Sam Ashton-Booth to launch The Allotment at Counter Culture

Sam Ashton-Booth

Sam Ashton-Booth

Head Chef 18th July 2019

Sam Ashton-Booth to launch The Allotment at Counter Culture

Counter Culture, The Dairy’s naughty little brother, is a 14-seat small plate restaurant overlooking Clapham Common. Having spent the last twelve months on a world tour of cuisines, it is returning home and Robin and Sarah Gill are delighted to announce that Chef Sam Ashton-Booth will be introducing ‘The Allotment’ beginning on the 23rd July.

Sam’s impressive CV has seen him working in some of the world’s best kitchens from Orrery, Gidleigh Park and Restaurant Story to stages at Per Se and Frantzén and most recently as opening head chef of Stem in Mayfair.

Through this myriad of influences, he has developed an approach to cooking that is natural, simple, elegant and refined. He loves to work with vegetables, and provenance is key on his plates which is why he works so closely with good friend Jake ‘Wiggo’ Ball on his allotment in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, a mere hour outside of London. Sam sources as many of his ingredients as possible from Wiggo’s land. His menu at Counter Culture will be shaped by what is currently being harvested there.

The allotment, also known as Seed to Feed Microfarm, has grown over the past 18 months from the tiny back garden business established by chef-growers. They strive to grow organic, sustainable and ethical produce with a strong seed saving vision. They use rare, unusual heirloom and heritage seeds.

Holding sustainability as one of their biggest priorities, currently the farm is proud to sustain itself on man/hand-power alone. They use no petrol or diesel powered rotavators or tillers and are passionate about giving more than they take away.

Given the abundance of summer produce currently available on the land, for Sam’s opening menu expect dishes such as 'Salt-baked red beetroot, pine and English strawberry’, ‘Celeriac, lovage and rye’, ‘Courgette, elderflower, gooseberry and clam broth’ and ‘Raw beef with allotment offerings’.

As has become the custom in Counter Culture, the accompanying wine list will celebrate independent, natural producers.

Sam said: "My vision for The Allotment is to create some amazing, inspiring food using all the things I Iove. I’m a massive vegetable, plant and herb fan which is why I’m teaming up with my good friend, Wiggo, who grows the most amazing produce on a small scale which I’m able to showcase at Counter Culture in my dishes. And maybe show people that vegetables can be the star of the show!"

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