A new chef has been appointed at popular Derbyshire farm shop Croots.

Kelvin Guest, who as head chef has worked at establishments that have been listed in The Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide, has recently joined the team at the farm shop in Wirksworth Road, near Duffield.

Using some of the best local ingredients and produce, Kelvin hopes to boost the culinary reputation of the award-winning farm shop.

Kay Croot, who runs Croots Farm Shop with husband Steve, said: “Kelvin is passionate about using local ingredients to create simple, brilliant fresh food, which tastes fantastic. He’s had a wealth of experience, including working at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and being part of teams that have gained rosettes for food, along with listings in the Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide.

“Croots Farm Shop is well known for the quality of the food and drink it offers, and Kelvin’s appointment means we can build on that in Shires Eatery and with our catering for special events, weddings and other occasions. Our café is already popular, but we hope to make Croots a destination for a special dining experience too, now that we have a chef of Kelvin’s calibre on board.”

A new menu designed by Kelvin is being launched at Croots shortly, and includes items such as; seared gammon steak, pineapple salsa, watercress, poached hen’s egg and house chips; summer squash and puy lentil warm salad, with sundried tomato, mixed bistro leaf and balsamic dressing; Croots burger served in a toasted brioche bun, mayonnaise, gem lettuce, sliced tomato, topped with mature cheddar and dill pickle, and served with fennel slaw and house chips; homemade quiche of the day served with dressed bistro leaf and fennel slaw; and fillet of fish served on a toasted brioche bun with tartare sauce, gem lettuce and house chips.

There are also selections of sandwiches, baked potatoes and lighter options, including homemade soup of the day, tea-battered goujons served with house tartare and lemon, or smoked mackerel and cream cheese pâté with watercress and toasted sourdough.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options are available to cater for differing dietary requirements.

Kelvin trained at High Peak College in Buxton between 1994 and 1997, and after a brief stint working in Matlock, he moved to Leeds to work under the chef who was most influential in his career, Chris Baxter, at The Milford Hotel.

“It was quite a journey,” remembers Kelvin. “I started at the bottom as a commis chef and the hotel was based at the side of the A1 at the time and our main source of business was coach tours. But under the guidance of Chris, who trained at The Connaught in London, we began to produce some really good food which resulted in us gaining a rosette for our food and I had a series of promotions up to sous chef. During my time there I also experienced working at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons during my holiday to gain more experience.”

After nearly ten years in Leeds and a brief spell on cruise ships, Kelvin returned to Derbyshire and worked locally, including at The George at Alstonefield in Staffordshire.

“I initially went there as sous but after six months I was made head chef,” added Kelvin. “One of my biggest achievements was featuring in The Good Food Guide for four consecutive years as well as appearing in the Michelin Guide.

“I’m now a family man which brings me on to my journey in my career at Croots Farm Shop and I’m excited to grow with the business.”

Croots is investing in the kitchen at Shires Eatery to remodel and modernise the area, which will create more preparation space for Kelvin and the team.

The farm shop, which is based at Farnah House Farm, opened 11 years ago and has won multiple awards for the produce it makes and sells. It has gradually expanded in size, and also added new facilities, events and offers. Recently Croots Farm Shop teamed up with events specialist and tipi hire company Tipi and Kata to host wedding receptions at its picturesque site. The venue offers beautifully decorated tipis, bar facilities and home-made food prepared on site – all set against a stunning backdrop overlooking the Ecclesbourne Valley.

Croots Farm Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm) and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Croots runs Fresh Fish Thursdays between 9am and 1pm on Thursdays.

For more information, visit http://www.croots.co.uk Find Croots on Twitter @crootsfarm_shop or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Croots-Farm-Shop-127012538821/

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