Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin on Eassie Farm's asparagus

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin

Chef's Choice

I rely almost fanatically on the seasons. My suppliers are invaluable and I trust them for their guidance on finding the best produce around – they are very much a part of the Kitchin team.

My trusted fish supplier Willie Little recommended I visit Eassie Farm near Glamis Castle to sample their asparagus when I first returned to Scotland and I’ve been using their quality produce ever since we opened. I always take time to visit the farm each year to see the asparagus – it’s great to watch it grow so majestically.

The Eassie Farm asparagus is as good as I’ve tasted anywhere in the world; green, tender and with a thick skin holding all the juices together. Asparagus is only in season for a short time – six weeks to be precise, with a growing season lasting from the second week of May until late June. In recognition of this, I use asparagus in dishes on my à la carte menu, but also in the special celebration to the season menu.

Perthshire’s unique combination of rich soil and cool climate means asparagus grows slowly. I am sure that the fantastic flavours of the Eassie Farm asparagus are down to this – alongside a well-developed drainage system – but I’m also convinced that what makes the asparagus superb is the farm owner’s great knowledge and genuine passion.

● Tom Kitchin is owner and head chef at the Kitchin, 78 Commercial Quay, Leith, 0131 555 1755 www.thekitchin.com

● AH & HA Pattullo, Eassie Farm, by Glamis, Angus, 01307 840303

The Kitchin

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX

A revered and respected Edinburgh institution which is neither stuffy or exclusive, despite its lengthy list of plaudits and awards.

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