South St Standard is Opening in Exeter

Exeter’s new independent bar and kitchen, South Street Standard, is set to open its doors to the public on Friday 3rd November!

The South Street Standard is a modern and contemporary venue, with a menu to match. The kitchen will offer relaxed dining all day and into the evening, with brunch, lunch and Sunday roasts. Whilst visitors who just fancy some drinks can enjoy a fine selection of local beers, wines and spirits, as well as delicious cocktails in an upbeat and informal atmosphere.

On the globally inspired menu, you’ll find burgers, salads, sandwiches and epic sharing platters, alongside ‘Standards’ such as fish pie, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and BBQ ribs. All dishes use only the freshest, seasonal produce from local suppliers.

With two sites in Bristol and one in Cardiff, the new Exeter establishment will be the fourth opening for the proudly independent Standards. Directors Dom Wood and Tim Moore are excited and enthusiastic to be expanding further into the South West, and are thrilled to be a part of Exeter’s thriving food and drinks scene, particularly amongst the other brilliant independent businesses within the city.  The team have worked hard to transform the original site South Street site into a stripped back yet stylish place to visit, retaining original features that have been revealed in the refurbishment.

The location includes wonderful views across the Cathedral Green as well as a private function room which can be used for meetings and events or parties.

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Open seven days a week from 10am, The South Street Standard will offer a quality and inspired menu from the kitchen as well as an impressive drinks list, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Address: 3 South Street, Exeter, Devon EX1 1DZ
Twitter: @SouthStStandard
Instagram: @southststandard
Facebook: facebook.com/Southststandard/
Website: southststandard.co.uk/

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Devon Farm Launches Kids’ Bangers in Support of Farms for City Children

Eversfield Organic, a family run organic farm based on the outskirts of Dartmoor, has joined forces with children’s charity, Farms for City Children. The partnership aims to raise funds to enable more children from cities and disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK to experience a week of muck and magic on the charity’s working farm.

Farms for City Children was founded by children’s author, Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare in 1976 in Iddesleigh. The charity has expanded over the forty years and they now have farms in Pembrokeshire and Gloucestershire, as well as their original farm in Iddesleigh, Devon. The charity inspires over 3,200 children and 400 teachers from far and wide to get stuck in and enjoy all that the countryside has to offer them during their week-long stay —from sunshine and fresh air, right through to mud and manure. But it is in amongst the muck (come rain or shine) that the magic really happens.

Out of the normal classroom environment and away from the inner city life that is everyday normality for these children they are encouraged to try new things, broaden their horizons and overcome their fears. As a result of a hardworking and very fun week’s work, children discover new confidence and independence. As they work together, talk and value one another for what they can achieve, their self-esteem blossoms.

To celebrate the partnership, Eversfield Organic is launching a new range of children’s favourite bangers via their online shop, with 5% from each pack sold going directly to Farms for City Children. The organic pork sausages will be made from organic rare breed pigs, bred and reared outdoor on lush Devon pasture. These fun-size sausages can be cooked in just five minutes, the perfect ingredient to get kids cooking at home.

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Eversfield Organic itself is born of a new generation farmer, Mark Bury, who embarked on his organic dream in 2002 with his wife, Emily, his daughter, Anna and son, Hamish. Their farm is Soil Association Organic certified as well as certified by the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, meaning their cattle and lambs are fed 100% grass throughout their life, without finishing on grain. Mark believes caring for the land and animals is not only sustainable and conscientious, but also results in a better quality, healthier and tastier meat.

The organic Kids Favourite Bangers were launched on 4 October with a special sausage-making session at the charity’s Nethercott House in Devon. Having spent the morning with the charity’s Large Black pigs, feeding them and learning about the cuts of the meat, Eversfield’s team showed the children from Whetstone Field Primary School from Walsall the tricks of the trade in making their Kids’ Bangers, using all natural sausage casings and a 95% pork sausage mix – a much meatier sausage than most and gluten free. The children enjoyed making and twisting the sausages, making their own batch for lunch. The best question from the day was how many sausages the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk can eat! The children estimated it would be 20,000! The children tucked in to the sausages for lunch along with mash and gravy – delicious!

Many children visiting the farm have a very limited understanding of where their food comes from and often what the food even is. Research carried out by LEAF and the British Nutrition Foundation found that 1 in 4 children doesn’t know a chick is a baby chicken, 1 in 5 doesn’t know pork comes from pigs, and many think pasta comes from animals. Often with limited experience of fresh produce and little opportunity to explore open space beyond the city, their visit to Farms for City Children is an incredibly special and impactful experience for the children.

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“The most important thing I could do for my family was feed them good food, grown and reared naturally and for them to understand how it reached their plates. That’s what hooked me on the idea of getting into organic farming.

For Eversfield Organic to have the opportunity now to help children gain a practical and meaningful experience of grass-roots farming is wonderful. We love that Farms for City Children gives kids the chance to enjoy our county’s beauty and get stuck in with animals, food and farm life. And if sausages aren’t the way to everyone’s heart, then I don’t know what is!”

Eversfield Organic’s Kids Favourite Bangers are available to buy from www.eversfieldorganic.co.uk from 4th October and cost £4.99 for 340g/10 sausages.

Katie Wade, Fundraiser at Farms for City Children, said, “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Eversfield Organic. Sharing the same values and enabling more children to experience a week of muck and magic is important to both of us – and spreading the word through Kids Favourite Bangers is certainly an innovative way to do this!”

 

Competition! Win a £50 Gift Voucher to spend at a Princesshay eatery of your choice!

Exeter is full of excellent eateries and many of them are located in Princesshay.  We recently experienced some lovely food at Giraffe World Kitchen, Byron Burger and Cafe Rouge.

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We’ve teamed up with the guys at Princesshay to bring you a £50 Gift Card that can be used at any of the wonderful food places that Princesshay has to offer.  Simply head to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag/mention a friend who you’d splash out on! And don’t forget to follow us too!

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Entries will be taken from those who tag a friend – those entries will be picked at random and announced on the 30th October.  Closing date for entries will be midnight 29th October!

 

Good Game is expanding their horizons

Award-winning charcuterie company, Good Game, has been awarded £40k of EU funding, matched by a further £40k investment of their own as part of a growth strategy.

To support the company’s ambition to increase production by 300%, the Topsham based
manufacturer has completed its custom-built premises at Darts Business Park.

View More: http://melissalove.pass.us/goodgame

Compared to their previous warehouse in Clyst Vale, the new spacious location will allow Good Game to hang meat, develop new products, package products and create additional office space.

Best known for producing naturally dried game and cured meats made from hand-reared pigs on the Powderham Estate and neighbouring farms, Good Game are on a mission to champion the best tasting charcuterie in the world. Just like artisanal Italian charcuterie,

Good Game make everything they produce by hand, using only salt and natural air. Whilst this process takes significantly longer than commercial products, owners Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay believe the traditional approach is best. They have also recently secured an organic certification meaning they are one of the only organic and nitrate free producers in the world.

Steve says, “Since we set-up Good Game four years ago, we set out to create a product that is truly original; traditional techniques using local meat and flavours. We want to support the west country, so we work with the best suppliers on our doorstep. We’re thrilled excited to now have the latest phase of expansion up and running.”

The announcement comes as they unveiled seven new products to their portfolio; rabbit salami, chilli chorizo, nduja (spreadable spicy salami), organic pastrami and salt beef, face bacon, mortadella and frankfurters, injecting further excitement into the UK charcuterie sector.

