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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Countdown to Powderham Food Festival 2017: foodie fun for all the family

With just two months to go until Powderham Food Festival returns for a sixth celebration of local food and drink (Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th October), festival organisers Bob Small and Fiona Gofton are hoping 2017 will be the biggest, best and quite possibly the healthiest food festival they have ever hosted.

Set amid the spectacular grounds of Powderham Castle, home to Lord and Lady Devon, Powderham Food Festival is a magnet for foodies of all ages. So, with nature’s autumnal larder full to brimming with delicious fruits and vegetables, what better time to shine a light on fresh, wholesome and delicious food that the whole family can get excited about.

Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon (1)
Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon

Bob Small says, “Powderham has always prided itself on being a family-friendly food festival, but this year we wanted to give everybody food for thought on what they feed their loved ones. It is for this reason that we have teamed up with Sugar Smart to help inform and inspire families on how to cook more with fresh ingredients, less with sugar-filled processed foods and to find simple ways to lower their sugar intake.”

Fiona Gofton says “We all live busy lives, and I know I sometimes struggle to get inspiration for meals to feed my family that are quick, healthy and appeal to everybody’s tastes. Our new family food marquee will focus on wholesome home cooking, offering loads of useful information from Sugar Smart and associated organisations on how families can make small changes to their diet and lifestyle that will have a long-lasting effect on their health and wellbeing.”

Rachel Pinnock, a food anthropology PhD student who works part time at Exeter Cookery School and part time as a Sugar Smart ambassador, will be on hand to show children and their parents how the humble veg can be transformed into a delicious and nutritious family meal. Meanwhile, Judi Spiers will be joining the team from Home Farm Café – a Dartmoor-based farm café with 85% of its menu featuring local, seasonal produce – with demonstrations from Stella West-Harling and Nick Smith on how to create exciting and delicious dinners for week-night meal times.

Fun Kitchen will also be supporting Sugar Smart’s campaign at this year’s Powderham Food Festival, as it returns once more with its popular, messy and educational hands-on cookery classes for children. Fun Kitchen founder and Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador, Joe Mann, is a firm believer in making cooking fun and accessible for children, and has been instrumental in teaching about food beyond the classroom as a partner of the Growing Devon Schools Partnership.

For a wondrous line-up of the region’s culinary talents, head to the Exeter Cookery School stage. Jim and Lucy Fisher, the dynamic husband and wife team who opened Exeter Cookery School in the summer of 2016, will play host to a dazzling array of cookery demonstrations for the third consecutive year. Working with the region’s very fine seasonal larder, chefs confirmed so far this year are Richard Hunt (TV chef, consultant chef & founder of Devon Scone Company), Richard Valder (head chef and co-owner of @Angela’s Restaurant), Paul Greenhead (chef and co-owner of Café Catalan), Rachel Pinnock (Exeter Cookery School) and Nila Ross-Patel (Exeter Cookery School tutor), with more chefs yet to be revealed.

Stella West-Harling (Home Farm Cafe), Judi Spiers and Lucy Fisher (Exeter Cookery School) (8)
Stella West-Harling (Home Farm Cafe), Judi Spiers & Lucy Fisher (Exeter Cookery School)

Completing the cookery demonstration areas, the ever-popular Theatre of Fire and Smoke will also be back at Powderham Food Festival to delight its loyal following. Barbecue and food smoking aficionados Simon Dyer, Marcus Bawdon and John Gower from Quiet Waters Farm, will be cooking up a storm. Meanwhile, the Clifton Chilli Club will be hosting their usual increasingly fiery chillies on members of the public in the Great Devon Chilli Challenge – for the bravest of souls (or should we say stomachs).

And if that was not all, there will be over 100 local food and drinks producers and craft stalls to explore and give you plenty to keep your tummies happy. The festival will be a fantastic family and foodie day out for all to enjoy – so make sure you put the date in your diary for the must-visit Autumn Food Festival at Powderham Castle!

Tickets for Powderham Food Festival are available to purchase online via www.powderhamfoodfestival.com with a saving of 25% for advanced purchase tickets!

 

Family Fun at the River Cottage Summer Festival

FAMILY FUN AT THE RIVER COTTAGE SUMMER FESTIVAL

Under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult

Fun galore awaits children and adults alike as the River Cottage Summer Festival draws near. Taking place across the August bank holiday weekend (26th – 27th August) the Festival offers visitors a packed schedule of family friendly activities and foodie delights. The whole family can enjoy top music acts and great children’s entertainment, all in a beautiful East Devon setting.  Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult making the Summer Festival a fantastic, affordable day out for the whole family and a perfect way to celebrate the end of the summer season.

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Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities and entertainment, from watching performances by Swamp Circus and Rainbow Gecko Giant Bubbles, to getting hands on with Play Art Junk Modelling or taking a foraging tour with John Wright. Littles ones can enjoy baby massages, kids yoga, the hands-on mud kitchen, sandpit, felting and flower workshops and the Marine Monster making. Other workshops include pottery, jewellery making and clay modelling. Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the wonders of the stunning countryside with guided geology walks with local butterfly experts as well as star gazing after sunset.

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Take part in one of the masterclasses to find out how to make your own sushi or cook over a wood fire. The little ones can get stuck into pizza making or creating their own ice cream sundae masterpiece with prices starting from just £20.

