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TV foodie Jay reveals his 'obsession' with Cornwall-grown cauliflowers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

Jay Rayner from The One Show with Chris Eden, head chef from the Driftwood Hotel at Portscatho

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Food writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner revealed an "obsession" with cauliflower while filming a cookery segment for The One Show in Cornwall.

Mr Rayner was filming in west Cornwall, first in a field opposite St Michael's Mount, near Penzance, finding out how the vegetable is grown and picking a few select examples for a cooking demonstration.

The food writer then visited the Mount's Sail Loft restaurant with local Michelin-starred chef Chris Eden to rustle up some tasty cauliflower treats.

Mr Eden, who is the head chef from the Driftwood Hotel at Portscatho, prepared cauliflower, pesto and deep-fried leaves and a dish of salt-baked cauliflower with goat's curd and harissa.

It is hoped the segment, due to be aired on the BBC One magazine programme, will promote Cornish cauliflowers, which provide the majority of the country's crop at this time of year.

Mr Rayner said: "I am delighted to be in the warmest part of the country because I spend too much of my time in fields when it is very cold, so I am delighted to be in the balmy climate near Penzance.

"I am fascinated by the way the vegetables we take for granted are grown in this country and you don't realise until you are standing in the field talking about drainage and warm winds off the sea."

Mr Rayner added that he had been happy when the segment was suggested to him because "I am actually obsessed with cauliflowers".

The cauliflowers used in the television programme were grown by Billy Collins at Chyvellan Farm, one of the growers for Connor Downs-based Riviera Produce.

The company's managing director, David Simmons, said the Cornish climate was ideal for growing the perfect cauliflower in the winter months and helped the local economy to the tune of £25 million.

"We want to push cauliflower sales and increase the public awareness of cauliflower, especially in the winter months when it is our main season. The more publicity we can get the better it is," he said.

Mr Eden added: "We champion our vegetables and a little bit of exposure like this is brilliant for the farmers and shows what we do down here.

"It is not just meat and fish, there are actually farmers that grow stuff down here."

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