Producer: Ampersand, Oxfordshire
Product: Cultured butter
Region: London and South East
Category: From the dairy, primary
What they do:
Grant Harrington created & (Ampersand) in 2014 after working in the kitchens of several fine-dining restaurants in Sweden (most famously Fäviken). He was inspired to learn more about traditional, pre-industralised butter-making techniques from around Scandinavia and after a year’s worth of scientific research into dairy fermentation, he created & (Ampersand cultured butter).
The difference between the flavour of cultured butter and regular butter can best be described by comparing the taste of crème fraîche and cream. The ‘good bacteria’ (lactobacillus) in the cultured butter produces a rich, creamy flavour, with a complex acidic buttery note.
Grant lives on a dairy farm and understands what a difference ‘happy cows’ can make to the taste and quality of the end product. He personally visits his Jersey herd cream suppliers to make sure that the cows are getting everything they need. To create his cultured butter, Grant only uses high-welfare, small-scale Jersey cow’s milk, supporting local dairy farmers while doing so.
As well as supplying his cultured butter to 11 Michelin-starred restaurants, between February and April 2017, Grant’s Napoleonic-inspired margarine also featured on the menu at Dan Barber’s WastED London pop-up, with the bread course.
What the judges said:
The judging panel recognised Grant’s passion and pride, praising his depth of knowledge and hands-on approach to the craft.