There has been a cured meat revolution in recent years, with more than 200 British manufacturers in 2017 compared with only 19 in 2010. Pete says, “The weak pound means that the cost of imported charcuterie has risen by approximately 10%, so it’s no wonder we have seen an increase of British artisanal producers. It’s great for our food chain, as charcuterie production uses up every single part of the animal so nothing is wasted; and it’s great for consumers as there’s far more choice available.”

Good Game currently sell their products to pubs, restaurants, retailers, at their Topsham-based barbecue restaurant, The Pig and Pallet, and online at www.good-game.co.uk.

Photos courtesy of Good Game/Go Wild 

Paschoe House by Lauren Heath

There’s a new kid in town, well west of the city, and it’s called Paschoe House.

Having been a family home for the Amadors since 2000, daughter Tabitha decided the buildings future was as a hotel and wedding venue and, along with her father, has worked very hard for around 5 years to get it to where it is today with a bigger push over the last year. We recently shared their news of the appointment of Alex Gibbs as their head chef.

I visited in September to try their foodie offering on behalf of Crumbs Magazine (write up due out early October), for whom I am a guest writer.  The hotel had only been open a couple of weeks so I was open minded as to how the evening would go and what level of finish and service there would be. It was also my birthday so I felt very lucky with the timing!

With autumn fully on its way, the sun had already set by the time we arrived for our dinner but the warm glow exuding from the building gave me a good feeling inside of what was to come.

The open entrance hall with soft pink tones and beautiful grey geometric tiled floor caught my eye instantly along with the obvious connection to this Grade II  listed buildings heritage as well as the current outdoor pursuits on offer, thanks to the taxidermy animal heads dotted about.

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The ostrich on the wall in the gorgeous duck egg blue lounge bar is something to behold – ostriches are a firm memory of my South African childhood (my brother even raced on one once as a child) – and I was both taken a back and fascinated by this specimen coming out of the wall.  I guess it’s a bit like art – there to create conversation and a different interpretation for everyone.  In the end I grew quite used to him whilst we enjoyed our drinks and delightful trio of pre-dinner canapes in this comfortable and suave space, his black and white plumage proudly showing off.

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This may not be to everyone’s taste but I can assure you the dining room is animal free. The dining room itself is of a much more masculine stature; rich dark turquoise wallpaper with silver geometric design that bounces the light gently, matching suede chairs, original fireplace, understated chandeliers and crisp white linens bringing it together.

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Connected to the lounge bar was a sitting area with original fireplace, walls adorned in butterfly wallpaper with a fabulous purple settees. Certainly a room that would cheer you up on even the greyest damp winter day whilst cosying up to the fire with a good book and a drink. Saying that, with the outdoor activities on offer here, you could don your mac and head out instead and embrace it – it is amongst 25 acres of land after all, on the edge of the Two Moors Way footpath.

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A broad staircase crowned with antler chandelier leads you to 9 beautiful bedrooms, all with a different personality; it’s all about style and comfort for the staying guests but they are also geared up for weddings, boasting a lovely conservatory room for such event and plenty of lawns and acreage for exploration and photo opportunities. The venue is open to non-residents too of course, for lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea as a reward, for a special occasion, general good behaviour or to relax after a long walk.

Anywho – let’s get on to the good stuff – the food!

Evening menu choices include a three course a la carte menu for £50 with six choices for each course, or you could opt for the no holds barred six course taster menu for £65 where you can technically have twice the food (2 x 3 = 6 see what I’m saying?), maths aside, you don’t have to miss out and you can have a bit of everything.

We dived into starters of salmon mi-cuit with beetroot, horseradish, lemon and mustard  and Devon scallops with pea, bacon, black pudding and shallot; both fishy friends were cooked perfectly, surrounded by flavours that respected yet enhanced every mouthful, and I declare that I have found the best black pudding I’ve tried so far, thanks to local supplier Pipers Farm.

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Spiced Creedy Carver duck breast with heritage carrot, confit leg and duck sauce as well as lightly salted hake, clam, broad bean, sweet pea and beurre blanc were next in line. A plump duck breast and a crunchy bon bon were happily living side by side – until I devoured them with gusto. The hake was a delicate yet meaty dish that was respected by not being over complicated and was cooked beautifully.

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Pudding was described in four words – milk chocolate, banana and hazelnut; I was intrigued! A generous pudding of unctuous milk chocolate cream, with added textures of a mille feuille type pastry layers and sticky bananas – it was sooo good.

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I was then delighted by a little birthday treat of petit fours and birthday wishes – the macarons were delicately crispy , flavoursome and as light as air!

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I had a quick chat with Alex, who was happy to have some of his previous brigade with him, front and back of house, and it showed – service was excellent, relaxed yet professional and they really were a knowledgeable and smooth team for such a new opening. In this demanding industry, experience and good leadership really does show.

Sadly we couldn’t stay that evening, but it’s on my list for a child free night! Being only 20 minutes west of Exeter, you can find this new country house hotel retreat waiting to embrace you – and I urge you to let it.

Paschoe House, Bow, Crediton, EX17 6JT

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South West Chef of the Year announces 2017 finalists

This year’s South West Chef of the Year competition continues to pick up the pace with the announcement of its 2017 finalists following closely-contested semi-finals on Saturday. Now in its 14th year, South West Chef of the Year champions the very best of the region’s professional chefs and junior and home cooks as well as its exceptional produce for which the peninsular has gained a worldwide reputation.

Places in the competition are much coveted with chefs and culinary enthusiasts from 11 years up entering for their chance to cook for the panel of highly regarded regional chefs including Michael Caines MBE of luxury country house hotel Lympstone Manor.

Of the level of skill displayed during the competition, Michael said: “South West Chef of the Year is hotly contested and I and my fellow judges are always impressed with the skill and flair demonstrated by those who enter. The competition aims to be nurturing and supportive whilst challenging chefs to grow and learn from each round. I can’t wait for the finals and to taste what I know will be some fantastic food from the South West’s next generation of culinary talent.”

Michael is joined by other award winning chefs, Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park winner of 5 AA Rosettes and  Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare to mention but a few. The competition is renowned for its aim to champion professional cooking as a rewarding and exciting career choice as well as the skill of home cooks in the region.

Finalists in the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories will now go through to their grand final on Wednesday 25th October at Exeter College while Junior and Home Cooks will battle it out at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October.

The competition culminates with a glittering awards presentation evening and a sumptuous dinner held at Exeter Golf and Country Club on Wednesday 25th October. Tickets to this event are available to all. Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by three highly acclaimed and award winning chefs: Michael Caines MBE; Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at The Masons Arms, Knowstone who won South West Chef of the Year 2016 and James Mason, Head Chef at Kentisbury Grange and winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015. The evening will start with a drinks reception with canapés followed by a three-course meal with wines for each course. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the winners of South West Chef of the Year 2017. Tickets can be purchased online at just £85 each.

