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March 17, 2015

Kew On A Plate s01.

Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, together with Kate Humble, has been given the unique opportunity to spend a year at the most famous botanical gardens at Kew to re-establish the long-lost kitchen gardens that once provided produce for the royal table from George II to Queen Victoria.

Ep01 - Spring
It's spring at Kew and after a long, dark winter, nature is coming back to life. Raymond learns about the infamous rhubarb triangle before harvesting his own at Kew to make his sublime version of rhubarb and custard! What better to compliment this dessert than the exotic spice vanilla? Kate finds out how a 12-year-old slave enabled vanilla to become the world's most popular flavour. Nothing heralds the arrival of spring more than the first fresh asparagus, and Raymond plants some crowns at Kew. Domestic historian Ruth Goodman shows Kate an old Roman asparagus recipe and Raymond makes a light spring dish - grilled asparagus tips. And as the season draws to a close, Kate takes a ride on the Watercress Line where she hears the rags-to-riches story of Eliza James, the Covent Garden 'watercress queen'. Back at Kew, Raymond and Kate sample some micro watercress to use as a garnish for Raymond's delicious pea risotto.

Kew_On_A_Plate_01-Spring_sd.avi


Ep02 - Summer.
Summer has arrived at Kew and everything in Raymond Blanc and Kate Humble's garden is blooming. Butterflies and bees abound and there are new crops to tend, harvest and cook with. Everyone loves a carrot, particularly the carrot fly, so Raymond must protect his crop to ensure he has a good supply for his summer carrot stew. Meanwhile, Kate goes on a search to find the wild carrot, the ancestor of today's cultivated carrots, and learns how this vegetable was once used as a potent medicine. One of the exotics at Kew is cacao and Kate is surprised to discover that one of the most irritating of insects plays a vital role in its pollination. At Hampton Court, food historian Marc Meltonville makes Kate a delicious cup of hot chocolate, just like the Georgians enjoyed. She then finds out how bean pottage was made in Tudor times and Raymond makes a vegetable bean chilli, complete with raw cacao. Travelling to the Isle of Wight, Kate discovers how a clandestine wartime operation was responsible for Britain's introduction to a common ingredient we all enjoy today, garlic.

Ep03 - Autumn.
It's autumn at Kew, and the vegetable garden is set to produce a bumper harvest. Raymond Blanc and Kate Humble grow some autumnal favourites and cook them up in the Kew kitchen. Kate finds out why the tomato was once considered to be a deadly poison and how the arrival of ketchup helped convert us into a nation of tomato lovers. Over in France, she discovers that the quintessential image of a French onion seller actually has a very British history, and Raymond makes the definitive tomato and onion salad. Back in the garden, Raymond enlists the help of some local children to harvest some Halloween pumpkins, and it's time for the beetroot to be lifted. Raymond transforms this earthy vegetable into a delicious autumn tart, and Kate investigates how the humble beet transformed the sugar industry.

Ep04 - Winter.
The end of the year at Kew is fast approaching, winter is setting in, but some crops positively love the cold and Raymond learns how brassicas cope in this frosty season. Kate visits Kew's Millennium Seed Bank to discover the secret to the survival of our winter greens, while Raymond cooks a nutrient-rich kale dish with sweet and sour pork. At Fishbourne Place, Kate finds out how leeks were considered medicinal in Roman time, but back at Kew disaster has struck! Raymond had planned to make a light leek terrine, but the whole leek crop has been devastated!

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