Part of a new generation of young, ambitious chefs that are pushing the boundaries of what British food can be, Brad Carter goes deeper than most into exploring the idea of terroir in cooking. Wild game, foraged herbs, forgotten ingredients and rare-breed animals are the lifeblood of a cooking style that looks to change how we think about our own food.
The fact this is happening in Moseley – a quiet suburb of Birmingham – shows just how far British cuisine has come. Set up by Carter and his partner Holly Jackson, the Michelin-starred restaurant is tiny – one room and an open kitchen, where modern cooking techniques are applied to heritage ingredients across a series of tasting menus. The pair’s mission is to replace foreign ingredients with native alternatives and they do it with aplomb.
Dishes are inventive and playful, such as the Birmingham soup, Carter’s tribute to the dish of beef and vegetables created in the 17th century by Matthew Boulton to feed his workers for just a penny following a poor harvest, which has been refined and brought up to date.
The obsession with terroir and flavour stretches to the drinks list, which showcases natural and biodynamic wines made with indigenous varietals, plus a rare beer list full of wild, lambic and traditional styles from the world’s best breweries. While the kitchen obviously takes its food very seriously, there’s no sense of stuffiness in the dining room where Jackson and her team bring an easy, sparkly charm to proceedings. Added together and it feels like something rather momentous is happening in Moseley.