The founder of preserve brand Newton & Pott talks about her passion for turning fruit and vegetables into a variety of delicious chutneys and jams
Originally from New Zealand, Kylee, 41, lives and works in Hackney, East London with husband Mark. After completing a degree in Fine Arts, she worked as personal printer for Turner Prize winner Wolfgang Tilmans for 10 years. She then launched preserve business Newton & Pott in 2012, and her produce can be found in numerous places including Selfridges.
How did your company Newton & Pott come into being?
I was working for artist Wolfgang Tillmans, but he then left London to continue his practice in Berlin. I had been making chutneys as Christmas presents for friends and someone said to me, when my job with Wolfgang ceased, you should do that. So, I started with a stall in Broadway Market’s sister market, The School Yard, and it all exploded from there.
What made you then decide to write your cookbook, ‘The Modern Preserver’?
I was fortunate to be asked by publishers Square Peg to write the book. I got an email from the editor saying they wanted to publish a contemporary book on preserving and thought I was the right person to do this – probably because I was experimental with my flavour combinations and was introducing interesting fruits to the UK.
What is it that you love so much about the process of preserving?
I love the idea that I’m using up fruit that might otherwise go to waste; that whole concept of ‘waste not, want not’. It’s the perfect antidote to giving food longevity, giving it a new lease of life, while also remembering and savouring fruits and vegetables of one season and presenting and eating them in another. It’s not an old concept, just one to keep revisiting and to celebrate.
Are there any flavours from your native New Zealand that you use?
Yes, I didn’t realise that feijoas and tamarillos were exotic fruits until I started living here in London. When I first started Newton & Pott I realised a lot of cooks talked about the flavours they grew up with, so I wanted also to introduce the flavours of my youth to the British people.
What are the essential ingredients?
You need fruit, vegetables, sugar and for some preserves, vinegar and salt. A mixture of herbs, spices and alcohol don’t go amiss either.
What preserves would recommend making now?
Seville oranges come into season for January and make the best bitter marmalade, and blood oranges and forced rhubarb are fun ingredients to play around with too. Apples and Pears tend to be in abundance so you can make lots of chutneys and jams with these fruits.
What electrical appliances are most useful to you?
A good reliable dishwasher is great for the first step of sterilising your jars for preserving, especially one where you can turn the glass aid off as this acts as a contaminant. I love the Fisher & Paykel Single DishDrawer™ dishwasher, as it makes sterilisation much simpler.
What are your goals for 2017?
Hopefully a larger team so that Newton & Pott can branch out and make our small batch preserves easier to buy for everyone around the UK. Also, I hope to visit more surrounding farms so I can purchase seconds of fruit and vegetables which promotes less waste – they all taste the same when made into jam.
Pictures by Philippa Langley
Article by: Lucy Macdonald