About the Show
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall goes back to the land and the sea in search of an alternative culinary lifestyle. Hugh grows his own produce and sees if he can make vegetables the stars of any meal.
Series 17 Summary
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall looks back at his summer of vegetarian living through the eyes of the people who helped turn him from a committed carnivore into a veg muncher and cruncher.
Hugh goes to London to meet professional chef David and family and to become inspired by the array of flavours that vegetables offer, from a Thai salad to a nut, cumin and orange salad.
And Hugh sets out to see if bacon-loving workmen can be tempted by a meat-free midday meal.
Veg hero Jagdish Ghelani helps Hugh bring an extra dimension to his culinary curry efforts, introducing him to veg pakoras and dosas, and even the ultimate curry in a hurry.
Hugh takes veggie living to the extreme, discovering the world of 'raw food' with chef's Chris Massamba and Laura Coxeter, including a raw chocolate cake made with avocado!
Hugh cooks up a storm for a (mostly vegetarian) wild swimming team. From the ultimate power-packing pesto, pasta and potato salad to a big hearty stew, Hugh's found his new role - club cook.
Hugh discovers new cooking techniques from Sachiko Saeki and her husband Pak Keung Wan, which inspire him to turn his runner beans in to Japanese pickles and tempting tempura dishes.
Hugh's summer of vegetarianism presents him with a challenge: should he serve meat at the annual River Cottage BBQ? He sticks to his guns and dishes up a spelt, potato and carrot salad.
To make the most of his summer as a vegetarian, Hugh turns to his love of foraging to provide some interestingly different edible options. From searching the rock pools for dulse seaweed to shimmying up a monkey puzzle tree for a never-before-tried taste of its nuts - nuts that end up being perfect in a risotto.
Inspired by his summer of vegetarianism, Hugh has set himself the mission to spread the word that meat-free meals can be for everyone. But the carnivorous customers at the Fox and Hound pub are proud of their meat-filled main courses...
What will the locals think when Hugh puts on a veg-only night? Will his spicy pakoras and mushroom stews be enough to win them over, or will he be left with egg on his face?
With the River Cottage team already making the most of all types of cheese to flavour their veg dishes - from Hugh's Easy Peasy Cheesy pasta to cheese and broad bean brochettes and cheese fritattas - Canteen Head Chef Tim faces a cook-off competition to persuade the rest of his staff to get on the meat-free bandwagon.
It's the River Cottage team's turn to provide the tea for their annual cricket match against their local rivals. But Hugh has banished the pork pies, ham sandwiches and luncheon meat, requiring some creative - and high-scoring - efforts in the kitchen to win over the opposition.
Hugh, Tim and Gill get together for some collaborative sandwich-making and experiment with post-match veggie cocktails.
This could be Hugh's biggest challenge yet; convincing kids to eat their greens!
Hugh's secret tips include wood-fired pizzas and garlic butter, and he even has something up his sleeve for getting people to eat the ultimate 'love it or hate it' veg - Christmas sprouts.
Will the celebration go to plan when guests discover that instead of the traditional spit-roast, Hugh is serving a complete wedding breakfast with no meat?
Hugh finds out if a veggie lunch can keep the garden team as full and satisfied as they usually are with their bacon sandwiches, and James makes the ultimate cheese and pumpkin pastie.
At the end of his summer of vegetarianism, Hugh throws a River Cottage thank you dinner before setting out to catch his first bite of fishy flesh in four months.
River Cottage synopsis
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall goes back to the land and the sea in search of an alternative culinary lifestyle. Hugh grows his own produce and sees if he can make vegetables the stars of any meal.Episode Guide >
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Hugh's commitment to a summer without flesh takes a hit when he joins a fishing trip and has to pass up the fresh mackerel sushi.