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Eat the West this Christmas

Category: West TV

Date: 17.12.2004
Printable version

Points 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 (West)).


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 Phil Collins.


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 pigs.


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, and the winner will be drawn live on Points West on Thursday 23 December.

All the recipes featured in the programmes are available on

Notes to Editors

Chef Rob Rees is from Stroud.


Contributors to the programmes include:


Clare Gerbrands, organiser of Stroud and Gloucester markets;


Clare and Mike King, pigs graziers at Woodchester Mansion, Gloucester;


Phil Collins, vegetable farmer, Bromham, near Devizes, Wiltshire;


Phil Haughton, Better Food Company, St Werbergh, Bristol;


Robin and June Small, apple growers at Charlton Orchards, Somerset;


Nick and Ruth Strange, poultry farmers, Churchinford, near Taunton, Somerset;


Christmas shoppers at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.



Category: West TV

Date: 17.12.2004
Printable version


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