Maintenance Issues and Our First Wayfairer Hero

We’re struck by cooker maladies and also shine a light on our first ever Wayfairer Hero.

Getting Our Hands Dirty

This week we’ve come across our first technical problems since opening our doors. When we first bought in equipment for the Bistro our purchasing decisions were motivated by our financial limitations. Having struggled to scrape together the funds to purchase the building in the first place, it should come as no surprise that buying catering standard equipment was going to be out of the question for us, so we opted instead for multiple used New World domestic cookers that have served us pretty well. We’ve looked after them, even going so far as hiring an expert oven cleaner to sort them out when they got a bit dirty a few years ago. We invited Kerry, an expert in oven cleaning in Aylesbury to help us out and then, and have had no problems with them…up until recently.

Although we’d saved money initially in purchasing used units, around 2 years later we were paying for this saving. In the last few week several components in our New World cookers have been failing as as result of the intense strain we’ve been putting them under. Luckily because we bought 4 of the same model, we’ve been able to get hold of a complete range of New World cooker spare parts through a portal online, allowing us to get the kitchen back up and running in a matter of a few days.

Despite being technically hobbled for a couple of lunch services we’re still confident in the ovens that we’re using and, although we’ve got the funds to invest in better equipment, we’re going to hold onto our faithful New World cookers for a little while longer yet.

Wayfairer Heroes: Jeff Naylor – Our Local Organic Baker

Jeff Naylor started working on his wheat farm with his Father back in the late 80s. His Dad was a strict adherent to old school farming techniques – things were done the old way, most of the time using outdated machinery, something that was Jeff tried to persuade his Father to move away from.

As time wore on the financial situation of the business began to deteriorate. Soon it became clear that the old methods that his Father had espoused were simply not good enough anymore – put simply: something needed to change. By the turn of the Millennium, Jeff’s Father had passed away leaving what remained of the farm business to him. Knowing that the future of the farm, as well as the livelihood of those that worked for it were hanging in the balance, Jeff took several calculated risks in order to keep his business afloat.

Having noticed the ever increasing presence of organic and specialist foods at his local Farmers Market, Jeff decided to steer his own farm in that direction to corner a market and supply the local area with the ingredients needed to create their own specialist foods. Arable farming had long been a staple for the farm, but now they focused solely on the production of grains and seeds that would become the core component of Jeff’s signature product: bread!

Nearly 20 years later and Jeff has successfully made the transition from farmer to baker, specialising in the creation of loaves that are perfect for people with certain dietary needs. Although he’s passed on management of his farm over to his own sons now, Jeff still ensures that the employees of his businesses are treated fairly and that his product remains of the highest quality for miles around.

Drop in sometime and try some of our ‘Stuff-on-Toast‘ to taste the quality for yourself!

Oven Cleaning, Pudding Pots and Dairy Farms

Our Chefs Get Creative and Our Ovens Get Cleaned

We hire some help to sort our ovens out and our chefs create a lovely sweet treat that will be guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

We get our ovens deep cleaned

Some jobs are simply too filthy for our crew to tackle alone and scrubbing our well-used ovens is certainly one of them. Although our chefs always make sure that our kitchen is absolutely spotless at the end of each shift, our New World ovens are notoriously tricky to keep clean. As with all of our gear, the ovens are scheduled in for an annual deep clean which guarantees that we stay within Health & Safety guidelines and that our equipment continues to perform at optimum levels.

After taking a look at some online reviews for the best oven cleaners we stumbled across Ovenu, a well-established brand that has seemingly cornered the oven cleaning industry. We gave them a call and we soon had a strapping young lad knocking on our door looking to take our oven apart. After just two hours, Michael had completely dismantled and deep-cleaned all our ovens and left them looking like they were brand new. Needless to say, we’ll be leaving our own positive review in due course.

Fairtrade Banana Peanut Butter

Everyone’s got a favourite dessert and this was certainly a contender when our chefs passed some samples out last weekend. We tasked our cooks with creating a brand new dessert for our Summer menu that put delicious Fairtrade goods front and centre; so that’s exactly what they did with their latest creation.