When thoughts turn to food, visitors can enjoy a veritable feast of tasty homemade dishes on offer throughout the weekend with delectable street food from local artisan producers. Treat yourself to a Farmhouse Feast and immerse yourself in the River Cottage atmosphere. The two-course sit down meal is served in the iconic Farmhouse for just £20 and offers a mouthwatering menu designed using fresh, seasonal and local produce from the farm, garden and local suppliers. There will also be a selection of bars located across the Festival serving a variety of sumptuous drinks from Chase Vodka cocktails and English sparkling wine from neighboring Castlewood Vineyard to locally sourced beers, ciders, wines and seasonal cocktails.

A team of chefs and experts will be on hand to share their culinary tips throughout the two-day weekend on the Garden Stage hosted by Steven Lamb. On the Saturday, visitors can enjoy a mix of chefs, speakers and activists including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, forager John Wright, Bake-Off star Chetna Makan and herbalist Katie from Pukka Teas. On the Sunday, award-winning blogger Ed Smith will take to the stage alongside Satish Kumar, Michelin-starred Adam Byatt and Hugh.

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Festival goers can enjoy music throughout the weekend with a variety of brilliant musicians on the line-up. There is live music from midday until 10pm on both days, with entertainment for the whole family. On the Saturday, Sound of the Sirens will headline alongside The Jack Daniels Band, Them Voices Poor, Sadie Horler, Hungry Bentley, Nicky Swann and DJ Diggz. On the Sunday, visitors can enjoy music from The Travelling Band, Mr Tea and the Minions, Melissa Bel, Mark McCabe, Tori Reed and the Troubadours and DJ Diggz.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website: www.rivercottage.net/festival/2017. River Cottage is running a free park and ride service to and from the Festival or add to the experience with VIP parking onsite available for just £5 per car.

South West Coffee Festival – by Lauren Heath

COFFEE – a need for some (a drug, some might say), a taste sensation for others. A pick me up, a relaxer, a wake up call, a bedtime warmer. Some like it hot, some like it cold – I’ll have it any which way as long as it’s not instant. Whatever your want or need, the options that are available for coffee lovers now is reaching those of ale or wine – dry, smooth, fruity, dark and more readily available in beans, grounds, bag or pod.

A new event was on the horizon to showcase this delightful drink. We’d known about the South West Coffee Festival since early in the year and I was very intrigued by what it would become – I knew it would be a boutique size event but wasn’t sure about who or what I would discover that I didn’t already know about – turns out quite a bit actually.

I did not see some of the more local coffee producers I had expected to, which I guess is a good thing as it’s always great to find something new. The event was held in a lovely barn at Powderham Castle, with plenty of room for hovering, manoeuvring and sipping coffee.

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I was delighted to discover Littlestone Coffee Roasters – a young team who are based right here in Exeter, in Marsh Barton, and who served me a strong and fruity Rubanda. They had at least 3 more types of coffee on offer.

Having heard of a chai latte, and assuming it was tea related, I have never drunk any (I like tea, but nothing more than a great strong builders brew, not these flower powery sorts of good for you teas..). So I was impressed and surprised to like Bath based Henny & Joe’s chai that was served as a milky drink – it was slightly vanilla, with all the flavours and spices perfectly balanced. I was given a bottle of the chocolate one to try at home and I look forward to giving it a road test!

Great things were on show from ecoffeecup with their natural, reusable bamboo based travel cups in a vast array of exciting designs and colours! More and more coffee shops are allowing you to use your own coffee cup, even giving a slight discount off your latte, in order to bring down the volume of cups going to landfill. These will make a great purchase for yourself or as a gift and I know they sell them in Toot Garook on Queen Street, Exeter (opposite the RAMM).

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Another sustainable and innovative stand was vegware based in Edinburgh; this company are manufacturing all sorts of takeaway packaging including beautifully defined coffee cups, all from plant based materials, that are compostable as well. I was so impressed by the visual quality too – all competitively priced versus the terrible non recyclables like polystyrene. Anyone in purchasing for large stores or restaurants and takeaways please do have a look at this company and consider using them instead.

Speaking of sustainable – I also met a lovely couple from Dorset who own Eco Roast as well as Flaming Dorset Coffee Roasters. Now, apart from their eye catching branding on their Flaming packaging, and their knockout nitro coffee, what was more interesting was how, as part of Eco Roast, they collect the coffee grounds from the companies they supply, and use this as energy to fuel the grinding of further coffee! Thanks to these ethics, clever ways, and zero waste, they supply The Eden Project with their coffee as well as it being available to customers in their retail outlet.

Still in virtual Dorset, Conker Spirit were popular, offering their gorgeously smooth and very satisfying cold brew coffee liquer – certainly a tipple worth having at home. My son took advantage of the cool chair for a rest.

Back to a Devon supplier, and Owens Coffee Roasters did the trick with a smooth flat white to finish off my visit – the boy even got a ‘babycino’. I was even more pleased to notice a bottle of Urban Brew Coffee Stout on their stand – a combination of talents between Owens and Summerskills Brewery – so I snapped one up and it’s awaiting its fate this weekend.

There was a couple of stands I didn’t get to and that was only due to having enough coffee (even by my standards) and the fact my naturally high child (no need for caffeine there!) had had enough after an hour and 15 minutes. There was cupping demo’s, some Q & A’s and music to be enjoyed too. Here’s a full list of who was there – do check them out, discover something new and support these great coffee artisans, whether from Devon or further up the country.

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Overall, a great little event that was small enough to be personal and you could really chat with the stands. Organised by Derry Tydeman, the owner of The Glorious Art House Cafe – the website already alludes to next year’s event – so watch this space!

Traders, potential sponsors or general public – sign up for further info on 2018’s event here.

