Chef Martin McNair, who runs his own catering firm A Question of Thyme from Greenhithe, has cooked in top restaurants and hotels and tour for megastar musicians.

Every month he shares his seasonal tips with Vibe. Here’s what he had to say for September:

With the summer nights drawing to a close, September sees some hearty produce coming to the fore. 

Blackberries should be nice and plump and are a natural partner to apples, making tasty pies and crumbles.  Macerate them with sugar and lemon juice and mix with mascarpone and yoghurt and top with toasted fennel seeds for a quick dish.

Damsons are ideal in jams, jellies and chutneys because of their high pectin levels.  Also sauces made from damsons marry well with fatty meats such as duck or lamb.

Fresh Kentish cobnuts, a cultivated variety of hazelnut, have a deliciously milky taste and are wonderful on their own.

When toasted, try using them in pesto, or as a topping for salads made from beetroot or butternut squash. They are normally sold in their husk from farmers markets or greengrocers.

There is no better taste of autumn than the porcini or cep mushroom, with a meaty earthy flavour they have an affinity with egg and rice dishes.

Fry them for brunch in butter with shallots, add some chopped parsley and chopped deseeded tomatoes, served with toasted sourdough.

Recipes can be found at