The sourcing and selection of products is not something we take lightly here at Fine Food Specialist. Our range is wide-spanning and diverse, but across the board, we make sure that the products we sell to our customers are of the highest quality.
A Sustainable Ethos
For many years, Fine Food Specialist founder Drogo Montagu worked as a chef. It was during this time that he developed a deep understanding of true quality.
“It takes time and devotion to find the right products and good food to sell,” he says. “I’ve looked to bring the lessons I learnt about the food industry during my chef days and reflect those quality standards in the Fine Food Specialist range.” Fine Food Specialist works with suppliers to ensure that the products sold are produced using sustainable farming and in an ethical way.
“For example, with the specialist poultry we stock, we work to find the best sources,” Drogo says. “The birds reach a full life-cycle and grow in a healthy way. They’re not fed hormones and the feed they are given is natural. It’s not a rushed process, and the birds are allowed to grow to their natural size. The minimum age for slaughter is 82 days, and these birds forage on shrubs, worms and shoots in their netting, which is located within their natural environment.”
Many of the poultry farmers Fine Food Specialist uses are Label Rouge certified. This means they conform to the specifications of an initiative that respects the traditions of the industry and highlights quality, hygiene and a plant-based diet for the birds themselves. As such, the geese, ducks, chickens, quails and pigeons Fine Food Specialist stock comes from Label Rouge certified suppliers.
Sustainable food products farmed in the right way
There is also an excellent range of fish products available from Fine Food Specialist, with similar standards set in this space. “With the fish products we stock, we work with importers to find suppliers that are credited by the Marine Stewardship Council as being sustainable,” Drogo explains. “Fish generally is farmed, but we work with suppliers that farm fish not in pens but out in the sea in huge nets. This way, they’re allowed to grow in a natural way.” Another speciality is caviar, and all caviar imported into the UK is farmed.
“With our caviar, we deal directly with the farms or with suppliers that have farms all over the world,” says Drogo. “We have caviar from Iran, China, Italy, Poland and France, and it’s all sustainably farmed. We also turn over our caviar regularly, so it’s not just sat there for a year. It comes out fresh due to our relationship with farms, and can ultimately reach customers within 45 days.”
“These are grown with the assistance of recycled matting or cloth, and grow on this,” says Drogo. “The bed then moves slowly over a distance of around 500 metres as they grow to a certain height, before they are clipped. The matting that is used comes from fully traceable off cuts from the textile industry, and if they weren’t used for this purpose, they would likely go into landfill dumps. It’s a fully sustainable process.”
Fine Food Specialist also sells artisan cheese, and this is an area where authenticity is crucial. “We stock many cheese with the AOP label, which ensures it is produced in the true region or area that the cheese is historically associated with,” Drogo says.
“This helps ensure that the cheese our customers are buying is an authentic product. We also sell unpasteurised cheese. This is made using milk that is truly rich and creamy – all of which is lost during the pasteurising processes. This helps deliver true quality products that are different from what you will find in your local supermarket.”
A speciality of the Fine Food Specialist range is the selection of Japanese Wagyu beef. This is often considered to be the finest beef in the world, and is certainly a favourite of Drogo’s.
“Japanese Wagyu Beef is a fantastic product, but is also produced via sustainable farming,” Drogo says. “I was fortunate enough to visit Japan a few years ago and witness first-hand the meticulous breeding and preparation process. But the farmers in Japan have only just been allowed to export. This means it’s still being discovered by many people.”
Drogo is also always looking to ensure that Fine Food Specialist’s selection of fruit and vegetables are sold at their peak. Foraged goods are also available, with seasonal items such as wild fruits that are picked in their prime.
One of our additional specialities is gulls eggs,” Drogo adds. “These are special because they are only available for 2 weeks of the year. For example, the black headed gull lays in springtime – and these birds are on the endangered list. However, we buy and sell licensed eggs sourced by expert, licensed eggers. Anybody else cannot pick these eggs, and this is something that is rigorously policed. These eggs are laid in the Solent and parts of Ireland and Scotland. They are laid in marshes and we source from a sustainable, accredited supplier who buys direct from these licensed eggers.”
Be sure to browse through the full range of products available at Fine Food Specialist in the knowledge that the team has taken the steps necessary to ensure the products we stock are sustainably farmed where possible and of the very highest quality. You can buy direct from our site and get the very best in culinary excellence delivered to your door.
And you can open an account with Fine Food Specialist with ease. Get in touch with the team if you have any questions on 0207 627 2553.