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   Suffolk and Gallic flavours
A book by Nayland-based food lover Richard Freeman spreads the entente cordiale
 In a nutshell what is the book about?
It’s a celebration of Suffolk food and the cuisine of Provence, and is an all-Suffolk production - author and illustrators are from the county and the printers are Lavenham Press.
Presumably a love of Suffolk and Provence - and their produce - inspired the book?
The inspiration behind the book stems from having spent most of my adult life in rural Suffolk, a deep interest in the countryside, the need to cook to relieve my busy wife (who works at the West Suffolk Hospital) of the burden, a strong background in France, a lifetime’s interest in wine, a background in the natural world and no doubt other things too. My culinary experiences are the recipes in the book which cover a wide range of natural foods most of which can be found, hunted or fished locally.
What is your favourite dish to prepare at home - and ideally what dish would you order when eating out? Undoubtedly
Suffolk wild venison but closely followed by baked turbot. The dish I would order when eating out would depend on the chef! But I tend to go where I know the fish is really good.
Do you have a favourite French wine? I concentrate entirely on French wine. For a start, France is closer to us than any other major wine producing country and so the carbon footprint from transport is less. Equally, the French produce the most astonishing variety of wonderful wine and there is little need to look further. My real expertise is in champagne, having run a small champagne importing business for 25 years. I have a lot of Champenois friends and visit the region every year. However,
my knowledge of other French wine is sufficient to have proposed a wine suggestion with every main course in the book.
When eating out or food shopping/searching for ingredients in Suffolk where do you go? Any favourites?
For fish the ultimate choice is Maximus Sustainable Fishing at Friday Street; for venison Lavenham Butchers; for fresh vegetables Newbourne Farm; for cheese Baron Bigod, to name just a few. There are many others one would like to include but the Suffolk farmer’s markets are full of excellent providers.
n An Englishman’s Cookery Journey by Richard Freeman is
available direct from the
publishers, Flatford Press,
Court Street, Nayland, Suffolk CO6 4JL. 01206 265152 or from some bookshops in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
Author Richard Freeman, right, and above, an illustration from the book by artist Tessa Newcomb

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