Edible Garden

by Mark Broadbent

Mark Broadbent has enjoyed a food-obsessed career spanning three decades. He’s cooked in Five star Hotels, Two star Michelin restaurants, Gastro Pubs and Member’s Clubs, delivering unforgettable cuisine or acting as a consultant. London’s Bluebird was just one of his success stories. Under his creative direction, the restaurant achieved huge critical acclaim and was especially loved by AA Gill.

There are few things more beautiful to me than gloriously muddy, straight from the earth and ruggedly organic freshly-grown vegetables.

Forget the bland, uniform and sterile offerings you may find in the supermarkets. For me, food looks and tastes best when it’s as close as possible to nature.

I really enjoy celebrating the beauty of food in my creations, and I’ve had particular fun recently with our lunchtime canapé offerings at our restaurant in Facebook HQ.

A big hit has been our miniature Edible Garden dishes – terracotta garden pots evocative of an English country garden and filled with the freshest of tastes, textures and colours.

With baby carrot, baby beetroot, baby fennel and baby radishes, chives and hazelnuts, these little pots of wholesomeness are topped off with edible flowers, like dianthus.

For me, making food look visually appealing is just as important as ensuring it tastes sensational. As my Edible Garden pots prove, even simple ingredients can be turned into something rather special with a creative twist.

And with a bounty of vibrant and delicious UK-grown vegetables available all year round, there’s always the chance to bring a splash of artistry to the table.

Canapes are a particularly good candidate for injecting artistic flair – whether the keyword is playful, stylish or lavish, these miniature dishes need to pack a punch in every way.

But whatever the dish or occasion, there’s no reason why food shouldn’t be a masterpiece in design, and looking to nature is a good place to start if you’re in need of inspiration.

Whether its gloriously ripe summer berries or rich, leafy greens; take the lead from your ingredients and let your imagination run free when you serve up.

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