Caroline is a farmer’s daughter, public health food specialist, hospitality professional, passionate social egalitarian and advocate for the seldom heard.
Why have you become a champion, and what are your aims?
I’m delighted to have this opportunity to speak up about food and drink in Norfolk. My aims: I have a particular interest in food education, especially antenatal nutrition and good weaning practice, as well as raising the profile of the many opportunities the food and farming industries have for young people looking for a direction in their future working lives. I am looking forward to sharing narratives about where Norfolk produce goes, starting with the fields around my home, where I have our first crop of soft milling wheat, marrowfat peas, sugar beet, and oilseed rape (just harvested). They will be considered in the context of the interesting times food and farming are in post-Brexit and the very real challenges we face in terms of our national nutritional health I want to meet more of the producers and processors who contribute so much to the local economy, learn more about the breadth of Norfolk’s produce knowledge outside the county and meet chefs and cooks who use the county’s bounty. I will also use this role to speak up about the inequality gap that exists in Norfolk and nationally around food choices.
Favourite Norfolk food
I’ve known Booja-Booja’s Truffles (vegan and dairy-free) for many years, and am always thrilled to see them in far-flung places. Norfolk barley and malt are very special; then there is our special asparagus and samphire in all too brief seasons; and of course there’s Colman’s Mustard, renowned across the globe.
Favourite place to eat in Norfolk, and why?
This is in my own kitchen, enjoying delicious produce from my garden, fine-tuning my budgeting skills and enjoying the company of friends.
If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone (living or dead) who would be your top five guests, and why?
Hippocrates – he really knew what he was talking about when he said ‘’Let food be your medicine’’ back in 400BC. Professor Tim Lang – he’s such a busy man so I would be sure of hearing so many of his wise words about food and farming policy. My mother – she’s been gone for 26 years and I still miss her every day. Hugh Dennis – he’s such good value: very erudite, funny and pretty easy on the eye too. Margaret Thatcher – just so I can take her to task over the appalling fallout of her catastrophic policy decisions around school food provision and teaching cooking back in 1982-83.