As most of you know, sustainability is a huge part of our ethos here at the Michael Caines Collection, so it was music to our ears when we heard that Cop15 had struck a historic deal to conserve 30% of the world’s ecosystems by 2030.

The UN’s biodiversity conference in Montreal, co-hosted by China and Canada, involved almost 200 governments from around the globe pledging to steer away from a course toward environmental destruction.

Last October, Food for Change 2022, in collaboration with the Slow Food organisation, took place over three days at Lympstone Manor which saw five chefs from Relais and Chateaux cook and share their techniques to help protect biodiversity and culinary heritage.

Michael was joined by Luke Matthews of Chewton Glen, Simon Crannage of Grantley Hall, Tom Scade of The Vineyard and Stephen Hayes of Cashel Palace, each of whom cooked an extravagant dish to celebrate the abundance of fresh local produce that they have nominated for the Ark of Taste. This programme is a catalogue of small-scale products that are threatened by industrial agriculture and environmental degradation.

The chefs participating chose to showcase crowdie, a Scottish fresh cheese which dates back to the Viking era, Berkshire pig, alre watercress, ard cairn russet apple and ruby red beef cheek.

The conference closed with Michael reflecting on the responsibility that comes with his pivotal position as the lead delegate of Relais and Chateaux in the UK and Ireland, saying “As a collective of Relaix and Chateaux chefs, we have a platform to showcase wonderful ingredients, ensuring historic supply chains are supported, as well as promoting farming techniques that protect the environment. We have a vital role to play. We are the storytellers.”