Our new Fairtrade Banana Peanut Butter Pudding Pot is deliriously tasty whilst also being pretty good for you! High in protein and low in added sugar, these pudding pots are made with Fairtrade tofu, bananas and a big dollop of organic peanut butter. We know our waiting staff had a great time tasting these new puds, so we’re sure you’ll enjoy trying them too!

Honouring our dairy supplier

Each and every one of our new healthy Fairtrade Peanut Butter Pudding Pots are topped with a dollop of delicious fresh whipped cream (arguably detracting from the healthy side of it) that we receive daily from local dairy producer: Jacob Masterson. The quality of the cream really makes this dessert which is why we’ve decided to highlight Jacob as our Wayfairer Hero for his commitment to animal welfare and end product quality.

We sent Oona, our head waitress, down to Jacob’s farm to meet him, as well as the 300 or so cows that he and his team rear, just a few miles away from the Bistro. Here’s Oona’s write up of the visit:

“I’ve always loved cows. Their big dopey eyes are so cute and they’re always so gentle with their young. Although I’ve eaten my fair share of steaks in my time, I have to admit that I might hesitate before I order another one after visiting Jacob’s farm. I know many people don’t like the smell of cows, but it’s something that you get used to when you live in our neck of the woods and it’s certainly something that Jacob doesn’t mind, especially when he has to look after over 300 of these beautiful creatures!”

You can try our new Fairtrade Banana Peanut Butter Pudding Pot for the rest of the Summer.

Our Tea Just Got Fairer!

This month’s Wayfairer Hero and a new tea comes to the Bistro!

We celebrate one of our most faithful producers and look to get all Garden Force on our back yard…

Extending the al fresco dining area

The Summer’s now in full swing and with the Bistro now benefiting from more custom than ever we’ve managed to scrape together the money to start making some structural changes to the building.

Since we opened the place we’ve always wanted to make use of the yard are out back – unfortunately it had been treated as a dumping yard by the previous tenants for decades, so it had to proved to be too much of a job for us to handle early on. Now, with more man power and funds than ever before, we’ve been able to get the junk moved and get a good look at the space that we have at our disposal.

This week we had a local engineering team with their survey equipment to take a look at what we can feasibly do with the space. Although the initial plan of simply extending the dining area had to be scrapped, we were glad to find out that we’d be able to construct a decent decking area that would be able to serve the same purpose during the busy summer months. This kind of work can be completed without planning permission which means that we can get started right away!

Celebrating Jackie Tomlinsson: Our wonderful veg grower

From day one, Jackie has been supporting us with our mission to create a restaurant that is ethically responsible in as many ways as possible. Since 1995, Jackie has been cultivating some of the area’s best organic produce including heritage potatoes, award-winning kale and purple sprouting broccoli. Although Jax was disappointed to hear that we weren’t going to be serving exclusively vegan food, she soon warmed to the idea of what we were doing and has been supplying with her delicious veggies ever since.

Despite reaching the grand age of 70 last year, our Jackie remains the sole manager of her land and has become known far and wide as the only completely vegan farmer in the county. We’re proud to have her as one of our suppliers and hope we are cooking with her fantastic veggies for a long time to come!

Now stocking: Clipper Fairtrade Tea

Widely known in the Fairtrade community as the go-to tea for any ethical eater, Clipper Tea was the first Fairtrade certified tea and is the most popular brand of its kind in the UK. Since 1994 Clipper have worked with tea producers all over the world to ensure that they deliver a product that is not only of a high standard, but also puts the interests of the growers first. Tea farmers in India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi receive $0.50 for every kilo of tea that they sell in addition to Premiums which help their communities invest in education, healthcare and other social projects.

Feel free to ask any of our staff about the provenance of any our items on the menu and they’ll be happy to tell you where the ingredients came from and how they worked their way to your plate!