Smokin’ Summer Pop Up on Exeter Quay – by Lauren Heath

Exeter Quay is currently blooming into a real destination for foodies, as well as those seeking an escape from the busy city and their work life.

Night markets, cookery school, outdoor and indoor activities, arts and culture as well as the growing restaurant scene. At the weekend it comes alive with tourists and locals alike seeking the relaxed waterside vibe.

Recently, The Boat Shed (brainchild of the Bike Shed Theatre) has just docked, ready to provide many arts and social activities for everyone and breathing life into another beautiful stone building.

Alongside this eclectic new venture is an additional food offering for the summer – The Smoke Pit and Grill by Beer and Vittles. Paul Manville, owner of Beer & Vittles was asked by The Boat Shed to come up with a food offering to compliment their cocktail caravan that serves cocktails, beers and organic soft drinks, alfresco style. Paul has over 15 years of professional catering experience and jumped at the chance to do something different on weekends for Quay punters over the summer season.

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So aside the stone wall, with high quality wooden tables and benches to eat al fresco, The Smoke Pit and Grill serves items such as low and slow brisket, BBQ’d jerk chicken leg and even a homemade vegan burger – all items homemade or bought from local farm shops, bread rolls so local they are from the Boatyard Cafe and Bakery across the river and the brisket is smoked overnight to bring you juicy soft meat on the day.

We visited on Sunday lunch and enjoyed a bit of everything – the brisket was tender, the chicken juicy and I must admit the black bean and chestnut vegan burger was excellent (I’m very carnivorous and was impressed!). Even the sauces on the side have an added twist, making them extra tasty too.

Too lovely to sit inside one of the fab restaurants on the Quay? Dine casual bbq style with The Smoke Pit and Grill; maybe even treat yourself to a delicious Dartington ice cream after from The Boat Shed. Here’s to a smokin’ summer!

You can find The Smoke Pit and Grill by Beer and Vittles on social media:

Twitter         Facebook           Website

Foozie is bringing the Gin Bus and Prosecco Bus to Exeter

Teaming up with 6 O’Clock Gin and Scavi & Ray, Foozie is heading to Exeter for two very special, and one-off events!

Bursting with events celebrating the popularity of gin and prosecco, Exeter has yet to experience these delicious drinks on an open-top bus! That is until Foozie, Bristol’s leading experimental ‘foodie and boozie’ events agency, decided to bring its Gin and Prosecco Bus Series to Exeter for the Summer of 2017.

After a huge success in Bristol (with 600 tickets selling in 4 hours), Foozie is venturing out of its hometown to bring the Boozie Bus Series to Exeter! With two dates in August, each event will accommodate 50 guests aboard an open-top bus. Taking them on a 2-hour long scenic tour of the city, the events are completed with gin cocktails and prosecco.

The first event will take place on the 12th August with an exciting collaboration with 6 O’Clock Gin – one of the UK’s finest gin distilleries. Based in Thornbury, Bristol, the distillery has crafted four gin-based cocktails for guests to enjoy whilst taking in the most beautiful sites around Exeter.

gin bus

Roll on 26th August and Foozie brings you Exeter’s first Prosecco Bus: The Bubble Decker. Teaming up with Italian prosecco heavyweights: Scavi & Ray, guests will be offered a drink on arrival and 5 glasses of prosecco throughout the event.

● Saturday July 22nd – The ‘Bubble Decker’ Prosecco Bus

● Saturday July 29th – The 6 O’clock Gin Bus

Foozie’s founder and food and drink fanatic, Thom Whitchurch, said of the event:

“We’re so excited to be bringing these events to Exeter. I come to the city regularly and it was the natural next step for us. The cocktails that 6 O’Clock have created are incredible, and Scavi & Ray make one of the best proseccos in the world! We can’t wait to serve these on our buses and take in the sites of the city.”

Foozie offers a free membership to ‘Club Foozie’ where members receive exclusive discounts and priority on all of their events. Guests who signed up to Club Foozie will receive a 10% discount on the Exeter Bus Series and notified 24 hours before they go on sale to the general public.

Tickets will be available to Club Foozie members on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July to the general public. Club Foozie members will be emailed at 10am on Friday 30th to buy tickets.

Sign up here: www.foozie.co.uk/club-foozie/

Salcombe Crab Festival – by Lauren Heath

What a food filled weekend! On Sunday 30th April, I attended the Salcombe Crab Festival; I was not going to let our British weather make us crabby by stopping our bank holiday weekend fun, so my family and I donned the raincoats and wellies and off we drove.

Salcombe is approx. 1 hour south of Exeter, on a steady drive and boy you do know when are you nearby; the sea down below just peeking through the trees, and the lushest bright green roadsides guiding you down to the bay.

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Salcombe Crabfest is a smaller annual festival, organised by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Salcombe and sponsored by Favis of Salcombe and Coast and Country Cottages. It has music, food stalls and food related events spread throughout the town which creates a lovely festival vibe.

This year the event was being opened by Matt Tebbutt, well known for presenting Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped as well as Saturday Kitchen and a being a regular contributor for Waitrose Kitchen magazine.  He would then also be cooking up a storm (although nature had already given us one) with local food hero and seafood ambassador Mitch Tonks, the co-founder of the Rockfish restaurants and takeaways as well as The Seahorse Restaurant in Dartmouth.

The cookery demo was great, very free flowing with both of them having a good time and answering any random questions thrown at them. Mitch cooked Singapore spicy crab as well as deep fried soft shell crab rolls which made their way around the lucky few in the audience and Matt cooked crab ravioli using spring roll papers – a trick I am going to try at home! The ravioli was absolutely delicious, served in a crab broth – I was near enough to the front to be fast enough with a nearby spoon!