SW Chef of the Year competition 2017_Claire Andrew

This year’s finalists:

Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Ritter Courivaud

  • Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • James Checkley, Sous Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Robert Cox, Head Chef, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  • David Mann, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Young Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

  • Claire Andrew, Commis Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Harrison Brockington, Chef de Partie, Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay, Devon
  • Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Paul Wearing, Senior Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Student/Apprentice Chef Category

Sponsored by Nisbets

  • John Brimicombe, Exeter College and Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Katie Endicott, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, Cornwall
  • Ford Thanyapat Khwanyuen, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall
  • Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton, Devon

Home Cook Category Finalists

Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

  • Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset
  • Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon
  • Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon (Devon Life Home Cook 2016)
  • Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
  • Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon

Junior Chef Category Finalists

  • Cornwall

Anna West, Penair School, Truro

Anna will be mentored by Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

  • Devon

Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot

Samantha will be mentored by Mark Dodson at The Masons Arms, Knowstone

  • Dorset

Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls

Emily will be mentored by Brett Sutton at The White Post, Rimpton

  • Gloucestershire

Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury

Amber will be mentored by Gus Ashenford at Restaurant 5 North Street, Winchcombe

  • Somerset

Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton

Munopa will be mentored by Liam Finnegan at The Castle Hotel, Taunton

  • Wiltshire

Vikki Pearcey Thorn, Lavington School, Market Lavington

Vikki will be mentored by Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

Dates

  • Junior and Home Cook categories finals: Saturday 14th October
  • Professional and Student categories finals: Wednesday 25th October
  • Awards Presentation Evening: Wednesday 25th October

Bumper Honey Harvest for Princesshay

Heatwave Quadruples Princesshay Honey Harvest

The exceptionally hot weather in June has resulted in Princesshay’s bees producing a bumper batch of honey. The beekeepers at Princesshay are expecting 400lbs of honey, 4 times more than in previous years, which will be sold exclusively at Chandos Deli in Princesshay in aid of Children’s Hospice South West.

Princesshay Beekeeper Jason Wallis, said: “This is our fourth honey harvest and it is set to be easily the biggest yet thanks to the exceptionally warm weather during the early part of the summer. The honey will be collected at the end of August, ready for sale in Chandos Deli at the start of September.”

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Bee hives and flower beds on the roof of Princesshay in Exeter. © Photograph – Richard Austin Tel: 07831-566005

Princesshay’s City Bee project began in 2012, when a tranquil rooftop garden was created for honey bees high above the shopping centre as part of an environmental initiative which forms part of the company’s wider biodiversity strategy. Princesshay regularly encourages visitors to visit the project and get an insight into the busy world of bees.

To date, the city bee project has been visited by over 1000 school children, students and members of the public. Now entering its 5th year, Princesshay’s city bee project continues to grow, with the project now housing 5 hives with approximately 300,000 bees.

The bumper crop of honey comes just as Princesshay celebrates its 10th birthday this September with a series of events including an aerial art installation and a giant birthday cake being cut on 20th September.

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Bee hives and flower beds on the roof of Princesshay in Exeter. © Photograph – Richard Austin Tel: 07831-566005

Burger Heaven at Meat59 – by Lauren Heath

“Another burger restaurant?? We already have plenty in the city” was the main reaction I noticed on social media when Meat59’s opening was announced.  I too, thought very similar, even wondering why they chose Magdalen Road as their home.

Those who know Meat59 by their reputation at their Torquay branch rejoiced, a foodie contact of mine who had been a few times gave rave reviews… so I thought, maybe they’re different. Owned by Jenna and her brother-in-law Vince, she looks after front of house and he is the master of the kitchen. The interior is all done by themselves and family members, which gives it a nice feeling of individuality, and the name comes from the door number of the Torquay site.

Their ethos on the website states: ‘We source as much local produce as possible from within the Devon and surrounding areas. We hand mix our meat, hand press our patties, breadcrumb our chicken, pull our pork and make our veggie patties from scratch, all this along with craft beer, local ciders and music to boot.’

We were kindly invited to try it out for ourselves in August whilst we were on our summer holiday break. We ventured out to this potentially burgerlicious venue on a Friday, early evening as a family of 3, with rumbling tummies post swimming session. From the road, it’s deceptively tiny – what looked like one table and a bar , in fact leads up to a mezzanine level then through to another room at the rear which has the light and space of a small conservatory/Sun room.  Each area having a slightly different feel, our table in the rear room was floored with dark wood, cheered up by plants and plenty of natural light.

The menu is just the right size; enough range to choose from but not so much that it inevitably makes the kitchen cheat by using frozen food. This is a fresh menu.

No messing about with starters – chicken wings it is! Feeling dubious about what might arrive, as even chicken wings can be done badly – we were delighted to tuck in to tender, soft meat falling off the bone covered in the tastiest spicy, slightly bbq, sauce. Even hubby who isn’t a fan of chicken on the bone was gnawing like a caveman.

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For mains I chose the Truffle Shuffle burger – a 6oz hamburger patty served with wild mushrooms, wilted spinach, caramelised red onion and truffle mayo. Hubby chose the Raging Bull –  6oz hamburger patty, roasted jalapeño cream cheese, extra hot Mexican style chilli cheddar (made in Somerset), piquant peppers, fresh jalapeños, rocket and chipotle mayo – which he doubled up on and our son had the cheeseburger from the kids menu.

Juicy, meaty, slightly pink (as they should be due to the excellent quality mince meat) burgers in delicious buns, slathered in toppings. The burgers don’t come with chips, which might annoy some but the burgers are rather filling on their own actually.  A couple of very interesting and tasty sounding vegetarian burgers are also available.

We did opt for a bowl each of dirty and filthy fries though…and boy were they naughty! Definitely sizeable to share or even have as a meal on their own; fantastic crunchy yet fluffy skin on chips slathered in, well… filthy, dirty, hangover-curing noise-inducing toppings! Fantastic meaty chilli con carne topped with sexy melted cheese and fresh jalapeno slices or soft and sultry tender pulled pork in a delightful bbq sauce also bedded with plenty of melted cheese. No morsel was left unturned, crispy cheese picked off the tin bowl edges just about leaving the bowl’s coating unharmed.

After all this we somehow managed to share a pud of unctuous double chocolate brownie. Delightful crunchy outer, gooey middle, two tone chocolate that somehow was not sickly but a perfect slightly sweet ending.

A really great meal out which genuinely got double thumbs up from all three of us; easy going dining with excellent down to earth food. I recommend you head to Meat59, and find your burger heaven. I give them meat100!

Meat59, 29 Magdalen Road, Exeter, EX2 4TA

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10 Questions with John Burton Race – by Lauren Heath

John Burton Race is well known for being a passionate chef with a reputation that precedes him.

Having worked under chef Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, back in the 80’s, and gaining his first Michelin star whilst heading up the restaurant and kitchen, he has since moved to France and back, had books published, worked in television and owned and run his own restaurant ventures. In 2016 he co-founded a private catering venture, Two Grumpy Chefs, with Totnes based chef Chris Shervill.

With one of his previous restaurant ventures being in Dartmouth, he previously lived in Devon from 2004 to 2010 and he has now returned to enjoy the quiet that Devon’s countryside has to offer whilst enjoying an exciting and busy role with Richardson Hotel Group.

At the end of 2016, it was announced that he would be heading up the kitchen and restaurant at the newly refurbished The Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay – also with a reputation that precedes it, the hotel with a haphazard owner was the star of a Channel 4 television show, called The Hotel. A match made in heaven you may say.

At the end of the day, chefs work incredibly long hours in a job they do more for love than money, otherwise they wouldn’t do it – so passion and drive is what’s needed and can often be mistaken for a difficult personality (I too, am married to a chef, and I know how passionate they can be). Either way, whatever drives John – it works.

We thoroughly enjoyed his incredible food and delightful service at the refurbished Grosvenor earlier this year, which you can read here.

In between John Burton-Race wrestling with lobsters, and dishing out divine Michelin level food, he was kind enough to answer 10 questions for us:

1 – In your spare time (probably rare, we realise) what do you like to do to relax?

Fishing, walking, riding and shooting.

2 – With nearly a decade since your last cookbook, any plans for another on the horizon?

Yes, I’d love to write a new cook book and base it on my dishes at the Grosvenor.

