A Taste Of The Country is a new series on Channel 5 that shows how a wonderful change-of-life plan comes together. Many of us dream of moving to the country, growing our own vegetables, raising animals and spending more time in nature. Former chef Julius Roberts has done just that and his journey from the heat of a London kitchen to an idyllic Dorset smallholding.
Here's our guide to how it all happened for Julius Roberts in new Channel 5 series Taste Of The Country....
A Taste Of The Country release date
A Taste Of The Country begins on Channel 5 from Tuesday July 5 at 7.30pm. It's a six-parter with episodes running weekly and also available to stream on My5. We will post here if there's any announcements on a US or international release date.
Is there a trailer for A Taste Of The Country?
Yes there's a trailer for A Taste Of The Country in which you can see Julius, his animals and his Dorset smallholding. Take a look right here...
What happens in A Taste Of The Country
A Taste Of The Country will show how 25-year-old London chef Julius Roberts upped sticks to move to an idyllic Dorset smallholding.
Julius says: "I was working as a chef and I got burnt out by the lifestyle. I left London with no plan. It’s been a baptism of fire and I've learnt some pretty hard lessons!:
The first episode follows Julius during his first summer on the farm, as he starts on his journey to becoming self-sufficient by planting a new veg patch, building a fence for his goats and looking after his menagerie of bees, chickens and sheep. He also shows us how to make simple summer meals from the garden, including asparagus and poached egg on toast and a pea and broad bean risotto, and joins his two brothers by the fire pit for a barbecue of lemon chicken kebabs and grilled vegetables.
"I hope people are going to cook the dishes they see. There's something nice about having a TV show with someone younger living this life. I hope it inspires my generation."
More from Julius Roberts on A Taste Of The Country
Julius Roberts reveals the reality of managing your own smallholding in A Taste Of The Country. He cooks up a storm in the kitchen, cares for his animals, learns new skills and enjoys good times on land and sea with his family and friends. Here, he talks about living his best life…
"It’s difficult," he says. "I work seven days a week and rarely get any time off. During the winter I spend a lot of time on my own, not really seeing friends and experiencing very short, dark, wet days. But it pays for itself tenfold in the spring as nature comes back to life.
"I hope to inspire my generation to think about their food and how the decisions we make have a massive effect on an animal's life. I want them to be excited by nature and care about animal welfare.
You can also follow his cooking recipes as he makes sumptuous food throughout the series. "Food has always been a huge part of my family. I was obsessed with two things as a kid – bugs and cooking! I was constantly stealing cookbooks from my mum and reading them at night. The childhood dish that really got me into cooking was risotto. I was obsessed!"
A Taste Of The Country episode guide
A Taste Of The Country is a six-parter so here's a rundown of each episode which we'll update as the series progresses...
Episode 1: Tuesday July 5
It’s the start of summer, and the adventure begins for Julius Roberts on his Dorset smallholding, with incredible, irresistible and easy cooking, swimming at the nearby Jurassic Coast, an experimental no-dig vegetable bed that proves no space is no problem, and a fabulous sunset hilltop BBQ. As the sun comes up, Julius starts the day feeding his adorable bottle-fed lamb and goats Bramble and Hazel, followed by a delicious breakfast of pan-fried asparagus and poached egg on toast with freshly laid eggs. He hits the veg garden, building a brilliant mini veg plot that we’ll be tracking all summer. It requires no digging, showing what can be done with a minimum of space. And then, Julius picks homegrown green beans and fresh peas for a simple and very divine garden risotto. It’s a blueprint for a recipe you can put your own spin on with whatever vegetables you have to hand.
Julius ropes in his brothers Jocelyn and Lucian to help on the smallholding. He’s exchanging a day’s hard graft, fixing up the fences and moving his rams, the wildest animals on the farm, in return for a trip to the beach for an icy evening swim and flame-grilled dinner in the great outdoors. He’s making herby lemon chicken kebabs, with a great foolproof marinade, served with gorgeous grilled vegetables, and even grilling the lettuce. There’s a tasty chimichurri sauce and the classic American marshmallow and chocolate fireside treat s’mores. All the eats are cooked over open flame in a fire pit at the top of the hill behind the farm as the sun goes down. We join the brothers cooking, tucking into the BBQ and having fun joking with each other.
Episode 2: Tuesday July 12
Julius is foraging in the woods, shearing his flock of sheep and cooking beans cowboy-style on his smallholding in Dorset. He takes us on an emotional and fun journey as he heads into the woods beside the farmhouse to forage for cherries just like his beloved granny showed him when he was a small boy. Then, he’s dusting down the cookbook she left him to make her delicious cherry frangipane tart with fabulous plump fruit and sharing the trick to making foolproof simple shortcrust pastry before tucking into a slice with a big dollop of crème fraiche with his brother Jocelyn.