There was an hourly tour at Salcombe Gin Distilling Co and this was an eye opener; we got a shortened version of their new Gin School offering, so learnt a bit about how they make the gin, chose some ingredients and got to taste the final product. Do look them up for a gift for yourself or a loved one (they are award winning already too – see recent press release here) you get to create your very own flavour of gin and not only take a full bottle home, but also enjoy your drinks in their lovely bar afterwards.

We saw JB Preserves, Bell and Loxton Oils, Favis of Salcombe, Salcombe Brew Coffee, South Devon Chilli Farm, amongst others. My son loves crab so enjoyed a fresh pot full and he even tried an oyster!

Live music filled the air wherever we were, the local shops were buzzing and who can resist a view like this round every corner?

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For a free event, it’s a great day out – perhaps plan a night or two away for next year and wander around the festival enjoying the many food and drink delights on offer without having to drive home.

Look out for next years date and get it in the diary!

 

Win a Family Pass to the River Cottage Spring Food Fair!

Taking place over May Bank Holiday, River Cottage Spring Food Fair is the perfect way to celebrate this season’s foodie delights and activities, surrounded by the gorgeous East Devon countryside. Promised to be packed full of fun for all the family to enjoy, enter our competition and you could win a family pass for Monday 29th May 2017.

 

We’ve rounded up our top 10 things to do at the Spring Food Fair….

  1. Enjoy a cookery masterclass – Get cooking with our adult and child masterclasses and learn the secret behind cookies and doughnuts & pasta and focaccia. If parents want to try their hand at something different then there are a range of other masterclasses to enjoy from Wild Cocktails with John Wright to Outdoor Cookery with Gill Meller
  2. Pottery Workshops – Learn how to make a seedling pot which will be yours to take away at the end of the session
  3. Falconry displays – Marvel at these beautiful birds as they fly around and catch their prey
  4. Food, food and more food! Feast on delicious fare from our local producers, pop up food stalls, try some delicious River Cottage wood fired pizza or dine in our farmhouse pop-up restaurant!
  5. Bee Area – Visit the East Devon Beekeepers and learn all about bees, you will also be able to make and take away your very own candle and take part in a fun bee-related quiz.
  6. Lucet Braiding/Felting workshops – Learn how to make textile jewellery e.g. friendship bracelet using the Lucet & 100% wool fibres or textile waste or you could learn the basic principles of needle-felting to create a delightful bumble bee brooch
  7. Enjoy spectacular large bubble displays/ get face painted
  8. Forest school – Learn how to build a shelter, whittle pegs and light a fire
  9. Animal area – Wonder around the farm and meet the River Cottage animals and other friends. Pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, alpacas, miniature ponies will all be around for you to see.
  10. Natural woodcraft workshops – Use natural resources to make you very own bug box or a beautiful wooden flower

…and if that’s not enough to tempt you, visit the website (www.rivercottage.net) to find out more or buy yourself some tickets.

To be in with the chance of winning a family pass to the Spring Food Fair on Monday 29th May, where you can enjoy all of our favourite spring delights and much more, simply enter the competition below.

Terms & Conditions

  • In order to enter please just retweet the pinned post on Twitter or like, share and comment on the pinned post on Facebook.
  • Closing date Midnight 30.04.2017
  • Prize includes two adult tickets and two child tickets to the River Cottage Spring Food Fair on Monday 29th May 2017
  • Transport is not included
  • Open to residents of the UK aged over 18
  • Prize is non-transferable or amendable
  • No cash alternative
  • Additional costs incurred are payable by the winner

 

*Featured header image courtesy of Nick Hook Photography

5 Week Countdown to the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink! *WIN TICKETS*

The 14th Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink is returning to the Exeter Castle Courtyard and Northernhay Gardens in the very heart of the city in just 5 weeks’ time! The 2017 Festival is running across the early May Bank Holiday weekend, from Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2017.

Activities for children include interactive workshops including, Fun Kitchen cookery classes, farm animals, story-telling and craft activities. The Darts Farm ‘Food is Fun’ Teepees also host a packed schedule of informative and fun family workshops, talks on topical food and drink themes and demonstrations from local chefs.

You can find over 90 artisan producers from the region in the Food & Drink marquees, 7 Michelin-starred chefs cooking up a storm in the Festival Cookery Theatre and three evenings of music at the After Dark Music Festival (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

For your chance to win a family pass to the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink on Monday 1st May where you can enjoy cookery demos from Michelin-starred chefs Mark Dodson from The Mason Arms and co-founder Michael Caines from Lympstone Manor, simply enter our competition below.

How many Michelin-starred chefs will be demoing at the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink this year?

a) 3

b) 5

c) 7

For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Closing date 14.04.2017
  2. Prize includes two adult tickets and two child tickets to the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink on Monday 1st May 2017
  3. Access to the VIP lounge is not included
  4. Transport is not included.
  5. Open to residents of the UK aged over 18
  6. Prize is non-transferable or amendable
  7. No cash alternative
  8. Additional costs incurred are payable by the winner
  9. Enter by commenting the answer on our pinned Facebook post or by replying or retweeting the answer using our pinned Twitter post.

 

*Main featured photo copyright of Nick Hook Photography

Michelin-Starred Chef Line-Up Announced for the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink

Tom Kerridge confirmed in chef line up!
Early May bank holiday weekend – Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May

 An all-star line-up of chefs has been confirmed for this year’s Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink including Tom Kerridge who will join festival co-founder Michael Caines MBE in the cookery theatre on the Sunday.