3 – The Grosvenor was the venue for Channel 4’s infamous show ‘The Hotel’ with the funny but hap-hazard Mark Jenkins; did you ever watch it and, if so, is it strange being there?

No, I never watched the show nor have I met Mark Jenkins. However, I am aware that it used to have somewhat of a reputation, this however has already changed.

4 – As seen on the telly, the hotel has great potential with the event room, large restaurant, bar area and swimming pool. Are you looking forward to the variety of menus you can offer?

Yes, absolutely and new menus for all occasions are in place.

5 – I love a well laid out kitchen, and some mighty stainless steel.  With a complete redesign of the kitchen, what is your favourite piece or gadget or is there something you’ve had put in that you’ve always wanted?

I have lots of gadgets but my favourite has to be my water baths and my Paco-Jet.

JBR (27 of 53)

6 – Is there a seasonal favourite, old favourite or signature dish that you hope to put on the menu?

All of my dishes are my favourite dishes, however, I am a self-confessed chocoholic, therefore something chocolate will be at the top of my list.

7 – My husband and I enjoyed being guests on Market Kitchen in 2009 when you were cooking a brown shrimp dish with Tom Parker Bowles; do you miss doing television or is it too tiring in comparison to the adrenaline of the kitchen?

I love doing television and hopefully will do some more in the future. It’s a different type of pressure, but I love it.

8 – We shared your news about the hunt for some talent for your kitchen team, how’s that going?

The Hunt is going really well, in fact there are only two positions that I need to fill now.

9 – Once you have a great team in place, are you still hoping to fit in your private catering Two Grumpy Chefs occasionally?

Occasionally. Possibly.

10 – It must be refreshing that Richardson Hotels Group is privately owned, with just a few well picked establishments here in Devon and Cornwall.  How did the opportunity come about?

Mr Richardson found me. And what a treasure he found! (I think he was contacted by my agent, Sue Hesketh)

Thanks to John for his time and answers; we highly recommend you hot foot it down to Torquay and sample his tasty offerings!

*Photos courtesy of Richardson Hotel Group.

 

Exmouth’s Brand-New Food Festival Launches This Weekend

Foodies rejoice; there’s a brand-new food festival coming to Exmouth on Saturday 16 September from 10am until 11.00pm. With live music from Barefoot Bandit, street food stalls and an evening mussel banquet, it’s shaping up to be a delicious day out.

An array of artisanal producers from across the region will be coming to the stunning Manor Gardens in the heart of Exmouth for the event. Together, they will showcase a range of mouth-watering products from traditional cheeses, meats, preserves and ales to modern twists on gins, charcuterie, ice-cream, coffee and much more.

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There will be a licensed bar from Powderkeg Brewery, food-themed interactive workshops and activities including a Beat the Heat chilli eating competition. A family day out wouldn’t be complete without a bouncy castle and face painter for the kids.

The festival will also include The Great Mussel Hustle – a sit down mussel banquet at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15, which will include a glass of wine.

The vibrant event is a collaboration between owner of award-winning local café Bumble and Bee, Debra Quine and Pop-up Events.

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Debra says, ‘We’re so excited to host Exmouth’s Food Festival here in the beautiful setting of Manor Gardens. Enjoying live music while feasting with family and friends is a winning formula – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday!’

Local food heroes include Exmouth’s own brewery Crossed Anchors, Pebblebed, Quicks Gin distilled in Exmouth, Little Pod, Exmouth Mussels, Fish on the Quay, Eat the Smoke, Devon Chilli Farm and Ottervale Chutneys.

Entry fee is £1, which will be donated to Hospicecare. Tickets will be available on the gate at Manor Gardens, near Exmouth sea front.

To book a place at The Great Mussel Hustle, please call Bumble and Bee on 07791229741. For more information about the day and to keep up with the latest news, visit Exmouth Food Festival event on Facebook.

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The Seven Stars at Kennford by Chris Gower

It is strange how life completely overruns everything sometimes!  After a promotion at work, I hadn’t realised how much brain space it would take up, so apologies to our regular readers for a lack of activity on the blog in recent weeks.  But to break the silence, here is my write-up of the stonking meal we had at the Seven Stars in Kennford a few weeks ago after being invited down by Mike Welsh.

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It was an amazing meal and I say it from the bottom of my heart that this was one of those meals that twanged a string somewhere at the part of my existence that is purely fuelled by food.

I love pubs.  All pubs. Big ones, small ones, posh ones and scruffy ones.  The role of the pub within a small community is amplified by support for its existence by the locals. They are the ones that make or break a pub’s existence, and when you get a really good pub helmed by a team with passion and skill, you get a pub like the Seven Stars in Kennford.

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Before the motorway came through, this pub sat on one of the principal routes heading to Torquay and beyond.  The tiny village of Kennford rests in the shadow of Haldon Hill; just up the road is the excellent Bickham Farm which is the home of Rod & Ben’s and the lovely Bickham Barn where all sorts of amazing Pop-up events take place.  But that is another story!

I will admit now, I drove to Kenton.

After my brain failed spectacularly at this working out the difference between the two villages, I cracked out the Sat Nav and in a matter of minutes we were pulling up outside The Seven Stars; an unassuming looking pub with on-street parking and smack bang in the middle of this cosy little village that many motorists pass worrying about getting enough speed to make it up Haldon Hill.

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A beautiful mishmash of furniture, a fire stocked to the guns with wood ready for burning as the colder months set in, a wooden floor and an elaborate collection of stuff to admire presented themselves as we walked in.

There were no silent stares, just a welcoming feeling.  And pints of local ale including the eponymous yet much loved Dartmoor Brewery’s, Jail Ale.  I return to our seat with pints in hand, and a small part of me was metaphorically snuggling up in a duvet – this place has a good energy.

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The menu is straight forward and well thought out.  There is the main menu and a Sunday variation (under Food and Takeaway Pizzas) which takes into account that on Sundays, punters want Roasted Meats.  But not all want a roast, so there are a few other options as well which is refreshing, given the insistence that some pubs have that on Sunday the ONLY thing you can have is roast.  The Sunday option and the main options are both reasonably priced and competitive compared to other pubs locally that offer food.

For our starter I went for the one thing that had the word ‘spiced’ in the title Spiced Pulled Pork Fritters, Maple Dressing and Crackling £6.50 and Tori opted for Garlic Mushrooms on Toast with Dressed Leaves £6.00

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My starter as utterly gorgeous.  A perfect fritter surrounding a moist collection of pulled pork topped with a home made pork scratching.  After the meal, Mike explained how the scratching is made, and once you realise how much work it takes, this dainty addition to the meal takes on a whole new context!

The Maple Dressing is the perfect dipping sauce for both elements of the starter.  Its sweetness with the complex smokiness of the pork harmonised together perfectly. Can you tell I liked it?

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Tori’s morsels of mushroomy goodness went down very well on her side of the table. The toast and the garlic mushrooms contrasted well together with the Forest Funghi wild mushrooms to create a really tasty starter.

Our mains were an agonising choice as it sounded all so appealing.  I went for Chicken, Forest Fungi Mushrooms & Devon Blue Cheese; Seasonal Vegetables, Garlic & Thyme Potatoes (£13.50) and Tori eventually went for her favourite 8oz Rump Steak, Tomato, Mushrooms, Onion Rings, Hand Cut Chips & Salad* £16.75  with added Peppercorn sauce.

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Perfectly cooked veg, a good helping of gravy and a lovely moist chicken breast really topped this dish off for me.  After the large and delightful starter, this was a nicely portioned light chicken dish that played to the strengths of the Forest Funghi mushrooms and the seasoned vegetables.  Add the gravy too which turned it into a lovely combination.

