Kew on a Plate


Summer has arrived at Kew and everything in Raymond Blanc and Kate Humble's garden is blooming. Butterflies and bees abound and there are new crops to tend, harvest and cook with.

Everyone loves a carrot, particularly the carrot fly, so Raymond must protect his crop to ensure he has a good supply for his summer carrot stew. Meanwhile, Kate goes on a search to find the wild carrot, the ancestor of today's cultivated carrots, and learns how this vegetable was once used as a potent medicine.

Raymond endeavours to grow a tasty strawberry variety at Kew, but sadly a catastrophe awaits his delicious crop of fresh juicy fruits! Kate investigates how strawberry perfume is used to train bees to favour pollination of strawberry flowers over others, and Raymond whips up a perfect treat for a hot summer's day, a frozen strawberry tartlet.

One of the exotics at Kew is cacao and Kate is surprised to discover that one of the most irritating of insects plays a vital role in its pollination. At Hampton Court, food historian Marc Meltonville makes Kate a delicious cup of hot chocolate, just like the Georgians enjoyed.

Kate finds out how bean pottage was made in Tudor times, d Raymond makes a vegetable bean chilli, complete with raw cacao. Travelling to the Isle of Wight, Kate discovers how a clandestine wartime operation was responsible for Britain's introduction to a common ingredient we all enjoy today, garlic.

The summer days are getting shorter and Kate travels up north to Egton Bridge, the location of the oldest surviving gooseberry competition. Back at Kew,Raymond makes his first ever gooseberry dish, a gooseberry cheesecake.

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