Seven Michelin-starred chefs are among the line-up this year, including Tom Kerridge, Michael Caines MBE, Simon Hulstone, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Wignall, Mark Dodson and Josh Eggleton, alongside a further 30 talented chefs demonstrating. The seven award-winning chefs will be performing live demos across Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May in the Festival Cookery Theatre.

The three-day Festival is a celebration of the South West’s Food and Drink producers and top chefs, taking place over the early May bank holiday weekend (Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2017) at Exeter Castle and the surrounding Northernhay Gardens.

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge said: “I was really pleased when Michael asked me to be part of the festival. I’m looking forward to coming down to Exeter for the bank holiday and demonstrating on the Sunday as well as sampling the amazing local produce.”

Tom Kerridge at EFF 2017

Visitors to the Festival can enjoy demonstrations in the Festival cookery theatre from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon, with demos, head-to-head competitions and the school competition taking place across the weekend.

Alongside the fantastic line-up of top chefs from the region, the 14th Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink will feature more than 90 producers, as well as BBC Radio Devon’s Festival Question Time, the Dart’s Farm ‘Food is Fun’ Teepees and demonstrations of tasty recipes in the West Country Bakery Theatre.

Throughout the weekend local musicians will entertain visitors in the Exeter Castle Courtyard. The three After Dark Music Festivals will take place on Friday 28th April (Headliner: The Locked Horns, supported by Stephens Scown’s Choir and Loose Cannons Band), Saturday 29th April (Headliner: Leigh Coleman Band, supported by Yazzy, Joanna Cooke and Celine Dos Santos) and Sunday 30th April (Headliner: Bill Ding and the Skyscrapers, supported by Alex Dobson and Roger Styles).

The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is supported by Exeter City Council. The festival is a not for profit event. Tickets can be booked in advance and are available online.

For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.

The chef line up, with 6 Michelin stars between them, includes;

  • Michelin starred chef, Michael Caines, Lympstone Manor
  • Mitch Tonks, Rockfish
  • Matt Mason, The Jack in the Green
  • Matthew Peryer, Lewtrenchard Manor
  • Dez Turland, Saunton Sands
  • Darrin Hosegrove, Ashburton Cookery School
  • Peter Gorton
  • Harrison Brockington, South West Chef of the Year Winner Student/Apprentice
  • Daniel Gavriilidis, The PIG-at Combe
  • Guy Owen, The Idle Rocks
  • Michelin starred chef, Simon Hulstone, The Elephant
  • Michelin starred chef, Michael Wignall, Gidleigh Park
  • Thomas Hine, Lympstone Manor
  • Adam Little, Exeter Golf and Country Club
  • Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge, The Hand and Flowers
  • Michelin starred chef Paul Ainsworth, at No6
  • Elly Wentworth, Lucknam Park
  • Sue Stoneman, South West Winner Home Cook
  • Neil Haydock, Watergate Bay
  • James Mason, Kentisbury Grange
  • Angus McCaig, The Holt at Honiton
  • Liam Finnegan, The Castle Hotel
  • Emily Scott, The St Trudy Inn
  • Scott Paton, Borringdon Hall
  • Ian Webber, The Five Bells Inn
  • Rob Spencer, Ashburton Cookery School
  • Jamie Coleman, South West Winner Overall & Professional
  • Timothy Kendall, South West Winner Young Professional
  • Michelin starred chef Josh Eggleton, The Pony & Trap
  • Tom Williams-Hawkes, The Salutation Inn
  • Ethan Macdonald, South West Winner Junior Category
  • Bini Ludlow, Sweet Cumin
  • Ashley Wright, The Horn of Plenty
  • Michelin starred chef Mark Dodson, The Mason Arms
  • Jean-Phillippe Bidart, The Millbrook Inn

2017 Food Festival Dates for your diary!

We are very lucky in this county and beyond, to have such wonderful food and produce – what better way to experience all of this together than at a Food Festival!

Here’s a round up of the upcoming 2017 Food Festivals in Devon as well as a couple from  Cornwall. Click on the website links for further info or read our review of the previous year’s event for a feel of what you can expect. This page will be updated constantly if other events pop-up, so do come back to double check if you’re looking for an event to visit. (Updated 15/03/2017)

April

8th: Cullompton Springfest – Check their website for further info.

A food, craft and music festival; there will be a Farmer’s Market, plus a range of food producers selling their food products as well as cooked food to sell on the day. Local restaurant, The Bakehouse, will be hosting an Indian Cuisine night and there is a special meal at The Walronds on the night (ticket only), with a celebrity chef doing the honours.

8th – 9th: Budleigh Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info.

A festival spread out through Budleigh Salterton, with local drinks, food, produce,music and chef demos and even a Budleigh Master Chef final live for you to watch the action in the village hall!

28th – 30th: Q’fest BBQ Competition and festival – Check their website for further info.

New to the South West and driven by the increased interest in UK BBQ’ing, smoking and outdoor cooking, this BBQ competition can be entered into if you dare! For visitors there will be camping, products, demos, bouncy castles for the kids, beer and live music in the barn as well as the opportunity to taste some of the best BBQ in the country.

29th – 30th & 1st May: Exeter Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info. Last years write up: Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 2016

In our opinion, the largest event in the South West and right here in Exeter centred around Exeter Castle. An excellent festival including evening music events, live music during the day, beer tent, kids cookery and activity tents, farm animals, plenty of food to eat, producers and no shortage of tasters – come hungry! Demo kitchen, chef’s Q&A, wine tasting as well as a VIP option with an extra room full of treats and a place to rest.