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This was a really delightful steak and from Tori’s side of the table there was much comments about how well cooked it was and the great taste of the meat.  The perfectly cooked steak had an amazing taste which was tender and lovely.

Both of us were full and incredibly satisfied so we only shared a dessert.  I let Tori choose it and inevitably it was going to be the choice that mostly consisted of chocolate.

Chocolate Brownie & Pistachio Ice Cream (£6.00) was inevitable. It was going to happen, and I was really glad it did happen!

Where possible ingredients are bought locally with fewer miles on the clock, this is reflected in the taste and quality of the ingredients.

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The brownie was spectacular with home-made pistachio ice cream, this was a simple yet divine dessert.  We battled the last piece of brownie around the plate like ice hockey players seconds before the final buzzer of the game.  I was gracious in defeat but I let her have the last piece… honestly?

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Behind the unassuming exterior of this village pub lives a vision and skill that is almost deceptive.  Although Mike isn’t always in the pub – in fact he is the main cog in a very successful catering business which himself and his wife Leanne take great pride in providing fine food to weddings and other big events like Chagstock for instance – the food is representative of the eye for detail and flavour that was representative of our meal at the Seven Stars.

I thoroughly recommend coming out to The Seven Stars and giving it a spin.  It was homely and welcoming, and it has no pretenses above a great village pub serving exquisite food.

They even have a pool table.  I’m not actually that bad at pool, so I thought…

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Seafood Delights at Salcombe Harbour Hotel – by Lauren Heath

Salcombe – a glorious South Devon waterside town, full of ambitious and successful businesses from Salcombe Gin and Salcombe Dairy to Favis of Salcombe and Jack Wills – it has become a name synonymous with quality.

On this basis, it’s no wonder the Harbour Hotels Group snapped up this top of the estuary, hillside-set property. The Salcombe Harbour Hotel, a 50 bedroom building, was extended with a spa and the Jetty Restaurant back in 2013, maximising the available space, glorious estuary views and thus increasing the overall offering to clientele visiting from near and afar.

We were delighted to have been invited to try the Jetty Restaurant; headed up by Chef Alex Aitken and Head Chef Jay Gulliford, the website informs us they are proud to be ‘Serving local and seasonal dishes, with fish landed daily and a local larder of delicious seasonal produce on its doorstep, The Jetty offers an exceptional Salcombe dining experience. Our Chefs combines expert knowledge with a passion for local ingredients, to create outstanding seasonal food.’

After making a day of it, venturing down the South Hams on a mini food tour and enjoying late-afternoon wave jumping at North Sands, we were ready for dinner!

We were a little early so took advantage of the al-fresco seating and ordered some drinks whilst we perused the extensive menu. We did have to wait a little while to have our drinks order taken, but thankfully the view kept us occupied.

There are a few sections seating, some on the balcony directly in front of the restaurant and then some top sections, with even more of a view and glass balustrades high enough to not block said view, but instead reduce any breezes or chills.

Once we settled into the restaurant, we took stock of the light and smart yet warm, casual feeling to the bar and restaurant area, with estuary views out to the front – a large flowing space with earthy seaside tones, plump seating and clean, crisp whitewash ceilings to give an even more spacious feel.

The venue is a mix of high rollers, families and couples all with their own style – smart, casual or even beach ready, which gives this a nice feel of comfortable elegance.

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Whilst we viewed the extensive menu and specials, we opted for the ‘While You Choose’ pre-starters of Deep Fried Tempura Oysters served with fine diced shallot & vinegar, Cockle Popcorn served with sweet chilli sauce and Seafood Jetty Bites. We were very pleasantly suprised at the beautiful presentation and taste of everything. Light batter, fresh zingy dips, and the whitebait was clearly breadcrumbed in house – a great start (p.s. if you’re a bit unsure of oysters, I highly recommend having them battered, it’s my new favourite thing!)

Starter options included a varied selection of vegetarian, meat and fish – we opted for Scallops, Apple and Bacon as well as Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid. The scallops were as I would expect, but that’s the beauty of a classic combination like this – smokey bacon, sweet juicy scallops with a bit of added sweetness and crunch offered by its foodie bedfellows. The salt and pepper squid was completely different from what we imagined arriving, but not negatively so; squid cooked just right on a bed of salad leaves, pea shoots and peppers for a bit of crunch with a lovely complimenting dressing bringing it all together.

Choosing from mains would have been incredibly hard, save for the fact I told myself if there was lobster thermidor on the specials, that it would be the one – and it was! An all time luxurious favourite (and rare treat) of mine, it did not dissapoint.

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Hubby ordered Jetty on a Plate – South coast fish and shellfish with fennel, tomato, herbs & beurre blanc; a delicious array of fish and shellfish, with spring greens and a light butter sauce – he doesn’t believe in messing about with fish too much and this was very much to his taste.

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Other main courses include Duck and Squid, Ruby Red Beef, Monkfish and so on…all sounding tantalisingly individual making it hard for the diner to choose but all certainly a bit different from other restaurant fair. (making this ‘what do I choose’ scenario not a bad middle class problem quite frankly) – so choose wisely or maybe sneakily convince your dining partner to have something you also like the look of and steal from their plate, or share amicably – best of both worlds!

Desserts of  Dark Chocolate Fondant with Salcombe Dairy salted caramel ice cream and Crunchy Peanut Butter Parfait with roasted nut crumb, rich Belgium chocolate were our final victims for the evening. Good puddings, although I found the parfait plate a little too much of the same texture, still tasty nonetheless, and the fondant was possibly 60 seconds past perfection – but technically, this is a hard one to hit on the nose.

Overall, the food was delicious, well presented and of good portions sizes, but sadly the service was a little hit and miss in our section. I noticed nearby servers giving a wonderful personal approach to their tables and feel that this is what the venue is striving for overall and perhaps we were just a tad unlucky that evening. For the price point and venue though, I would expect this to be a slicker affair, and perhaps they could tighten this up a little.  We enjoyed a very relaxed evening, nonetheless, before sailing away into the night (not on a boat sadly, just driving home).

Co-editor Chris recently visited for Afternoon Tea, which can be found here if you’d like to see what else is on offer.

Salcombe Harbour Hotel, Cliff Road, Salcombe, South Devon, TQ8 8JH;

01548 844 444 salcombe@harbourhotels.co.uk

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Beer and Burger Bonanza at The Bridge Inn, Topsham – by Lauren Heath

The road between Clyst St George and Topsham holds many talented local businesses – Naturalmat, Sapphire Spaces, Amos Lighting and now even the operations for Good Game. Two more of these is the successful Darts Farm and the unique and historic The Bridge Inn pub.

On the back of some playground chat whilst dropping the kids off at school, the business minded ladies at both The Butchers at Darts and The Bridge Inn decided they should do a joint event, especially considering they are so close together. The Bridge Inn already holds ticket-only USA banjo infused music evenings and occasional evenings with Darts Farm providing the fish and chips for customers within their beautiful long brewhouse.

So on a lovely weekday summer’s eve in July, we ventured down to our favourite local pub for The Butchers at Darts Farm and The Bridge inn’s Burger and Beer evening.

It was a community feeling affair; it’s an incredible space filled with treasure, trinkets and furniture and all customers sitting together with friends as well as strangers (you know the saying – ‘arrive as strangers, leave as friends’), all chatting and wondering of the foodie delights ahead.

Caroline, the current owner, told us a bit about the history of this beautiful end of their pink pub. Their history page states:

It is thought there was a dwelling on this site as early as 1086, in the time of the Domesday Book. The stonemasons responsible for the construction of Exeter Cathedral may have lodged here.

