At Two Brothers Foods we understand that, though local ingredients are important, the chefs of the South West are inspired by a myriad of global flavours.
As such we set out to recruit our very own spice merchant; someone with enormous expertise who would allow us to offer a truly diverse range of herbs, spices, meat rubs and marinades – adding a powerful punch to the dishes of the creative chefs we work with.
Inspired by encounters at local produce markets over the years, Director Gavin approached Nature Kitchen. This local business is the brain-child of Ally Watkins – a keen foodie who identified a shortage of good quality, exotic herbs and spices on the mass market. As a world-food specialist, Ally is passionate about the ingredients used to flavour street food and regional delicacies, from Galangal in Thailand to Sumac in the Middle East.
Ally’s shop in St Austell is a treasure-trove of global tastes. Here she freshly grinds various whole spice herself so there is no loss of flavour from ground spices sitting on a shelf. Her products are consistent and completely natural, contain no additives, and are vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
We have several favourites already among Ally’s special blends. Ras-el-Hanout is translated as ‘Top of the Shop’, and is the spice merchant’s best blend. This Moroccan flavouring has 26 different ingredients and is an essential addition in a wide range of Eastern dishes, and can also be simply served with olives or in a salad dressing.
For a lighter flavouring, a new summer stalwart is Singapore Seasoning, which includes Coriander, Salt, Fennel, Cumin, Turmeric, Fenugreek, Black Pepper and Chilli. This light and vibrant spice blend is perfect for adding to dishes featuring fresh Cornish fish.
If you prefer something with a bit of a punch, try Ally’s own blend - ‘Dante’s Inferno’. This fiery concoction uses one of the hottest chillies in the world: the complex collection of spices gives a robust aroma and deep flavour, which assists the comfortable delivery of the hot chilli. We tried it added to a mayonnaise dip and can highly recommend it. We also enjoyed Ally’s Steak Spice with our beef in a delicious stir fry – a quick and easy to prepare dish that was packed full of flavour!
Also popular at the moment is Smokey Bean – perfect for recreating Mexican street food-inspired dishes. All these spices and blends are available in catering packs, which are kept in the fridge to retain their freshness before cooking releases the powerful flavours.
We are also pleased to announce that Ally is developing exclusive meat rubs for Two Brothers Foods, working directly with our customers to create this new range. She explained the idea: “Meat rubs are a really great way of introducing delicious and complex flavours without the need for slow cooking. They allow chefs to inject a natural flavour-kick into fresh ingredients, and draw on street food-style cooking for inspiration.”
Ally is also available to work directly with chefs and professional kitchens as a spice consultant, introducing new ideas and helping them bring out the flavours of their dishes with bespoke blends of herbs and spices.
To see the full range available via Two Brothers Foods, download our product catalogue here.