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Exeter Food & Drink Festival

30th: Salcombe Crab Fest – Check out their website for further info.

A celebration of crab and seafood – with demos, crab picking tuition, commercial crab fishing talk, crab pot making, music, wine tasting and more.

May

1st: Exeter Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info.Last years write up: Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 2016

See description above in April.

27th – 29th: River Cottage Spring Fair –Check their website for further info.

On the grounds of the famous River Cottage HQ at Axminster, this lovely festival is full of food, music and producers in a fantastic setting.

28th – 29th: Dartington Food Fair – Check their website for further info. Last years write up: Dartington Food Fair 2016

Held in the grounds of the Shops at Dartington, this great event includes a demo tent, large food producers tent, plenty of food to eat, along with a few kids activities. On top of that you can enjoy the deli, the kitchen shop, toy shop as well as the drinks shop! A great excuse to visit and get two in one!

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Dartington Food Fair

June

2nd – 4th: Plymouth Flavour Fest – Check their website for further info.

Quite a large food festival spread out through Plymouth city centre. Food stalls, producers, drinks marquee and chef demo tent, including this years guest appearance from 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown.

3rd: Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival – Check their website for further info.

Now in its 5th year, this event is aimed at foodies and all the family, encouraging healthy eating and showcasing local produce and restaurants. On Friday 2nd from 6pm, there will be Tap into Tapas where you can enjoy various small plates from local eateries but all in the Food Theatre Marquee. There will be demos from The Salutation Inn, The Pig at Combe, Exeter Cookery School, and The Samosa Lady. There” be kids activities in The Library,  Tickety Boo and The Institute.

17th – 18th: Crediton Food Festival – Check their website for further info.

Now in it’s 9th year, great for food stalls, music and demos.

July

30th:  Rockfish Crab Festival, Dartmouth South Embankment

The Rockfish Crab Festival is now in its 6th year, championed by restaurateur Mitch Tonks & co-hosted by Angela Hartnett, it celebrates all that is great about our British crab. Enjoy music, local crab, children’s crabbing competition & the best-dressed table competition – that’s the table not the guests! Bring bunting, table linen, flowers, candelabra, whatever you fancy.  Guaranteed fun & guaranteed weather-proofing with a marquee!  Tickets at www.rockfishevents.co.uk

August

4th – 6th: The South West Coffee Festival –  Check their website for further info.

This inauguaral event, open to trade and baristas as well as the public and enthusiasts, the event will be held at Powderham Castle. If you love coffee…get yourself to this event! We have been given an exclusive level of discount off the already affordable ticket price:

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6th: Pen’Grillie’ BBQ Festival – Check out their website for further info.

Held at Pentillie Castle, to the east of Plymouth, last year’s inaugural festival was a great event of BBQ competition, live music, chilli eating competition, kids activity tent, food and product stalls all in a beautiful setting.

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Pen’Grillie’ 2016

September

2nd: Nourish Festival, Bovey Tracey – Check their website for further info. 2015’s write up by Editor, Chris, can be read here.

Bovey Tracey’s Fore Street gets transformed for this music, food, craft festival and Devon Street Food Awards with a new addition for 2017…Nourish Gin Festival! There will also be two evenings of concerts.

3rd: Clovelly Lobster and Crab Festival – Check their website for further info.

A unique and beautiful place, Clovelly celebrates its famous lobsters and crabs sustainably caught by its fishermen with a great day out for all the family. This year is its 10th Anniversary.

9th: Topsham Beer and Bacon Festival

This little festival is not all fancy and big – it’s perfectly formed and organised by the guys at The Pig and Pallet/Good Game. A beer tent, some bacon and pork based food stalls, a side loader truck opened up for the live music to perform on, and right in front of The Lighter Inn on Topsham Quay. If you’re local, be sure to pop down for a good time.

9th: Ashburton Food & Drink Festival – Check their Facebook page for more info.

A full day of local foodie delights and entertainment.

16th – 17th: Plymouth Seafood Festival – Check their website for further info.

The website states “The Barbican and Sutton Harbour will come alive on Saturday 16 to Sunday 17 September, with a celebration of locally sourced and sustainably caught, high quality seafood.”

With Plymouth having the second largest fish market in the UK, events spread across this harbourside city includes cookery theatre with well known regional chefs, food stalls, crabbing competition, and a cardboard boat race amongst other activities!

17th: 1st ever Rockfish Crab Festival Day at Sutton Harbour, during Seafood Week in Plymouth – Check their website for further info.

Live music, magic, a special crab menu for the day, all hosted by restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks. We’ll also be distilling the first ever Plymouth Uni Gin, a recipe made jointly with students at from Plymouth University’s Hospitality and Catering Department – we’ll have a VW campervan parked outside distilling the gin throughout the day so be there for a historic first taste! No tickets for this event but pre-booking tables advised.

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25th – 31st: Taste of the Teign and Teignmouth Harbour Festival – Check their website for further info.

A week long food event that will include Smokeinteignhead, a newly added BBQ competition. Various events are held and venues and include Tea on the Teign, jam making workshops, an evening in the orchard, Fry Up Friday, street food market, farmers market and culminating with a food fair.

October

1st – Taste of the Teign

See above info in September.

7th – 8th: Powderham Food Festival Check their website for further info.

Last years write up: Powderham Food Festival 2016.

