West's Dave Harvey, celebrity chef Rob Rees and their trusty
purple camper van are back on the road this Christmas in a bid to Eat
the West (Points West, Monday 20 to Thursday 23 December, BBC ONE
They'll be celebrating and investigating the very best
of west country food as the search continues for the area's most interesting
and inventive enterprises.
Phil Haughton from Bristol grows organic vegetables in a restored Victorian
walled garden which has been used for more than 100 years.
The micro-climate created by the south facing walls
ensures that Phil can still grow rocket and other Mediterranean salad
outside in December.
By growing more slowly than greenhouse salads, the leaves
boast far more flavour.
Christmas is a busy time of year for Bromham's brussel sprouts producer
Unlike the brussel sprouts found in supermarkets, his
vegetables come on the stalk which means that they will still be fresh
in the new year.
Phil sells his produce at Wiltshire farmers markets
which is the only way he and many small farmers can survive these days.
In a wooded valley outside Stroud a licence to graze pigs on National
Trust land has cleared the way for the area's first ultra-free range
As they eat roots and berries from the forest the meat
has an unique and strong taste to it.
Somerset is already famous for its apples and Robin and June Small pride
themselves on the two dozen varieties which they grow in Charlton Orchards.
Chef Rob Rees wants some eggs to turn their apples into
a festive pud, so it's on to Churchinford, where Ruth and Nick Strange
raise free range hens.
Such is the demand for their goods that they sell all
their stock from a trestle table in front of the village every Saturday
and on a monthly visit to Taunton farmers market.
Once they've filled their hamper, it's time for Rob to cook up a feast
- but he's only got the camper van's two gas rings to work with.
They've chosen the most unlikely location for a country
food cook off - Cribbs Causeway, just days before Christmas.
And if that wasn't enough, Rob's creations will be tested
by kids queuing for Santa's Grotto.
Rising to the challenge Rob says: "The west
has such great produce to offer that the ingredients themselves make
the food sing.
"And a good thing too, as I've only got two camper-van ring stoves
and a bottle of camping gas to work from!"
The Eat the West Christmas special follows on from the success of the
summer's local food items on Points West.
Reporter Dave Harvey says: "We had an amazing response from viewers
keen to eat food that hasn't been twice round the world already.
"They tell us where to find the best produce, and
when we get there we invariably find the story of West Country farming
played out in the most extraordinary ways.
"It really is politics on a plate."
Viewers can win a hamper of West Country goodies by nominating their
own local food champions.
Full details are on bbc.co.uk/pointswest, and the winner
will be drawn live on Points West on Thursday 23 December.
All the recipes featured in the programmes are available on bbc.co.uk/bristol.
Notes to Editors
Chef Rob Rees is from Stroud.
Contributors to the programmes include:
Clare Gerbrands, organiser of Stroud and Gloucester
Clare and Mike King, pigs graziers at Woodchester Mansion,
Phil Collins, vegetable farmer, Bromham, near Devizes,
Phil Haughton, Better Food Company, St Werbergh, Bristol;
Robin and June Small, apple growers at Charlton Orchards,
Nick and Ruth Strange, poultry farmers, Churchinford,
near Taunton, Somerset;
Christmas shoppers at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.