By George McIvor , Chairman of The Master Chefs of Great Britain.

The Master Chefs of Great Britain was formed in 1980 to provide a forum for the exchange of culinary ideas and to further the profession through training and the guidance of young chefs. In addition, the association seeks to promote all that is best about British cuisine and produce. We are delighted to be working with Country Range and providing information and recipes for their Eat the Season feature. Do look out for the entry forms for our Young Master Chef of the Year

For more information on the association and the competitions and training opportunities we provide contact

  1. Aloo aloo!-Switch spinach for nettles to create this delicious twist on sag aloo.
  2. Add a sting to your soup – Replace the traditional leeks with nettles for a versatile vichyssoise.
  3. Hey Pesto– Pep up your pasta with a nettle and wild garlic pesto.
  4. Foraging Frenzy– This gnocchi with wilted nettles and nettle and wild garlic pesto recipe is a forager’s dream.

Recipes supplied by:

  1. Sue Mcgeevor
  2. Gerald Roger
  3. Clive Roberts
  4. Sue Mcgeevor

Official Tasting Notes

By Vince Kelly

Nettles are a historic ingredient, in fact ‘nettle pudding’ has been officially declared Britain’s oldest pudding, created round 6,000BC. The green weeds have been used for nettle beer and wine through the ages, and are currently back on the menu thanks to the trend for foraging as they can be used in similar ways to spinach.

Nettles are 40% protein and a genuine super food. A single portion contains as much protein as a sink full of kale. They’re rich in potassium, vitamin A, antioxidants, iron and silica.

Nettles have a verdant, spinach-like flavour, you can almost taste the iron and minerals bursting out from the leaves. Best of all, these plants litter Britain’s verges and hedgerows in early springtime, are easy to identify and free to pick, although do ensure that the leaves haven’t been sprayed. This might mean cultivating your own patch in a garden, or doing some research on the upkeep of local hedgerows and woodlands. Failing that, food-safe stinging nettles can be ordered
through specialist ingredient websites or directly from professional foragers