The present building you see is substantially 16th Century, but the actual date of the different parts varies considerably. Unlike today, much building in the past was piecemeal, with new rooms added as necessary. Most of the fabric is local stone, but the old brewhouse at the rear is traditional Devon cob. This has the remains of the hop drying floor, and is adjacent to a large brewing chimney.

Great-grandfather was William John Gibbings from Clyst St. George. He moved into the Inn in 1897, and our family has been there ever since. The current licensee is Caroline Cheffers-Heard, his Great Grand-daughter. She is the fourth generation, her daughter Riannon will be the fifth, and Amelia, born in April 2008, will be the sixth generation.

Outside The Butchers at Darts were cooking up a storm on the Big Green Egg, with burgers galore; thankfully the weather was kind, gifting us a glorious Thursday evening.

Beers and burgers were paired up, with Caroline explaining each pairing as we went along and Alastair telling us about the meat and their flavours. We were served sizeable ‘mini’ burgers with generous servings of local ales:

  • Pork burger with Clyst St Mary’s very own Powderkeg Speakeasy
  • Duck burger with Jollyboat’s Thunder
  • Lamb burger with Branscombe Vale’s Summa That

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The big finale was a steak burger with Exmoor’s Beast. This mouthful was served with delightfully fresh salads, and we ventured outside at this point to sit on a bench and enjoy the end of the evening al-fresco.

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The burgers were absolutely delicious, juicy and flavoursome and of course the meat is all locally reared or sourced and expertly prepared by the Butchers at Darts.

The business is family run and based within Darts Farm; brothers Philip and Alastair are Master Butchers, which is not a common title and it means they can choose the right animal by feeling and handling it live on the farm – they even judge competitions. ‘Their knowledge and expertise of breeding, rearing, sourcing, maturing and butchering the best livestock enables us to provide you with the highest quality meat which you can trust.’ Becky, wife to Alastair, takes care of marketing side of the business and was delighted to be able to organise this event and there are plans for more so keep an eye out!

Here’s a peek inside the pub; there are two rooms indoors and both well behaved dogs and children are welcome, but noisy mobile phones are not. Don’t come here if you’re expecting lagers – this pub serves some wines and spirits but are very well known and loved for their fantastic local ales straight from the barrel with an ever changing beer menu being updated on their Facebook page each week. Food-wise they simply serve Chunk’s pasties or ploughmans with local cheese or meats.

If the weather is beautiful enough, you can be served out of the hatch (pictured top left) and sit on the benches enjoying the view!

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So keep an eye out for more joint ventures with these two brilliant examples of what makes local businesses special. If you can’t wait for an event, pop to the pub for a pint and make sure you drop in at the butchers for your burgers to cook at home!

Recipe: Baked Kenniford Farm Cranberry and Rosemary Sausages with Piri Piri and Thyme

This delicious recipe uses Kenniford Farm’s Taste of the West Gold Award winning sausages and is packed full of flavour – great for enjoying in the garden in the sunshine or for a warming supper in the cooler weather. Recipe from Love Pork – http://www.lovepork.co.uk

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Cooking Skill: Easy

Serves: 4 People

 

Ingredients

450g (1lb) Gold Taste of the West Award Kenniford Cranberry and Rosemary pork sausages

3 large sprigs fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, peeled

Seasoning

15ml (1tbsp) olive oil

45ml (3tbsp) sweet chilli sauce

1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into large pieces

½ lemon, cut into wedges

2 large sprigs, vine on, cherry tomatoes

 

Method

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC.

  1. Place sausages into a small baking pan or tin.
  2. Mix together in a bowl or jug the thyme, garlic, seasoning, oil and chilli sauce. Pour over the sausages and roll them to coat. Add the red chilli and lemon, squeezing and leaving wedges in the pan.
  3. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes, then add tomato sprigs and cook for a further 5 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Serve with mini roasted new potatoes tossed in thyme and drizzled with piri piri juices.
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Photo Copyright of Love Pork

Visit Kenniford Farm:

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Caribbean Food Week Street Party Spread – by Lauren Heath

Here at EEDD HQ, as well as local food and restaurants, we like to experiment at home with both recipe books, free-for-all cooking as well as national food initiatives including the Ultimate Crisp Sandwich with a national crisp company and trying out new recipes with British leeks.

I recently got the opportunity to sign up to Caribbean Food Week (celebrated 21st to 28th August), thanks to Grace Foods, and thought – why not! Something different to try at home; I already know of some of their products from the world food aisles in supermarkets, and as we are fairly adventurous at home, thought this would be great.

So my lovely parcel turned up, filled with plenty of goodies to try as well as a token hat, flower garland and funky straws – filling me with the caribbean spirit.

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‘Caribbean Food Week was launched in 2012 by Grace Foods UK; the week presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean, whether it’s jerk chicken, curried goat, or a delicious Caribbean cocktail!’

Having looked at what we’d received, our menu on the eve of Caribbean Food Week was as follows:

  • Hot & Spicy Jerk Chicken – using the jerk chicken fry mix, we coated our drumsticks and thighs, and cooked them on our ProQ smoker BBQ. The skin was incredibly crispy with a lovely heat (This can, of course, be cooked in the oven or the fryer for maximum crispness). I just love crispy chicken and it keeps the meat moist.
  • Caribbean Spiced Cauliflower Dumplings – local farm shop purple and white cauliflowers (marinated in Jamaican Hot Curry Powder) coated in a spiced tempura based batter then deep fried for an amazing crunch!
  • Jamaican Seasoned Rice – boiled brown rice was then pan fried with the tin of mixed beans, finishing it off with cooked ackee and some spring onions for added texture.
  • Jerk BBQ Sauce Minute Steaks – lovely thin steak marinated in Jerk BBQ sauce and quickly cooked on the griddle – perfect for a bit of sweetness.
  • We had the Jamaican hot sauce and West Indian hot pepper sauce on the side for extra bite where needed.
  • Drinks included a Caribbean Cocktail (our own concoction!) of gin, ginger beer and smooth coconut water!

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Thanks to the unpredictable British weather, our street party spread turned more into a Sunday indoor dinner, but we didn’t mind! Hubby braved the rain (avec brollie!) and smoked our meats and potatoes on the smoker which just added that extra dimension. Our son helped to coat the jerk chicken by getting his groove on and shaking it all in a big tub to ensure it coated evenly!

 

The point is, it’s all about giving something new a go, and livening up that home cooking with easy, flavoursome products – and get family or friends involved.

“Come rain or shine, bring the taste of the Caribbean into your home this August.”

Get involved in Caribbean Food Week #CFW2017! For inspiration and events during the week of 21st – 28th August (or anytime for that matter!) visit:

Website: www.gracefood.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/caribbeanfoodweek

Twitter: @caribbeanfoodwk

Instagram: caribbeanfoodweek

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*Grace Foods supplied this complimentary hamper of dried goods as part of Caribbean Food Week but all cooking ideas, recipes and fresh food items were our own and all my honest opinion.

 

 

Trio of Awards for Farm’s Speciality Sausages

A Devon farm has beaten off stiff competition to win not one, but three, highly sought-after awards for its farm-reared pork products

Taste of the West awarded Kenniford Farm a gold award for its cranberry and rosemary sausages and two silver awards for its pork pie and Cumberland ring.

The awards celebrate quality, integrity and provenance of food in the west, and seek to promote and give recognition to local produce that goes above and beyond in terms of quality and taste.

