With an increasing number of consumers questioning where their food comes from, Rural Affairs Reporter Sarah Probert spent a day with staff from a top Birmingham restaurant...
It should all be so simple.
The enthused chef fussing over hundreds of acres of courgettes, salads and tomatoes grown in a Worcestershire field before picking the best and transforming them into a culinary masterpiece in his kitchen.
But it was actually a rare treat for Christian Delteil, managing director of Bank in Birmingham, and his head chef Steve Woods to be able to select produce direct from an Evesham farmer and work their magic on it back at their Brindleyplace restaurant.
As the pair stood surveying the rows of endives at Zenith Produce, a nursery in Evesham, it became clear the vegetables usually find themselves on a far more complex journey before reaching the tables of the 250- seat establishment.
"The idea of a chef going to the market and coming back and cooking in a kitchen until midnight is not physically possible. We have to trust our supplier to do that for us, and they become part of the team," Mr Delteil explained.
"What you need is the finest quality produce, because then a chef doesn't have to mess too much with it to come up with a great tasting dish."
In a campaign backed by the Prince of Wales, The Birmingham Post is urging more restaurants to support local producers.
At Bank some of its food comes from the fields of Worcestershire, but it is not always the case.
Problems in guaranteeing a supply has made it more difficult for some large establishments to buy local produce.
"Anthony Worrall Thompson tried to open an organic restaurant three or four years ago and found he couldn't get enough supply. The organic produce is very good but you can't get the volume," Mr Delteil explained.
At Bank, suppliers based at Birmingham's wholesale market are relied upon to source the best produce.
Mick Flynn, of Interfruit Ltd, which supplies Bank as well as a number of restaurants, football clubs and hospitals, said: "At this time of year most of the vegetables are English and it is very good.
"But there are less and less farms to choose from and local is sometimes more expensive. This year local asparagus cost #2.50 a box compared to imports at #1 a box.
"The country is flooded with cheap imported stuff and it doesn't give our local farms a chance to survive. All the Dutch veg looks fantastic and is grown to the highest level but there is no flavour there."
Mr Flynn buys some of his produce from local farmers but the majority comes from distribution centres, like Planet Produce in Bretforton, near Evesham, where vegetables from places like Zenith Produce are taken before being shipped across the country.
And while Planet Produce sources vegetables from a few growers in Evesham and elsewhere in the UK, many are from abroad.
Nick Smith, technical director at the firm, said it supported local growers but added it was impossible to rely on them all year round.
"The consumer is far more aware about their food. The idea of seasonality is a nice thing but consumers want choice and they want imported produce 12 months of the year and we have got that now."
How does you veg get from farm to table? Click on the link to follow the supply chain...