Creating something special from the humble cauli at The Little Ships

Roasted whole cauli

A Ramsgate restaurant has taken the humble local cauliflower and given it a tasty new twist.

The Little Ships, headed up by hotelier James Thomas and chef Craig Mather, are sourcing the caulis from Rose Farms – who grow them by the North Foreland estate – and then roasting them whole in the venue’s Harrison oven with a variety of toppings.

Diners can order them to share or tuck into a whole one and they are proving a hit.

James said: “We wanted to take the humble British cauliflower, abundant in Thanet, and create a dish that would appeal to veg and meat eaters. This is not an accompaniment to a dish, it is the main dish!

“Apart from the low food miles and supporting local growers, roasting them in our new Harrison oven -which is also locally made – gives results that are quite simply astounding!  Packed full of flavour and great value for money they are going down a treat!”

There are three varieties to choose from – Moroccan spice; brie and bacon or Parmesan, garlic and mustard.

Craig said: “They are in season at the moment so that is perfect. I wanted something that gets boiled, mashed and forgotten about, a humble ingredient, and without being too fussy give it some care.”

The caulis are part boiled before roasting in the ingredients.

Craig, who also heads the kitchen at The Empire Room restaurant, said: “We wanted to push forward something that is a little bit different that people will enjoy and come back for. It is a healthy nutritious lunch, good for sharing or a main evening meal.”

The Little Ships’ name plays tribute to the flotilla of privately owned boats used to help evacuate stranded British troops from the Dunkirk beaches in 1940.  It also refers to Thanet local trawlers, which supply the fresh fish cooked in the restaurants.

The awning sports the colours of the Dunkirk medal ribbon and inside James has also displayed some wartime belongings from a family member – including a Dunkirk medal.

The Little Ships is open all day from 8:30am, seven days a week. Find it at 54-56 Harbour Parade, Ramsgate

Call 01843 585008, visit  littleshipskent.co.uk or email info@littleshipsramsgate.co.uk

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