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The Garden Chef, West Hoathly

A family-run catering business that puts fresh, seasonal, garden-to-table ingredients front and centre

The Garden Chef name came about because when Becky Cook (yup, she clearly comes from a long line of chefs!) started her catering business 10 years ago, it was from a cabin at the end of her garden. A decade on and she’s taken on larger kitchens as part of Patrick’s Barn, a beautifully rustic venue and working farm just outside Ardingly. The business has grown and Becky married fellow foodie Jeremy, but the values remain the same, focusing on fresh, local food that is strikingly presented. Many of the ingredients are grown or reared onsite, including the chickens, quails, bees and Saddleback pigs and goats.

Weddings are big business for The Garden Chef but Becky and her team can also create menus for intimate suppers, parties, corporate lunches, baby showers and the like.

Food is colourful, imaginative and appealing – expect towers of rainbow macaroons, monogrammed biscuits and perfectly cut sandwiches at one of the Garden Chef high teas, or bowl food of ​Thai green curry, venison and cranberry stew with dauphinoise potatoes or lamb with jewelled couscous – perfect for a stand-up do where guests are juggling a glass and food.

There’s also the hog roast option for a more rustic outdoorsy event. The pigs are home reared or from a local farm and the meat is cooked slow and low for delicious succulent pork with crackling, naturally, and home made apple sauce, slaw and leafy salad.

Other venues that Becky and Jeremy work with include Hendall Manor Barns, which has a gorgeous old stone barn, terrace and lawn near Ashdown Forest; Chapel Barn, a working organic farm near Bolney and Great Ote Hall, on a farm near Wivelsfield… you get the gist – stunning, rustic venues in bucolic settings!

The Garden Chef has years of experience with local suppliers and can recommend anything from a local gin company to a talented florist to a celebrant to lead the ceremony. So, basically, they’ve got it nailed!

This month in Sussex

Farm Cottage, Chidingly, Selsfield Road West, Hoathly, West Sussex, RH194QS

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