An experimental chef has been welcomed into an elite foodie troupe as recognition of his dedication to unusual ingredients.

Kenneth Culhane, head chef at the Dysart Petersham, is the only cook in the borough to become a member of the Slow Food chef alliance, after using forgotten foods such as middle white pig and Kentish cobnuts in his dishes.

Food at the Dysart is made with locally-sourced ingredients and the restaurant has its own herb garden, growing fruits, vegetables and a batch of pumpkin varieties.

Mr Culhane said: “Richmond and the surrounding areas are abundant in wild ingredients.

“At the Dysart we have always believed in supporting small-scale producers, using unusual ingredients and promoting the use of sustainable, seasonal produce.

“It is amazing how often these forgotten and traditional items, as well as being delicious, bring little-remembered physical and mental health benefits.”

The chef has joined the ranks along with about 100 other prestigious chefs in the country.

He said: “Slow Food celebrates taste, tradition and seasonality, all of which my colleagues and I personally endorse, so it seemed like a natural step and I am proud to belong to this important group.”

The Dysart will champion forgotten foods throughout the year and will take part in Slow Food week in the first week of June.