Rutland Charcuterie Co – News from the Cellar Door
News from the Cellar Door is our regular blog from Nick Brake, who has recently set up the Rutland Charcuterie Company, bringing the art of smoked charcuterie to the East Midlands. They are part of the Great Food Club, offering 10% for card holders.
Welcome to our first blog, the first of many we hope. So here we are – brand spanking new! British Charcuterie, made in Rutland. We thought it might be interesting to let you know how we got to this point.
We have always had a passion for good food and wine. We were lucky enough to have lived in the French Alps for several years and it was during this time that we fell in love with charcuterie. Everything from saucisson to Confit de Canard. In fact confit was the one thing that we would always bring back with us, as at the time it wasn’t that easy to get hold of in the UK. We were hooked from that moment on and at the time we had no idea that we would one day be making charcuterie of our own.
On our return to the UK we were looking for a new business venture and we toyed with the idea of having a vineyard here in Rutland and putting bubbles in a bottle – that had been a dream for many years. Alas this wasn’t to be – so if it wasn’t wine, it had to be food. We had heard about The School of Artisan Food from when we used to live in Nottingham. Having studied at the school for a year and after gaining a diploma in Butchery & Charcuterie with Distinction it was time to get the business plan together and to move things forward.
Rich Summers was teaching at the school at the time, and we seemed to hit it off from the moment we met. We were extremely impressed with Rich’s skills and dedication to the whole “farm to fork” concept, where every aspect of the food chain is so vital to what ends up on our plates. With over two decades worth of experience, Rich has worked at every level of the meat industry right through from rearing livestock to product development.
We were delighted that Rich agreed to join us in setting up the company. He has been with us from the start and is now integral in everything that we do. His depth of knowledge gained from his years of experience and his passion for good, honest British food has allowed us to develop products with our three principles: provenance, welfare and at the end of the day, great taste.
We made the decision to convert The Granary, one of our outbuildings, into our Butchery and Production Kitchen instead of going off-site. It means that The Rutland Charcuterie Company really is a family business, with its roots here on the farm. As soon as we had planning permission we cracked on with the conversion that allowed us then to focus on product development. We have invested in some of the latest technology to enhance the traditional techniques that we use to cure and air-dry the meats.
We have been going now just over a year; it has taken that long for The Granary to be fully functioning and for the final products to be perfected. It seems like a long time but when we look back on what we have achieved to date it does feel justified. Curing and air drying can be a lengthy process which inevitably means that product development takes a long time. But here we are now with a seriously delicious range of British Charcuterie – anything from a Pork Pie to Duck Bacon, Biltong to Venison Salami.
You’ll find us at The Oundle Food Festival on Saturday 5th July, The Oakham Farmers Market in Gaol Street on the Saturday 19th July and The Park Market, Newcastle Circus, The Park, Nottingham on the Sunday 27th July. Or why not come and see us and pick up some goodies direct from the cellar door (Fridays til 5pm – please phone beforehand if you are looking for something specifically).
Thanks for reading!
Cheers for now, Nick and Nicky