Held inside Powderham Castle and around the beautiful grounds, this fabulous festival includes a Theatre of Fire and Smoke, food stalls, producers, drinks, items for sale, free cookery classes for kids by Fun Kitchen, demo kitchen with local great chefs and some live music.

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Powderham Food Festival

20th – 22nd: Dartmouth Food Festival. Check their website for further details.

Held all along the harbour with plenty of food stalls, products and demos to be enjoyed as well as special offers in restaurants.

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Some of the above events we have visited and some we haven’t so it’s a mix of knowledge, opinion and information gathered from the websites. Please check websites or organisers directly regarding prices, parking and accessibility. If you know of any events that we have missed, please feel free to tweet or DM us on Twitter and Facebook.

Seahorse Guest Chefs Big Line-Up For 2017

Every year Mitch Tonks and Mat Prowse, who run the award-winning Seahorse in Dartmouth, invite a few great friends in the restaurant world to cook and host the restaurant with them. This year’s stella line up kicks off with Richard Turner from Hawksmoor followed by Spanish Legend Jose Pizarro, Angela Hartnett & Neil Borthwick, seafood superstar Nathan Outlaw and legendary Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini.  Dates for further great names including Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver, Mark Hix, Nieves Barragan-Mohaco & TV presenter Matt Tebbut will be announced shortly.

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Mitch Tonks, Angela Hartnett, Mat Prowse

Events this year will start in the newly opened Joe’s Bar at the Seahorse before a fantastic night of food, wine and great spirit. Sommelier Tim McLaughlin-Green will run the room on these evenings matching special wines to every menu. The full line up will be added to our website and bookings can be made direct with the restaurant as they are released.

Mitch Said “The Seahorse has a wonderful spirit and we love having our friends join us and bring their own special magic to the restaurant.  I’m convinced they leave a little of their magic behind which is one of the reasons the room is so special to us and to many of our guests. We all do these events for the enjoyment of it, every one of them is like a dinner party with everyone just chatting away and enjoying great food, wine and great company, what could be better!”

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The Seahorse, Dartmouth

In addition to these events the Seahorse head chef, Jake Bridgwood, has opened the doors on the last Sunday of each month for lunch with a menu specially created for each one. Aperitivos will be served at 1230 in Joe’s bar followed by lunch at 1 – wonderful family occasions and guests are invited to bring their own wines to enjoy with just £10 corkage.

Full event listings can be found at www.seahorserestaurant.co.uk

Source Food and Drink Show – by Lauren Heath

Where does time go? I recall fully, last year when my husband Steve attended a nearby trade show, that he said he’d had the best time trying lots of local produce and meeting lots of great people. It was called Source Food and Drink Show, held at Westpoint Showground. “Better than lots of food festivals” he said. So to see what all the fuss was about, I booked a day off work to attend and hoped it would be worthit. And here we were, tickets printed, ready for 2017.

As I write this, a week has flown by already before I’ve even managed to put fingertips to keyboard and we’re in the latter end of February.

I could really write a full walkthrough but you dont want that – you want to hear of some great things we found, don’t you?

Well, the usual suspects, and what lovely suspects they are; Good Game were there in all their glory, a fantastic display with all their charcuterie goods on show. They also own The Pig and Pallet in Topsham, and if  you haven’t been yet – I urge you to go! My first ever review for EE was their breakfast offering, which you can read here. They of course also serve lunch and dinner. I digress…

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Also our foodie mate Eat the Smoke was opposite them – we honestly go through a bottle or two of his BBQ sauce a month, it’s astounding – get some if you havent already! His smokin’ 10 Q&A & product review can be found here.

Ebb Tides, who harvest seaweed and were also a ‘victim’ of our 10 Q&A were in the newbie bit, enjoying some great exposure. Tony has another new product on the market, and his seaweed in bags and in grinders are so very easy to use for dips, marinades and extra oomph to flavour and your diet..

We enjoyed cider from both Somerset based Sheppy’s and Honiton based Norcotts, ales from Dartmoor Brewery, whose Jail Ale we love, and family owned Black Tor Brewery (who occassionally do a lovely porter) – ‘mummy’ Black Tor must be commended, she was helping out on the day and was really delightful to talk to, very proud of the business and such a welcoming smile.

Koppert Cress were very interesting – we tasted lots of their herbs and plants; local business contact but items grown in Norway I believe. He gave us a layered handful of selected items which we rolled up and ate as a whole – dubbed Vegetarian Oyster, and boy was it seashore flavoured!

We saw 2016 South West Chef, Jamie Coleman, cook up some delights in the kitchen.

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We stumbled across Chococo owner Claire and manageress Michelle having a wander round, and Michelle indulged in some insect eating with my husband Steve (who now has his own product blog Chilli Head Chef). On the count of 5 this ‘up for it’ duo downed a handful of Cornish Edible Insects with gusto.

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We enjoyed some further charcuterie delights from Ottery St Mary’s The Rusty Pig and ended our day with a fantastic coffee from Steve of Exe Coffee Roasters who produces his own coffee for sale for trade and home use as well as enjoying in his coffee shop.

Of course this show is a trade show after all and is intended for buyers to come along and find new products to stock or use in their outlets.  So many fantastic stands haven’t been mentioned who fed us something or other including fudge, chilli sauces, ethical pony meat, seafood, ice creams, pasties and so on.

We’re very lucky here in the South West to have such amazing variety of produce as well as the people behind these businesses.  Well done to the Hale Events and main sponsor Taste of the West for a fantastic show, it really is one of the best we have attended.

I can’t wait to attend next year!

