Amendment: Initially I thought that the Fresh At The Festival initiative was a new thing, but I’ve been reliably informed that it has been running for a few years, apologies for any mis-reading. – CG 7th March
Exeter Food Festival attracts some of the regions best and brightest producers. On later today I am going to be announcing something exciting coupled with Exeter Food Festival, but in the meantime I’d like to introduce you to Privateer Jerky, proudly made in North Devon. They are one of the Fresh at the Festival champions for this year. I’ll be definitely paying their stand a visit throughout the festival 🙂
“Visitors to the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink can expect to find a wide array of regional goodies including another collection of ‘Fresh at the Festival’ exhibitors.
‘Fresh at the Festival’ champions those who’ve been in business fewer than 3 years. Exhibitors are offered discounted participation, training and free promotion; one of the initiatives of Exeter Food Festival to lend a hand to local start-ups.” – EFF newsletter
- How long have you been making jerky?
For a couple of years for myself, family and friends but when a couple of people asked me if they could pay me to make some I figured that I should start selling it. That was October 2015
- Where are you based?
Braunton North Devon. My wife and I surf so we wanted to be near the beach.
- What was your inspiration behind the product?
My wife is from Georgia in the Deep South. I’ve been going there for 20 years and sampling the fine roadtrip snacks. I loved jerky from the first bite and have been an addict for a while. The craft jerky movement in the US has really gained momentum just like craft beer did 10 years ago. Until recently you couldn’t get good jerky here – that’s why I first made my own.
As high-protein diets have gained in popularity so has demand for low-carb snacks made with quality products. The paleo movement also has had a big influence (I don’t follow it though – too many rules!)
- Who are the people behind your product?
My wife provides an incredible sounding board for ideas, flavours and marketing. The rest is me, from slicing the beef to sewing the labels onto the packs.
- Do you hail from the South west originally, if so where are you from?
No, but we’ve been coming here to surf for 11 years or so. Eventually last year we decided to upgrade from our caravan to an actual house. We’ve lived in London most recently but before that Houston in Texas and Atlanta. I’m originally from Newark-on-Trent.
- What are you hoping to get out of the festival?
I love meeting people and giving them samples of jerky, I hope to spend the festival converting non-believers and persuading jerky-fans that small producers make the best stuff.
- What new and different flavours are you hoping to promote at the festival?
I’ve been playing around with a couple of flavours recently. One marinated in a hot sauce called Sriracha is proving a big hit. I might also do a big batch of one that I call Powderkeg which features four different strengths of chillies from Dartmoor chilli farm. The test batch that I smoked made my eyes sweat!
- Do you have any flavour combination/recipe suggestions?
I love experimenting with different flavours but I don’t think that you can go very wrong when you have good quality meat that is smoked gently over nice wood. (Incidentally I use apple wood from my own back yard to smoke my jerky). Jerky is mostly eaten as a snack but I’ve used it on bruschetta alongside guacamole and tomatoes. Used as an addition to a Bloody Mary it is a phenomenal edible stirring stick or chopped finely it gives a savoury boost to soups or sauces and recently my neighbour at a market suggested trying jerky tea!
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