Using the season’s best produce as his advantage, Matthew Evans cooks a magnificent lunch, complete with irresistible nibbles, for a fresh take on the festive table.
Matthews Evans

9 May 2014 - 9:39 PM  UPDATED 30 Mar 2021 - 11:53 AM

Any excuse for a gathering with the people you like.

A few nibbles, a couple of drinks… and then the big day, when a celebratory bird or two can fill the oven and a pav can take on a more festive feel. Bring on the presents, really. And the silly hats.

On the farm, summer kicks in. The hay is cut around the valley. The glorious long days make for extended evenings where going inside is just not as good an option. We find more time to linger in the evening, to get out the kayaks and to have a picnic dinner at our big farm. Summer, and the wait is on for the first raspberries, the first cherries of the season. Suddenly, we’ll be overwhelmed by fruit. Out will come the jam jars for any apricots we can snaffle from our friends. Out come the Fowlers Vacola – those sturdy preserving jars that we attempt to fill with the season’s bounty.

The cooker will stand idle, much of the time. The salad servers will get a workout. I may even put on the ‘fish frighteners’, head to the beach and get something resembling a farmer’s tan. But first, we have a few parties to go to, a few friends to cater for, and some plump olives to stuff.

Photography Alan Benson


As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2013, Issue 27. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.