Meet Mark of The Gay Farmer
I moved to Spain in 2009 to help my mother on her small farm after the passing of my stepfather. Whilst up a tree doing the apricot harvest a close friend in London called me and said, “So what are you calling yourself now dear, The Gay Farmer?” and so the business was born. The oil from our harvest tasted wonderful and the idea came to import to the UK and sell to local delis, wholefood and grocery stores.
We take care of the olive groves throughout the year, harvesting the olives and taking them to the mill within 3 hours (before oxidation) in order to bring to you the finest tasting Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I believe there is too much food waste which needs to be addressed and vastly reduced. The industry should go to more sustainable farming methods, organic and biodynamic for agriculture and livestock alike.
I have found the people I work with in the food sector have been very supportive of one another. We are part of a very small group of UK based olive oil businesses where we have been sharing our experiences importing from the EU after Brexit which has been very helpful.
We moved the business and ourselves to a little cottage in the woods outside Arundel in July 2020, which gave us the space to expand and adapt. There are few things better than walking with my partner hand in hand, listening to the bird song with the sun breaking through the trees!
What’s the first restaurant you’re going to visit? The first place you’ll travel to?
I think most likely the Dean Street Townhouse as much for the atmosphere as the food. The first place I shall travel to will be my mum’s farm in Spain to give her a big hug and kiss!
What is your lazy go-to dish when cooking? Recipe?
Simply 2 bunches of tender stem lightly steamed and added to thinly diced onion and garlic sautéed in my olive oil. Then simply add cooked spaghetti and lashings of grated Parmesan.
What’s the strangest dish someone has used your products for? Have you tried it?
Olive oil drizzled over ice cream. Try with vanilla or salted caramel, this blew my mind almost ten years ago. Paul A Young made a most delicious olive oil and sea salt truffle also.
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- The Gay Farmer
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