Earlier this year, we were honoured to be approached by the team behind The Cook Book, an exciting new project from Tonbridge-based children’s healthcare charity Tree of Hope. Indeed, the opportunity to have one of our dishes featured in a comprehensive recipe collection celebrating the thriving west Kent food and drink scene was one we weren’t going to miss.

Spanning Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, the book is produced and compiled alongside blogger Caroline Kings, photographer Severien Vits and events organiser Charlotte Rogers, who are championing the area’s chefs, restaurants and producers.

“It’s been wonderful to be part of something that shows off the incredible food scene in west Kent, as well as supporting a wonderful charity,” says Charlotte.

Adds Caroline: “It’s been such an enjoyable experience compiling it, meeting some great people from the food and drink industry, and working with a fantastic committee.”

Our Kilndown restaurant and very own Will Devlin were among the participating foodies. With his focus on locality, seasonality and onsite farming, Will supplied a mouth-watering roast duck with gooseberry and courgette dish for readers to try at home, and welcomed the chance to host the book’s launch event, inviting the movers and shakers of the west Kent food and drink community.

The Cook Book of Kent food. Cover and featured dishes from The Small Holding

From Tunbridge Wells favourites like Vittle & Swig, to The Plough at Ivy Hatch in Sevenoaks and Sulston’s Kitchen in Tonbridge, the list of further collaborators is a regional who’s-who of Kent food and drink heroes from around the Garden of England.

Of course, pictures say a thousand words, and were just as important in the book’s production. To capture the best on offer throughout the county, Severien Vits visited each of the restaurants involved, taking gorgeous photography that evoked the essence and spirit of the Kent food on show.

“It’s so lovely to experience the passion that goes into producing these dishes and products, and to be able to capture this through photography for a bigger audience to enjoy,” she reveals.

And with all profits going towards Tree of Hope itself, the worthy cause at the heart of The Cook Book has made the journey even more rewarding. Inspired by the success of its first annual ‘Dine and Donate’ campaign, which raised over £10,000 earlier in the year, the charity is ready to go one better, helping to change the lives of sick and disabled children within the county and beyond.

“We’re delighted to be supported by so many wonderful eateries in west Kent, enabling the charity to produce a really special book for our local area,” concludes Kate Bourne, fundraising manager at Tree of Hope. “The vital funds raised will enable us to transform the lives of seriously ill and disabled children throughout the UK.”

The Cook Book is available from November 1st, priced £20 – order your signed copy by Will Devlin now by emailing info@thesmallholding.restaurant

© WILL AND MATT DEVLIN