Eat this: Jolene

Grains take centre stage at this bakery and restaurant, which puts a firm focus on sustainable produce.

16 October 2018
  • The Gist: Milled, stewed and thrown into salads – grains get all the attention
  • The Chefs: Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell
  • Location: 21 Newington Green, London N16 9PU
  • Food in 5 words: Produce and provenance-led cooking
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How did we get here?

Jolene is a bakery and restaurant combo from Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell in Newington Green. The duo are behind London restaurants Primeur and Westerns Laundry, both of which hold Michelin Bib Gourmands.

Teaming up with Groove Armada DJ-turned-farmer Andy Cato, everything at Jolene will be made from scratch each day, as staff mill Cato’s ancient grains into flours to use for breads, pastries and fresh pastas.

Naroques, Cato’s farm in Gascony, began in 2008 when, concerned by the ecological effects of big agriculture, he began researching ways to grow nutritious, chemical-free crops in a sustainable way. His pasture-based growing methods are now installed across 100ha as a viable alternative to destructive farming techniques.

As part of his plan, Cato set up a rotation in his fields between cattle, poultry and some 50 species of plants.

“We preserve the groves and replant hedges. Work in the fields is done with draft horses to preserve the best life recreated. We favour old varieties appropriate to our terroir. Every year we select the best seeds to replant. Thus the tastes of our products are enhanced naturally and acquire a unique flavour,” he said, explaining his method.

To provide a local supply for Jolene, grains for the bakery will be sourced from two UK farms: Goodwood Estate in Sussex and Priory Farm in Norfolk. Working in partnership with Cato, they are growing his diverse population of original wheat varieties.

Jolene’s vegetables, meanwhile, are sourced from Flourish farm in Cambridge, while fish arrives from day boats in Cornwall and Devon, and meat comes from a farming collective in North Yorkshire.

The restaurant is joining London’s emerging bakery boom, which has recently seen the likes of Peruvian bakery Andina Panaderia and Indian outfit Custard open.

What’s different about it?

From morning to evening, the unique grains are the core ingredients.

Bakers at Jolene use them to freshly mill flour, which is turned into slow-fermented dough to produce the Naroques bread, alongside raisin loaves and sausage rolls. On the sweet side, madeleines, palmiers and financiers take cues from classic French fare, sitting beside croissants and cinnamon buns.

As well as being ground into powder for bread and pastries, the grains are used throughout Jolene’s daytime menu for fresh pasta, stews and salads.

Cometto-Lingenheim and Gingell said: “We have decided to open a bakery restaurant that revolves around and relies on the grains rather than it just being another ingredient. Our approach at Primeur and Westerns Laundry has always been attuned to the need for sourcing well-farmed produce, ethically grown with soil fertility in mind and tended with care. We’re bringing the same values and narrative to Jolene, this time with breads baked with Andy’s incredible grains and inspired by his passion for sustainable, efficient and sensible farming methods.”

You’ve got try…

The menu changes daily, so prepare to be surprised, but one of the regulars is spelt, red wine, bitter leaves and tarragon. You can also throw in a side of garlic and rosemary flatbread. 

Sparkie also likes…

A baked treat, whether it’s a spiced apple cake or a raspberry jam and almond cake.

Go if…

You’re gaga for grains.

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