NEW VIDEO: “Our menu is solely driven by what is available to us in the immediate"

The Staff Canteen

Richard Stevens is the Chef Owner of Restaurant Jericho at Orchard Farm, Nottinghamshire.

A self-taught chef with a long family history in farming, Richard and his partner Grace have created a beautiful space using a range of woods and metals salvaged from their Orchard Farm, to create a truly rustic haven for destination diners, and fine dining aficionados.

With a strong emphasis on seasonality and fresh local produce, Restaurant Jericho is committed to creating impressive dishes through traditional cooking methods and a personal approach to hospitality.

"Orchard farm has been farmed by my family for 200 hundred years," Richard revealed.

Describing the connection between his family, the restaurant and the land, Richard explained: "We were an arable and livestock farm, and I grew up working on the farm with my father. My father passed away in 2000, we relocated to a field outside of the village that my great grandmother bought, we retained the farm and used it for several different uses, but in the last 7 years decided to start a restaurant here.”

Driven by ingredients and availability

As a man of the land, when Richard says seasonality and responsibile sourcing around ingredients is central to his vision for Restaurant Jericho, you better bloody believe it!

“Our menu is solely driven by what is available to us in the immediate, and so we are very ingredient-led,” Richard revealed.

Whether it’s using vegetables grown on his land, or showcasing locally shot game from his wide web of connections in an around Nottinghamshire, whatever brilliant dish makes its way onto a diner’s table it’s guaranteed to be seasonal, sustainable and responsibly sourced.

“A lot of our produce comes from the kitchen garden, which automatically makes us super seasonal,” he said.

With a menu dictated by the seasons, for Richard and his team it’s these coming weeks and months that represent one of the most remarkable times of the year for British produce.

“We are going into game season now. Our menu is predominantly game because we’re just getting this beautiful produce through the door, which is super sustainable, super seasonable, and absolutely delicious,” explained Richard.

Emphasising the importance of having a seasonal menu, Richard said: “The menu and the dishes that we create, it’s about what it means to us, it’s about what it means to this place and how it’s connected to where we are.”

Dishes guests can expect include mallard served with beetroot mole and sour cherry; and freshly grown garden carrots served with Langar honey, both of which are cooked using traditional methods over fire.

“I want my colleagues to enjoy being here”

Catering for just 12 covers a night, from 7:00pm till 11:00pm Thursday to Saturday, Restaurant Jericho is committed to providing a very focused and specialised type of hospitality to it's diners visiting the farm.

Explaining the rationale behind this, Richard said: “This was a conscious decision so that we could run the restaurant with a smaller team, and so that we could give that one- to-one to the customer that we think is so special, and so needed in the industry.”

The team at Restaurant Jericho consists of three in the kitchen and two front of house including both Richard and Grace, creating a small but mighty collection of impassioned skilled professionals eager to celebrate the restaurant and farm in all its glory.

“We are a small team but obviously there has to be roles in that team. We don’t particularly have kitchen roles like your standard brigade,” Richard revealed.

He added: “My colleagues are people that I enjoy cooking with and it has to be like that. I want my colleagues to enjoy being here. They will only cook good food if they’re enjoying it, it’s as simple as that.”

Establishing a food culture at Restaurant Jericho

Whilst Restaurant Jericho is dictated by seasonality, Richard and his cooking style is dictated by traditional techniques, most notably cooking over fire.

“My education and my career in cheffing is cooking over fire. I do believe it’s the most honest way to cook. It imparts flavours that you would never get over gas or electric,” he explained.

Stepping into the Restaurant Jericho kitchen, guests are welcomed by a fantastic selection of traditional cooking apparatus as well as an open wood fire grill representing the engine of the restaurant and it’s kitchen.

Discussing his passion for cooking over fire in more detail, Richard added: “As we’ve gone through our first year we’ve become more confident, we’ve become braver, and we took the decision about four months ago to get rid of any gas and electric in the service kitchen, and cook over fire.”

Success at Restaurant Jericho

Whether it’s the cooking over fire, the seasonality, or the ingrained connection between land, ingredient, and plate, what Richard and his team at Restaurant Jericho have created represents a remarkably honest achievement.

With the restaurant still in its early phases, Richard revealed that his plans for restaurant involve continuing to learn, develop and build upon the restaurant’s strong foundation.

“For me the most important thing is doing something meaningful and Jericho is the most meaningful thing that we’ve done so far and I want to carry on doing that.”

Whilst some are focussed on accolades and awards, for Richard and the team, the question of success for the restaurant is easily answered.

“Success at Jericho is bums on seats. It’s people wanting to come here and experiencing this place, this location, this beautiful farm, and more importantly understand what we are doing,” Richard explained.

He added: “If we can gain success in people wanting to come here, travelling to come here, paying to eat our food, that is the biggest compliment anyone give me.”

Images courtsey of TimmyFoodUK, Instagram: @timmy_fooduk


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th November 2023

NEW VIDEO: “Our menu is solely driven by what is available to us in the immediate"