Kenniford Farm has been rearing pigs in Clyst St Mary for over 20 years. The farm is Red Tractor approved and has consistently won awards for its produce.

Andrew Freemantle, owner of Kenniford Farm said: ‘This award means the world to us as we pour everything into the care and welfare of our pigs, and work hard to create delicious and innovative recipes. It’s fantastic to get this recognition for our work and passion.’

Kenniford Farm produce is sold at local stockists, and in their on-site farm shop.

Visit www.kennifordfarm.co.uk for more information.

 

The Nourish Gin Festival & The Devon Street Food Awards return to Bovey Tracey in September

Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September

Food & Craft: Sat 2 September

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Nourish Festival, now in its 4th year, has become synonymous with fine food, craft and music of the highest quality presented in the heart of Bovey Tracey, Devon.

The Devon Street Food Awards at Nourish Festival in association with Devon Life turns for another successful year celebrating the very best in Street Food in Devon. The county is packed full of inspirational and exciting street food producers and Nourish celebrates those Food Heroes. Street Food producers from across Devon are invited to enter and present to our judges Andy Cooper, editor of Devon Life, Kate Haskell, ITV weather presenter & Devon Life columnist and Alex Murdin, Devon Home Cook of the Year and former director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, are suitably looking forward to the enviable task of sampling the food.

We will present an eclectic, exciting and above all delicious mix of street food at Nourish so whether you create Caribbean, Indian, Spanish, Moroccan flavours, wood fired Italian pizza, French crepes, Mexican street food, fish delicacies or a proper pie. A flavour to suit everyone.

We are extremely partial to a decent gin & tonic and with the soon to be opened Dartmoor Distillery in Bovey Tracey, we are rather keen to announce The Nourish Gin Festival. South West produces of artisan gin will gather for us all to enjoy at Nourish in September. Our Gin Festival is supported by Fever Tree Tonic and Tarquin’s Gin.

The Nourish Food & Drink Fair will fill Bovey’s high street with some of the best producers from the South West on Sat 2 September. We invited producers of the widest possible variety of excellent food. We had 2 simple criteria, you make the best and you live in the South West of England. Expect to find artisan cheeses, preserves, bread, cakes, cordials, vegetables, herbs, beer, game, meat, fish, wine, liqueurs, cider, relishes, pates, handmade chocolates, oils, pies and even speciality mushrooms. An exceptional collection of epicurean delights.

Other events include The Bovey Bake Off and Junior Bovey Bake Off, will once again get the community reaching for their mixing bowls judged by our own Queen of Cakes, Tracey Godwin.

The Nourish Contemporary Craft Fair will be hosted in the Methodist Church Hall, showcasing beautiful handmade craft from across the South West with craft demonstrations and other craft events taking place at Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Exceptional makers from across the South West will present an inspirational selection of jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and wood

The Nourish Music programme from 1 September will present a rare performance from world renowned cellist, Steven Isserllis. Isserlis, who sells out Wigmore Hall and venues across the globe will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 1st in the intimate surroundings of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church. A truly unique experience. THIS CONCERT IS NOW SOLD OUT

The Festival also features Japanese pianist, Noriko Ogawa. Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Noriko will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 2nd at St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church.

Superlocrian, our Saturday afternoon concert, brings together two trumpets, two trombones and two saxophones to create a thrilling sound where the dynamic edge of brass sits alongside the warm, soulful sounds of saxes and flute; a concert promising adrenaline, emotion – and superb musicianship.

Nourish Festival organiser Sarah James said:

“We are delighted that Nourish Festival has been welcomed so warmly to Bovey Tracey. It has been a success for the stall holders and craft makers visiting the town, for the local traders, and best of all for the local community. There is such a buzz in the town with so many people visiting the food stalls, talking to expert craftspeople and taking part in our own Bovey Bake Off. I’m also very excited about our Devon Street Food Awards and looking forward very much to our Gin Festival!

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The music programme continues to be a tremendous success, and I look forward to welcoming Steven Isserlis, Noriko Ogawa and Superlocrian. A weekend to remember”

Nourish Festival is a community initiative led by The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed.

The Food & Craft Fair on Sat 2 Sept are free. Concerts on 1 & 2 September are ticketed. Full details and ticket information can be found at www.nourishfestival.org. Tickets will also available via our Box Office at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Notes for editors

Nourish is an annual event produced in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed. The event celebrates the very best in food, craft and music, and takes place in Bovey Tracey, Devon, UK. Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September Food & Craft: Sat 2 Sept

Contact Sarah James hello@nourishfestival.org 01626 437653 www.nourishfestival.org @nourishfestival

Photography courtesy of the Nourish Festival apart from the Featured Image which is ours.  We visited the festival a few years ago and had a great time! Read our write-up here

New, Beautifully Crafted Tonic Waters Launched This Summer

Clear, crisp and perfectly crafted, Luscombe Drinks has created three new premium tonic waters which will add style and sophistication to any occasion.  Perfectly on trend, with a hint of retro in their look, the Devon, Elderflower and Grapefruit tonic waters all offer outstanding taste, and are perfect served either on their own over ice or with one of the many emerging craft white spirits.

The new Luscombe Drinks tonic waters are meticulously crafted in small batches using Devon spring water blended with the finest Indian quinine, with carbonation adding lots of bubbles to carry the subtle notes of each flavour. The Devon Tonic Water, a traditional tonic, is enhanced with the zingy citrus of Japanese yuzu, a rare citrus fruit with three times more vitamin C than a lemon. The Elderflower, which has just been awarded a Great Taste two-star award, is infused with handpicked wild elderflower to give a light floral taste. While the Grapefruit, which was awarded a Great Taste one-star award, is blended with pink grapefruit to create a delicate citrus taste.

Gin has been a popular tipple in the UK since the late 17th century and has enjoyed a recent revival with small producers making craft gins using a variety of different botanicals to add a distinct character. The Westcountry alone is home to the country’s oldest working distillery; The Black Friars Distillery has been making Plymouth Gin since it was first established in 1793 and several of the newest producers, such as Tarquin’s Gin in North Cornwall and Salcombe Gin, many winning medals on the international drinks stage.

There is also a huge increase in non-drinkers looking for something original and grown up to enjoy which isn’t laden with artificial flavours and sweeteners.  It is therefore the perfect time for Luscombe Drinks to be introducing its trio of premium tonics.

The new Luscombe Drinks tonic waters are now available to buy through on-line retailer, The Gin Kiosk (www.ginkiosk.com) and many other independent retailers, farm shops plus bars and restaurants.

Luscombe Drinks crafts premium soft drinks using only the finest ingredients from trusted growers. There are no additives, synthetics or concentrates. Only the best goes into the bottle. Luscombe Drinks has been producing beautifully crafted drinks on a farm in Devon since 1975. It is headed up by Gabriel David, who has become renown for his fanatical attention to detail and dedication for creating fantastic tasting soft drinks. Quintessentially English, with a love for capturing the essence of nature, Gabriel’s drinks offer a true reflection of the beauty of his Devon surrounds. 

The three new tonics add to Luscombe’s existing range of 23 delicate soft drinks, including fruit juices, fruit crushes, ginger beers, bubblies and a cider, which have, between them now received 73 Great Taste Awards.

For further information on Luscombe Drinks please visit www.luscombe.co.uk, email info@luscombe.co.uk or call 01364 64 30 36.  Follow Luscombe on Twitter: @luscombedrinks and ‘Like’ on Facebook.  

Ex Royal Clarence chef heads up restaurant at new luxury Devon hotel

BRAND new Devon luxury hotel and events venue Paschoe House has appointed Alex Gibbs as Executive Head Chef.

