Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2016: Food & Farming Hero
PUBLISHED: 09:06 07 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:06 07 October 2016
We asked our readers to tell us about a local food hero who has achieved something extraordinary that has helped promote Dorset’s food scene to a wider audience. Here’s Dorset Magazine’s 2016 winner
Our Food and Farming Hero 2016 is someone who our readers said has been a true inspiration to Dorset’s food scene and a champion of ethical farming. They describe our food hero as someone who lives, eats and drinks his belief in sustainability and is passionate about educating the public about where their food comes from, always sacrificing profit for provenance.
Our food hero began on this path 14 years ago as a shepherd on Steepleleaze Farm in Purbeck. Then just over six years ago, using his life savings, he opened a small independent urban farm shop/café, restaurant and outside caterers in the heart of Wareham where he promoted his ethos of ‘Live Local …Eat Local’. He gave talks and demos at food festivals, hosted event showing people how to prepare food - from filleting fish to cooking game – along the way educating both customers and the wider community about sustainability and provenance of local food.
He also built up an in-house butchers, driving to three local farms - Steepleleaze Farm, Wytch Farm and East Creech - to pick up the outdoor reared lamb, beef and pork he sells and as a result he can tell you every detail about the animals rearing and welfare.
His own Mangalitsas & Berkshire pigs are kept on RSPB land 4 miles from the shop and help with the Heath Restoration, an initiative he hopes to extend to other land owners.
He has joined local fisherman on their day boats so he knows the fish he sells is sustainably caught and he only buys locally dived scallops and shellfish.
Our food hero not only supports local producers and farmers, he also takes the time to learn about their products so he can tell his customers and staff, who tell us that his enthusiasm is contagious! Congratulations James Warren.
“What you see, is exactly what you get in The Salt Pig and James Warren,” said one of our readers. “He has built up a fantastic reputation for supplying and making everything locally, he should be the Dorset Magazine Food & Farming Hero because of his sheer hard work, determination and enthusiasm for local food.”
Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2016: Food & Farming Hero was sponsored by Lulworth Castle