Commissioned by Anna Miralis the four-part series is set to return to More4 in a new post-pandemic era, as more and more of us are embracing wild places and local food, and seeking to move towards a more natural, plant-led diet. It’s an ethos that Hugh has championed since the very first River Cottage shows over two decades ago.
As we emerge from two years of lockdowns, re-evaluating our lifestyles and relationship to nature and wellbeing, Hugh reopens the doors of River Cottage HQ, in the stunning countryside of East Devon. As Spring becomes Summer, Hugh and his talented team of foraging and fermenting chefs and gardeners celebrate our new-found freedoms and the bounties of the seasonal harvest.
Plants are much to the fore, but River Cottage is still an omnivorous smallholding, and as well as tending the garden they are looking after hens, piglets and baby goats. And with the help of his local butcher, Hugh is kick-starting a campaign to protect our woodlands by getting more venison on our plates.
Throughout the hour-long programmes, Hugh guides viewers in his uniquely charming way, showing us how to grow, prepare and cook fresh and exciting food using anything from the fruit and veg in the garden, wild ingredients in the hedgerows and woods, sea vegetables on the shore and fish and shellfish out at sea.
River Cottage regulars such as forager John Wright and fire-cook Gill Meller, are on hand with advice to help and inspire, and Hugh meets a range of experts introducing us to exciting ideas such as natural bee keeping, fermenting original drinks, and even making sourdough crumpets.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “It’s brilliant to be back doing what I love the most: gathering the very best ingredients from land and sea, meeting inspiring growers and producers, and making delicious food to share with friends and neighbours. It’s a life we’ve all been missing and it’s time to recognise and celebrate just how much it can do for us to live and cook a little closer to nature.”
Channel 4’s Anna Miralis said: “So many of us are looking to nature, the great outdoors, and home-grown food to comfort and nourish us, both physically and mentally, and Hugh and River Cottage can help us with that like nobody else. The original shows have spawned dozens of imitators down the years, and so we are proud to bring back the original and best.”
The series also emphasises the need to clean up our rivers to promote biodiversity and enjoy the health benefits of wild swimming, to sourcing more sustainable ingredients such as mussels and seaweeds, and make better use of undervalued fish. River Cottage is at the cutting edge of a more climate-friendly way of eating
KEO Films Executive Producer, Andrew Palmer, said: “We’ve gone through extraordinary changes over the last two years – an unimaginable difference that none of us could have anticipated. To have River Cottage return is reassuring in itself, but it also brings with it the opportunity for reinventing our cooking and outdoor living. Hugh’s been exploring these issues in his telly shows for over 20 years, but he’s still looking forward for new ways of doing things that make life better and more delicious. This is a series to inspire and comfort in equal measures.”
For all things River Cottage Reunited, head to our hub HERE
River Cottage is a 4 x 50’ series, made by KEO Films and commissioned by Anna Miralis for More4. The executive producer at KEO Films is Andrew Palmer, and the series is directed and produced by Michelle Crowley and Richard Hill. The series will air June 2022.