Chef's Summer Special - Jamie Stone at The Dolphin Inn

Enjoy a taste of summer with a delicious meal at The Dolphin Inn, Thorpeness. And if you're feeling inspired? Jamie shares with us his inspiration and his favourite summer recipe.

Where do you get your inspiration?

The Dolphin uses an abundance of veg grown from around the corner in John’s allotment and we are now finally developing our own kitchen garden, inspired by Charles Dowding and his No Dig approach to preserving the microbiology of the soil producing better produce in a sustainable way.

From here, we grow seasonal varieties which have been lovingly cultivated and are chosen for flavour. The gardens provide a host of  seasonal produce exclusively for the restaurant, from the robust staple vegetables and fruits which adorn our menus daily.

We grow many types of tomatoes, including heritage varieties which grow in all manner of shapes, colours and sizes.  We grow sweetcorn, salad leaves, aubergines, squashes, lots of beautiful herbs, luscious hardy greens, cucumbers, onions and so much more. No year is ever the same allowing us to fully enjoy the seasons and experiment with veg that is truly fresh from the soil, whilst also allowing us to experiment  using every part of the plant, so that nothing goes to waste. Along with the some of the best British produce locally here on the coast in Suffolk we are fortunate to enjoy fresh fish and well reared meat.

What local produce do you love working with?

One of our favourite kitchen staples is enjoyed right through both the spring and summer is Cavolo Nero. This easy to grow green is incredibly versatile and can be boiled, stir-fried, steamed or eaten raw with a dressing.

To eat Raw;

Thinly shred the leaves of the Cavolo Nero. Toss in a large bowl with a punchy creamy dressing and serve with tuna for a modern take on a classic Caesar salad. The buttermilk helps to tenderise the black kale and brings out its sweetness in this satisfying salad.

A simple Boil;

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the cavolo Nero and cook for 3-4 mins until wilted and darker in colour. If you want the kale to retain even more bite, immediately plunge into ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. Try with lashings of butter and salted bacon for a heavenly indulgent side.


Try Cavolo Nero slow cooked in a hearty Italian minestrone soup. It can also be added to sauces and makes a great partner to pasta and breadcrumbs. The robust leaves stand up to stronger flavours such as anchovy and chilli that bring out its natural sweetness.

To stir-fry;

Heat a splash of oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat, add the shredded cavolo Nero and any aromatics, such as garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 3-4 mins until visibly wilted but still crunchy. Cooked this way, cavolo Nero makes a great substitute for kale in a healthy stir-fry.

To fry;

Deep fried until crunchy and vibrant green seasoned well, Cavolo Nero adds great texture to a variety of dishes like one of our vegan specials.

Homemade focaccia bruschetta, sun blushed tomatoes, pickled red onion, new season potato salad, Cavolo Nero and nettle oil.

Our seasonal menu is accompanied by our daily specials board a highlight of which is Vegan Thursdays loved not only in our restaurant and dog friendly bar area but also in our beautiful garden, the perfect place this spring and summer for alfresco dining for all the family to be enjoy.