As president of the Slow Food movement in Latvia, it seems strange that I should promote something grown out of season, imported and, something that you can actually hear growing. It’s so weird and pleasantly bizarre, I wanted to share this with you>> 

One thinks of rhubarb as a robust plant, but the way it’s grown in England by Yorkshiremen, who have a robust reputation themselves, it will surprise you to know that it is harvested by candlelight because it’s so delicate that bright light will stop its growth.

And so it is a different plant that Vincents offers that you are used to. This rhubarb has an interesting history - Wikipedia or Google will tell you more, but I will tell you that it is tastier, sweeter and more delicately flavoured. On my recent visit to London, I visited The Portland restaurant, one of my favourites for lunch and dinner. After the sweetbreads and  Jerusalem artichoke, I had the Forced Yorkshire rhubarb with crème diplomate. It evoked memories of my childhood. I suspect that rhubarb is one of those foods that induces a sense of nostalgia for most of us.

On my menu – Steamed rhubarb with spruce branches, crème diplomate and bay leaf crumble.

My watercress and wasabi farmer Jon is sending me forced rhubarb stalks on a weekly basis.