I have been writing this piece in my head for a few weeks now. Not for lack of words, quite the opposite, I want to say so much! I first ‘met’ Kylee, founder and owner of Newton & Pott, on Instagram back in early summer. Kylee has a passion and talent for preserving like noone I have met before. Our first contact was during the pre-launch period of Kylee’s book The Modern Preserver, a beautifully written and photographed collection of more than 130 preserving recipes from jams and chutneys to cordials and syrups with a measure of infused alcohol along the way. (Sloe gin anyone…? Pictured above and steeping slowly in a dark cupboard waiting for Christmas.) A book now on my shelf with countless bookmarked pages to return to as and when the ingredients are in season.
The Modern Preserver is an essential guide for any preserving fan as the recipes are both classic and updated. Strawberry and Pimm’s jam? That’s on my list for next summer. Preserved lemons with rosemary, roasted red pepper and tomato chutney, citrus curds, I could go on. And on. I want to try everything! Each section of the book begins with some tips and method instructions, well worth a read as Kylee is incredibly knowledgable and shares in such a friendly manner that it all just makes sense. Her recipes are easy to follow and encourage seasonal preserving with a waste not want not approach.
Last month I had the absolute pleasure of spending a few hours with Kylee at her home, the heart of the business, chatting and preserving. We made sloe gin and rosehip syrup, or the beginnings of them as I had to leave before they were finished. Just before I share Kylee’s words can I say what a lovely lady she is, charming and friendly and so happy to share her story. Which I will now pass on to you too…
I asked Kylee, first of all, to introduce herself!
I am Kylee Newton, founder of Newton&Pott, a small batch preserving company (still homemade) based in Hackney, London, making chutney’s, jams, pickles, fermentations and more.
I am also author of The Modern Preserver.
Please share a little about your journey to this point, what led you to set up Newton & Pott?
I’ve done every job under the sun- you might say I’m a Jane of all trades, a DJ, Barista, chef, waitress, photographic printer, florist, fashion stylist assistant, events curator and decorator, I’ve even been a painter and decorator.
I’m creative (I have a Fine Arts Degree) and worked for Photographer and Artist Wolfgang Tillmans for 10 years producing all of his analogue prints.
I always saw myself as a helper, a clog creating other peoples visions into success- that was until Wolfgang left for Berlin and it left me empty as to what I was going to now do with my life- so I started making chutneys.
At the same time I started working for a florist (as I thought this was what I wanted to pursue) but the preserving took over and so Newton&Pott was birthed.
I never realised I could be creative and successful for myself- only after I actually applied all of that energy I was giving to others into my own project.
Newton&Pott was conceived out of wanting to waste less and make something that had longevity, the idea surround waste not, want not, using what the seasons have given us and making it last. Preserving fulfils these concerns for me.
Where can we find your delicious preserves?
There are a selection of Deli’s, Butchers, Grocers and Cafe’s that stock Newton&Pott around London and a few popping up here and there. I was a part of Selfridges Meet the Makers this year and Fenwicks in Newcastle have taken on my wares. Their are also a couple of online Deli’s that stock and can all be found on my website here.
Tell us a little about The Modern Preserver…
We wanted to make a preserving book that was for the 21st Century- it’s such a beautiful ancient artisan technique but has a reputation to be a bit twee, and not everyone lives in the countryside or has access to orchards- so we wanted to make something that was modern and accessible to everyone, urban and rural.
I really think we have achieved this as I’ve had such a lovely response from people who have been are excited about preserving- it’s the new baking!
Also it was important to me to tell people how to eat preserves. That we shouldn’t just reserve them for a cheeseboard or breakfast toast, there’s a lot of other meals that can be matched with and I make these suggestions in the book.
Any plans in the pipeline that you can share…?
I would love to write another book- but these things take a lot of time.
The pipeline brings a new kitchen (so I can get my home back to normal), and allow me to hold Masterclasses to teach other people about preserving, from jams to chutney to pickling and fermentation.
I would love to have a cafe where the menu teaches people about how to eat preserves other than with cheese or on toast, which also acts as a deli where you can buy great produce- but also recycles food- for example, selling cream that if it’s getting close to it’s best before date I recycle it into say Ice Cream, or eggs into a frittata, so nothing ever goes to waste- I think we are a society dictated by use by dates and I’d like to educate people not to throw food away.
One last question, what is your favourite preserve?
I love my Tamarillo Chutney, Tamarillos are a fruit from Columbia (I always joke I have a Columbian fruit dealer) but I grew up with them in New Zealand. We would eat them simply peeled, sliced and macerated in sugar overnight in the fridge. The Tamarillo Chutney is more complex than this but is the best thing on poached eggs for a weekend breakfast treat.
After a glorious afternoon of chat Kylee sent me home with a bag of sloes (like tiny plums if you haven’t met before) foraged from the lanes in Kent the weekend before we met, and a jar of greengage and almond jam. I mentioned the sloe gin earlier, I’m looking forward to sampling it in a few months time, but for now I am enjoying this delicious soft set jam with toast and a good look through The Modern Preserver. Blissful it is at that.
The Modern Preserver published by Square Peg