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The Slowdown with Luke Holder

We caught up with HH&Co’ s Chef Luke Holder in lockdown to see what he’s been up too…

19 February 2021

Hartnett Holder & Co is a relaxed, stylish and comfortable restaurant - full of character, yet unpretentious. Angela and Luke, with their team, create locally sourced Italian dishes with a respectful nod to the seasons. Hartnett and Holder’s food comes with the much-loved Italian approach to eating - where sharing and provenance is everything. The style is chefs’ home-cooked food not chefs’ food cooked for restaurants. Both Angela and Luke are famed for their informal, grounded style of cooking and their respect for local produce.

The food story has continued to evolve at Lime Wood with Luke at the helm. In recent years Luke’s awareness of our health as individuals, as a nation, and as a planet is at the core of his cooking and led to a shift in the food he cooks. He wanted the staff at Lime Wood to eat as well as the guests, ‘to eat the philosophy we preached’ so he stopped buying “produce for staff food” and started using the food they were serving to the guests to provide food to the staff.

Luke believes passionately in we are what we eat. Sustainability resonates loudly at Lime wood, and Luke and his team continue to work with suppliers to change long standing practices with packaging within the supply chain. Luke started the #chefsagainstplastic in 2020 to try and drive the demand to influence the supply chain and also allow time for the supply chain to catch up with the pressing urgency to change – in 2021, they are starting to see results.  

Already in HH&Co the menu reflects a much deeper consideration for the greater community of individuals coming through the doors with more representation of plant-based dishes, gluten-free - awkward free – offerings. Luke has created a more balanced menu where the mainstay of your meal doesn’t have to revolve around meat. Now, under the banner of HH&Co, The Scullery menu will be a new addition at Lime Wood in response to increased consumer desire for plant-based nutrition to aid a healthy lifestyle, as well as for environmental reasons.

We caught up with HH&Co’ s Chef Luke Holder in lockdown to see what he’s been up too…

What is your favourite thing about this time of year?

The days getting longer- after a long dark winter I just love it when you feel the days getting longer – rhubarb always symbolises the change in light for me – ironic really, as rhubarb has to be grown in the dark!

What are you doing in your down time?

Right now, it is all about home fermenting – it fits the pace of life in lockdown well. I have also been working on lots of video content for cooking which has been fun. Trying to record what and how I cook – might be useful to someone one day! I have also spent time cooking with my daughter which has been really fun and great to spend more time at home.

And how do you wind down?

A hot bath. I am an avid audiobook consumer but recently I have picked the old guitar back up and I have been enjoying strumming a few tunes again. All of those moments help to wind down.

Tell us what have you been cooking/ eating this month?

I spoilt myself this month with all the negativity of Brexit and the pandemic, I decided to support Scottish produce and buy some scallops and langoustines – my wife and I had a real craving for tom yam kung – a spicy thai soup. We lived in Thailand for 2 years, so I spoilt us making that with Scottish produce.

Where are you daydreaming of going when we can all travel again?

There are so many places I would love to visit when we are able to but in particular, I’m dreaming of going to see our best friends who have a beautiful vineyard in the south of France – hopefully, we can meet up this year.

Who or what inspires you day to day?

My wife inspires me every day – she gets up at 5am to do her job so she can be there to help with the homeschooling at 8:30! She is a true inspiration with her ever-positive approach to life. She accepts the down days but fights to keep up the positivity!

What new positive habits have you added to your routine that help you day to day?

Riding my bike – that has been such a relief from lockdown. The bedtime routine with the kids has brought us all so much closer together. Reading His Dark Materials and playing the old word association game (from Timmy Mallet) for and with the kids before bed has been a constant pleasure. Eating fermented food and baking bread has improved our home diet day to day which I’m really proud of.

Buy Luke’s fermenting kit here.

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