The stunning 10-bedroom manor house on the edge of Crediton throws open its doors to the public for the first time in its 800 year history this month.

And Tabitha Amador-Christie, Owner of Paschoe House, believes her new chef will play a vital role in the hotel’s success.

Alex Gibbs and Tabitha Amador Christie. Picture credit Neil Gratton Photography
Alex Gibbs & Tabitha Amador-Christie; Image Copyright of Neil Gratton Photography

She says: ‘Alex has an excellent reputation. I am excited about his creativity in the kitchen and can’t wait to see what delights he and his team produce from our brand new kitchen at Paschoe House.

’Alex previously held the position of Executive Head Chef at The Royal Clarence in Exeter. He sadly lost his job when the world famous hotel and restaurant burned down in October 2016.

‘All the staff from The Royal Clarence, many of whom had worked together for years and years, became unemployed overnight. It was soul-destroying, not to mention incredibly sad, to watch the venue that we’d loved, burn to the ground,’ says Alex.

But every cloud has a silver lining, and it was a supplier whom Alex had known for a number of years, who suggested that he contact the owners of Paschoe House, a brand new restaurant, hotel and events venue near Crediton who were looking to serve beautifully cooked, locally sourced food from their country house base.

He adds: ‘As soon as I heard about Paschoe House, I realised that this was exactly where I wanted to be. I fired off my CV and met the owner that same week. We open shortly, and I’m currently busy setting up the kitchen and creating our menu.’

So, what is it about Paschoe House that makes it such an appealing prospect for a chef such as Alex?

Alex Gibbs at Paschoe House. Picture credit Neil Gratton Photography
Image Copyright of Neil Gratton Photography

‘At the moment we’re busy planting up our kitchen garden, so it’s wonderful to be part of something from the very beginning. I have the opportunity to create the sort of menu that will make the food at Paschoe House stand out from its competitors, and that is very exciting indeed.’

Tabitha adds: ‘As soon as I heard from Alex, I knew that I’d be a fool not to appoint him as our new head chef. The food at The Royal Clarence had such an excellent reputation, so I knew that we’d be in safe hands.’

For more information about Paschoe House visit the website at www.paschoehouse.co.uk

Judges announce semi-finalists and finalists of South West Chef of the Year 2017

Following a nail-biting series of opening rounds, the panel of judges for South West Chef of the Year 2017 has now selected its semi-finalists and finalists for this prestigious competition. Championed by Michael Caines MBE, South West Chef of the Year has been showcasing and supporting exceptional, culinary talent in the peninsula for the last 14 years. The competition attracts home cooks, youngsters aged from 11 years and student/apprentice, young professional and professional chefs. This year, for the first time, the winner of Devon Life’s Home Cook of the Year has received automatic entry into the South West Chef of the Year Home Cook category final. Emy Mordue of Exeter will pit her skill and imagination against four other finalists hailing from Dorset, Devon and Gloucestershire.

As well as offering culinary enthusiasts and passionate professionals in the region the opportunity to cook for some of the South West’s best chefs, including Lympstone Manor’s Michael Caines, the competition provides a spring board for emerging talent. South West Chef of the Year also aims to champion the region’s exceptional produce, celebrate its creativity and promote professional cooking as an exciting and satisfying career choice.

Michael Caines said: “The competition is hotting up and we’re now at the stage where my fellow judges and I can look forward to tasting the menus created by our semi-finalists and finalists. I can’t wait as this is one of the most exciting parts of the competition during which we can see what entrants are trying to achieve; how they have been inspired by the fantastic local produce we ask them to use; how skilled they are at putting flavours together and importantly, how innovative their cooking is.”

Joining Michael on the judging panel are Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park and Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare to mention but a few. As well as assessing entrants on their flair and creativity, the judges will provide invaluable support for those entering the final rounds with feedback and advice. Testament to the competition’s reputation and nurturing ethos is the return of entrants for consecutive years. 2017’s competition will see the return of several of last year’s competitors including the 2016 winners of the Home Cook and Student/Apprentice categories: Sue Stoneman, aiming to defend her Home Cook title and Harrison Brockington now striving to add the Young Professional Chef award to his collection as his career progresses.

The Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories will now enter the semi-final stage taking place at Exeter College on Saturday 30th September whilst those selected in the Home Cook category will go directly to a final at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October. Here they will be joined by the Junior Chef finalists who have all won the junior title in their own counties to gain a place in the South West final.  The grand finals for the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chefs will take place on Wednesday 25th October at Exeter College followed by a glittering awards presentation evening and sumptuous dinner at Exeter Golf and Country Club.

Tickets are now available for this prestigious event with a delicious dinner prepared by three highly acclaimed and award winning chefs: Michael Caines MBE; Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at The Masons Arms, Knowstone who won South West Chef of the Year 2016 and James Mason, Head Chef at Kentisbury Grange and winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015. The evening will start with a drinks reception with canapés followed by a three-course meal with wines for each course. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the winners of South West Chef of the Year 2017. Tickets can be purchased online at just £85 each.

This year’s semi-finalists and finalists:

Professional Category Semi-finalists – Sponsored by Ritter Courivaud

  • Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • James Checkley, Sous Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Robert Cox, Head Chef, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  • Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef, Kota Restaurant, Porthleven, Cornwall
  • Jozsef Kuti, Sous Chef, The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
  • David Mann, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Dale McIntosh, Head Chef, Gylly Beach Café, Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Chris Young, Sous Chef, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Gloucestershire

 

Young Professional Category Semi-finalists – Sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

  • Claire Andrew, Commis Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Harrison Brockington, Chef de Partie, Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay, Devon
  • James Glover, Chef de Partie, Deer Park Country House Hotel, Honiton, Devon
  • Thomas Herbert, Commis Chef, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Joseph Oliver, Demi Chef de Partie, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Gloucestershire
  • Lawrence Snowden, Junior Sous Chef, The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall
  • Paul Wearing, Senior Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

 

Home Cook Category Finalists – Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

  • Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset
  • Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon
  • Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon (Devon Life Home Cook 2016)
  • Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
  • Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon

 

Junior Chef Category Finalists

  • Cornwall

Anna West, Penair School, Truro

Anna will be mentored by Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

  • Devon

Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot

Samantha will be mentored by Mark Dodson at The Masons Arms, Knowstone

  • Dorset

Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls

Emily will be mentored by Brett Sutton at The White Post, Rimpton

  • Gloucestershire

Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury

Amber will be mentored by Gus Ashenford at Restaurant 5 North Street, Winchcombe

  • Somerset

Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton

Munopa will be mentored by Liam Finnegan at The Castle Hotel, Taunton

  • Wiltshire

Vikki Pearcey Thorn, Lavington School, Market Lavingotn

Vikki will be mentored by Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

 

Student/Apprentice Chef Category – Sponsored by Nisbets

Catering colleges across the South West are invited to put forward a student/apprentice chef for a guaranteed place in the semi-final of this category and, in addition, a small number of places are also available to those opting to enter this category directly.  Colleges putting a student forward are asked to confirm the name of the student once colleges return for the autumn term in September and so further students may be added to this list at that time.

  • Alexander Andrew, City College Plymouth, Devon
  • John Brimicombe, Exeter College and Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Jamie Cassidy, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • Matthue Clarke, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham
  • Katie Endicott, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • Thomas Greatrix, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham
  • William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, Cornwall
  • Ford Thanyapat Khwanyuen, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall
  • Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton, Devon

 

For more information visit:

Website:              www.southwestchef.co.uk

Twitter:               @SWChefComp

Facebook:           www.facebook.com/southwestchef