BBC One food reporter Jay Rayner reveals a passion for cauliflowers while filming near Penzance
BBC One presenter Jay Rayner revealed an "obsession" with cauliflowers yesterday while filming a cookery segment for the One Show on St Michael's Mount near Penzance.
Mr Rayner spent Wednesday in west Cornwall, first in a field opposite the Mount finding out how the vegetable is grown and picking a few select examples for a cooking demonstration.
The food reporter then visited the Mount's Sail Loft restaurant with local Michelin starred chef Chris Eden to rustle up some tasty cauliflower treats.
Mr Eden, who is the head chef from the Driftwood Hotel at Porthscatho, prepared cauliflower, pesto and deep fried leaves and a dish of salt baked cauliflower with goats curd and harissa.
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It is hoped the segment, due to appear on BBC One later this month, will promote Cornish cauliflowers, which provide the majority of the country's crop at this time of year.
Mr Rayner said: "I am delighted to be in the warmest part of the country because I spend too much of my time in fields when it is very cold so I am delighted to be in the balmy climate near Penzance.
"I am fascinated by the way the vegetables we take for granted are grown in this country and you don't realise until you are standing in the field talking about drainage and warm winds off the sea."
Mr Rayner added that he had been happy when the segment was suggested to him because "I am actually obsessed with cauliflowers".
The cauliflowers used in the television program were grown by Billy Collins at Chyvellan Farm, one of the growers for Connor Downs based farm and distributor Riviera Produce.
Managing director of the firm David Simmons said the Cornish climate was ideal for growing the perfect cauliflower in the winter months.
"We want to push cauliflower sales and increase the public awareness of cauliflower especially in the winter months when it is our main season. The more publicity we can get the better it is."
Mr Simmons said it was estimated that the humble vegetable is worth £25million to the local economy.
Mr Eden added: "We champion our vegetables and a little bit of exposure like this is brilliant for the farmers and showing what we do down here.
"It is not just meat and fish, there are actually farmers that grow stuff down here."