Martyn Nail, Claridge’s

Claridge’s in Mayfair is one of the most iconic hotels in the world. Founded in 1812, the hotel was remodelled in the 1920s in its distinctive Art Deco style. Glamorous and sophisticated, the hotel has long been a favourite of royalty, heads of state and Hollywood stars.

The kitchen at Claridge’s is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Including the ballroom and eight other event venues. Famed for its afternoon teas, Claridge’s serves more than 1,000 covers on an average day. In charge of this operation and managing a team of fifty-three staff is Executive Chef, Martyn Nail. In early 2014 Martyn installed two Evogro units: one to produce specialty cresses and herbs for food and one for fresh herbs for tea.

    “From my suppliers I look for the trinity of quality, service and price and Evogro delivers on all three. The quality of the plants we grow in our Evogro units is excellent. Generally we are growing micro leaves to use as garnishes and it’s easy to say the garnish is trivial but that little leaf has to catch the eye and deliver flavour.”

“Quite often we are doing canapés for 300-400 people and with bought-in produce I would find that as we were plating up, the first leaves would have wilted by the time we reached the end and would need to be replaced. With the Evogro the leaves seem stronger and we are picking them just before we use them so they last far longer and have great flavour.”

“With the fresh herbs for tea we are growing larger plants, generally Lemon Verbena and Peppermint. Lemon Verbena is one of my favourite herbs and the fragrance from the plants when they come out of the cabinet is fabulous. We’ve brought some guests down to show them the plants growing and they have been amazed. We’ve found the system to be easy to manage and the support from Evogro has been excellent. For what we get out of it, I think it is very good value.”

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