Then, in his ramshackle greenhouse, he’s got basil-growing tips covered, from the best way to keep a shop-bought plant thriving to planting and growing your own basil seeds. Next, he’s heading to the garden to pick herbs that will take an incredible herby egg mayo sandwich to the next level, and sharing the secret to whipping up easy homemade classic mayo. He’s really encouraging people to have a go and, after this, there’ll be no turning back to shop-bought, since it’s so simple and achievable.
Finally, there’s one of the biggest jobs of the summer to tackle and a lot of hard work ahead gathering his sheep for their annual shearing. His brother Jocelyn and local friend and shepherdess Angie are helping. She’s bringing along her old sheepdog, who surprises everyone as he triumphs in the meadow, gathering up Julius’s flock against the odds. Next day they’re joined by sheep shearer Edward, and Julius is trying his hand at rolling up fleeces. With all the sheep sheared, there’s a delicious lunch of fire pit baked beans for the hardworking shearing crew, complete with an offer from the shearer to give Julius’s hair a trim!
Episode 3: Tuesday July 19
Julius is facing one of his trickiest tasks — trimming his goats’ toenails. The goats are clever and hard to catch, so his brother Lucian is pitching in to help in return for an epic picnic lunch. The nail trimming doesn’t go to plan as Julius only manages to catch one goat — and it’s a bit of a cheat because Heather is one of his tame hand-reared goats. But with her nails trimmed and defeat accepted, there are great eats to share, including green bean puttanesca, with a classic Italian inspired sauce and beans from the veg plot. And for a sweet treat, salted clotted cream fudge that’s as effortless to make as it is delicious.
Also this week, Julius opens the polytunnel and shows us his tomato glut before sharing the secret to making unbelievably easy homemade ketchup. But he’s not stopping there on amazing things you wouldn’t ever have thought of trying to make! He gives us his unbelievable recipe for turning a humble belly of pork into the best home-cured bacon and then churns a batch of his own butter in no time at all. So, with ketchup, bacon and butter, what else is there to do than combine them in a perfect bacon and egg sandwich?
Then the fun switches from land to sea, as Julius goes fishing with a new friend — legendary chef Mark Hix, who is at the helm of his boat heading down the coast. They grill their freshly caught mackerel on deck and pair it with a simple salsa. Luckily, Mark manages to land a couple of fish, as it turns out that fish are as tricky to catch as goats for Julius.
Episode 4: Tuesday July 26
It’s harvest time and the adventure begins with Julius heading up the hill behind the farm and foraging for beautiful wild flowers and herbs to hang up in his ramshackle greenhouse and dry for the winter. Then he’s cooking amazing spicy Dorset clams al fresco in the greenhouse for a casual solo supper. It’s a Spanish-inspired dish, with tarragon and dry sherry taking it to the next level. In the garden, he’s picking courgettes, one of his favourite things to grow and eat, and turning a glut into a heavenly sauce for courgette pasta to go with his incredible quick home-made pasta dough. Julius shares great ideas for different pasta shapes — cavatelli, trofie, orecchiette and pici — which he’s using in the recipe. It’s another case of ‘you won’t believe how easy it is to make’.
On the farm, it’s time for Julius to free his chicks and mother hens from the coop to roam free and, much to his amusement, the cockerel who has missed the hens is wasting no time getting frisky. Then there’s one of the biggest summer tasks on the smallholding — the hay harvest. Neighbouring farmers Eddie, Richard and Gemma have been guiding and helping with the harvest, cutting, turning and baling the hay, and now they’re coming over to help Julius and his family gather up the bales ready for winter.
Great friendship and support deserve a special treat: Julius makes everyone the legendary Italian pudding tiramisu that he first ate as a child in Florence, which they eat as they relax in the hay meadow with the work done and the sun setting, washed down with chilled local beer.
Episode 5: Tuesday August 2
Julius is not only making pizza, but he’s building the wood-fired oven as well, with the help of his friend and builder Adam and his son Rowan. Julius’ brothers Jocelyn and Lucian are also pitching in to help with construction. With the oven built, there’s the pizza to make, and Julius is sharing his go-to recipe for pillowy dough. He rustles up a delicious simple tomato sauce to spread on the base and garden pesto to drizzle over. Then, it’s fingers crossed as he fires up the oven and makes an epic duo of ‘nduja, honey and mozzarella pizza, and potato and taleggio pizza for his friends and brothers.
Julius invites new friend and beekeeper Mark over to check on a hive of bees he rescued from his roof. Julius and Mark tuck into prosciutto with honey and thyme, with the honey coming courtesy of the rescued bees.
With an evening of watering, weeding and checking on his goats ahead, Julius shares his love of classic recipes and makes his favourite chocolate mousse. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt takes it to the next level for a perfect after work treat.
Find out too about matrimonio, a simple Spanish snack of anchovies on a crispy crouton.
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.
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