauces. They work well sauteed, pureed, roasted and can even be deep fried and served as an alternative to chips. 

Shiso Purple can be used in a variety of dishes and is also extremely decorative. It tastes best when combined with earthy flavours like wild mushrooms and will go very well with Jerusalem Artichoke.

Watch chef Jocelyn Herland make a dish of Jerusalem artichokes and black truffle: 

How should I cook mussels?

Fresh mussels and frozen supermarket mussels are incomparable - best wait until October for fresh ones. They can be a starter, part of the main course or the principal dish themselves. Steam or sauté them and serve with chips for an authentic ‘moules frites’ experience.

Why not try this Giant Cromane Mussels, smokey onion, ancho chilli and mussel stock sauce recipe by Chad Byrne

WATCH:  Cod, Lovage and Mussels recipe from Jarad McCarroll, head chef at Restaurant Ours

When is celeriac in season?

Removing the skin can be tough work, but it is worth it. Celeriac offers an alternative to turnips and potatoes as you can mash or roast them for great results. At their best from late September through to April, this root vegetable can also be used as an ingredient in soup and casseroles and other slow-cooked dishes. 

Skrei Cod%2C Fish sauce%2C Celeriac%2C Chicory low res
skrei cod, fish sauce, celeriac, chicory


Get Paul Tamburrini's Scotch Lamb recipe with celeriac carrots and pomme maxine and watch him make it in this video: 

What to do with pumpkins?

Pumpkins are by far the most well-known of the squash family, undoubtedly helped by the annual celebration of Halloween. October is the first prime month of the British pumpkin season, and like celeriac, they will require a bit of elbow grease to cut them up and hollow them out. When you’ve finished with the pumpkin for your celebrations, soup is a good option.

Sweet or savoury, roasted or mashed, the humble pumpkin is so much more than just something to carve scary faces on and is actually a very versatile vegetable with strong health benefits too. Use it in all sorts of dishes, from cakes to curries and everything in-between. Don't forget to use the pumpkin seeds on salads, in bread and of course, on biscuits and crackers. 

Millet and pumpkin dessert by Anton Kovalkov

What goes well with duck?

Not only is duck a flavoursome meat, but it has some strong health benefits too - it is a great source of protein, B-vitamins, iron and essential minerals, making this a great choice of meat to incorporate into a dish. 

Duck meat is very versatile and goes very well with both sweet and sour food pairings. From caramelised onions to balsamic reduction and orange sauce to pepper, soy sauce and fennel.  Try serving it with roasted vegetables, in salads or even in a curry.

Watch Matt Gillan prepare his dish of breast and confit leg of duck with coffee.

Looking for more duck recipes? 

What does a guinea fowl taste like?

Guinea fowl or guine hen is a small bird often compared to chicken and partridge but with darker meat. The flavour of the bird is often compared to pheasant, or described as extra-tasty chicken.

Roasted guinea fowl breast with guinea fowl and chestnut bon bon,
​​​​leek and chestnut puree, king oyster mushroom and cowfoot jus gras

A guinea fowl's lean meat is often paired with strong herbs and spices and is often fried like chicken, braised with herbs and root vegetables, or roasted with butter or duck fat. 

Watch Imi Kader, Executive Chef of London's Chelsea Harbour Hotel, create a duo of guinea fowl with polenta and potato recipe. 

Looking for more guinea fowl recipes?

What are the benefits of eating beetroot?

As well as being a vegetable with a sweet, earthy flavor, beetroot has an incredible range of health benefits. 

Beetroots are packed with ssential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.

The vegetable is associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.

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 4th October 2022

October seasonal update