 

Food & Drink Devon Awards 2017 Launched

Entries are now open for the prestigious Food & Drink Devon Awards 2017, following 2016’s record-breaking year. These awards celebrate the very best Devon has to offer by recognising the county’s most respected, influential and passionate artisan food and drink producers and establishments.

The awards, currently in their seventh year, continue to grow with 2016 recording the highest number of entries to date as well as boasting a glittering sell out awards evening. Last year the judges tasted 200 of the finest products and visited dozens of establishments across Devon to select the pick of the crop for a shortlist of just 60.

Barbara King, a proud champion of Devon’s producers and chair of the board of directors for Food & Drink Devon, comments: “Devon continues to create a name for itself as a must visit food and drink destination. We are privileged to have so many dynamic and innovative local producers and purveyors and these awards give us the chance to recognise their success and contributions to this vibrant industry. Last year saw the number and standard of entries go through the roof and we’re expecting even greater things this year.”

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Barbara King

The awards cover a broad spectrum of categories across the Devon food and drink scene. The Retail awards on offer include ‘Best Producer’, ‘Best Packaging’, ‘Best Retailer’ and ‘Best Online Retailer’. Whilst the Hospitality sector is also acknowledged with a number of highly sought after awards including ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’, ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’, ‘Best Restaurant’, ‘Best Bistro’ and ‘Best Takeaway’. This year, to reflect the growth of some key areas within the industry, we have added three new categories, ‘Best Street Food’, ‘Best Farmers’ Market’ and ‘Best Cookery School’.

Luscombe Drinks is sponsoring the restaurant categories and has done so since the awards first launched. Founder and owner of this leading Devon organic soft drinks company, Gabriel David, says:  “Since the inception of the Awards, Luscombe Drinks have been key sponsors.  Food & Drink Devon’s profile has grown enormously since and these Awards are seen as a champion of great taste and service in Devon, attracting a national audience. We are very pleased to sponsor again in 2017.”

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Closing date for entries is Friday 21st April. Judging will be carried out by a panel of experts, including a number of celebrated names from the industry, and will take place over the following three months. All entrants will be able to benefit from invaluable product feedback provided by the panel. The winners will be invited to collect their awards at a dazzling black tie ceremony in October.

Kind sponsors of this year’s Awards include Luscombe Drinks, Stephens Scown Solicitors, Peplows Accountants, RAW PR & Marketing, Thornes Farm Shop, InkREADible Labels, Hedgerow Print, Black & White Asset Finance and Taste Buds magazine.

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Nigel Barden, BBC Radio 2

Food & Drink Devon works tirelessly to increase the county’s profile, both nationally and internationally.  Food & Drink Devon – ‘Love the Flavour’ represents a membership of like-minded businesses, dedicated to providing good quality local food and drink.  The Food & Drink Devon association is committed to continuously achieving its mission – to make ‘Love the Flavour’ a nationally recognised brand for outstanding sustainable food and drink.

For more information on Food & Drink Devon please visit www.foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk  and follow @lovetheflavour on Twitter.  For further information about the Awards or to enter please contact Ali Neagle on 07789 666064 or email awards@foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk.

Main Award Categories

  • Devon Producer Taste Awards– for individual items produced by primary and secondary producers.
  • Overall best Devon Producer Award– for primary and secondary producers.
  • Devon Producer Packaging Award– for primary and secondary producers.
  • Taste of Devon Hospitality– for restaurants, cafés, bistros, pubs and street food.
  • Devon Retailer– for farm shops, delis, food halls, other food shops and online retailers.
  • Best Farmers Market– open to all Farmers Markets across Devon.
  • Best Cookery School – open to all Cookery School across Devon.

Guest Chef Days Announced at Manna From Devon Cooking School

Manna from Devon Cooking School is delighted to announce the dates for the 2017 Guest Chef Classes: a series of celebrity chefs and foodie experts will be running classes at the school from March until September.

These guest days only pop up once a month and usually book up pretty quickly, a true reflection on the talent and reputation of each chef. This year’s Guest Chef classes are being hosted by Peter Greig of Pipers Farm, Mitch Tonks of Rockfish and The Seahorse, Romy Gill MBE from Romy’s Kitchen and food writer Charlotte Pike with another two hosts in the pipeline.

David, co-owner of Manna from Devon comments on the Guest Chef programme: “Holly and I are really excited to confirm we’ve got some of our best foodie friends joining us in 2017- we hope you can join us too! It’s important for us to involve other chefs and experts here at Manna from Devon, as we’re all about the community aspect of cooking; connecting lots of people through food and drawing on the array of amazing chefs and talent in the area.”

Peter masterminds Pipers Farm in Cullompton and he and his team produce the most amazing meats, raising their animals from birth and selling them through their own butchery and online shop. Peter will be bringing one of his lamb carcasses to butcher on Saturday 11th March and will be cooking up some of his fabulous meats in the wood fired ovens as well as discussing the Pipers Farm way of farming and how important it is to him; a true expert in his field.

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Peter Grieg

Mitch Tonks is an old friend of David and Holly’s. His knowledge and passion for fish and the fishing industry is inspiring and his fish dishes are truly delicious. As well as his chain of Rockfish restaurants in South Devon he runs The Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth so Manna from Devon are delighted to have him hosting what will be a fabulously convivial day of some outstanding fish and seafood recipes on Friday 7th April.

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Mitch Tonks

Romy Gill MBE will be hosting her class on Sunday 7th May and will be cooking some of her amazing Indian food from her restaurant, Romy’s Kitchen – traditional flavours with a light and contemporary twist. David and Holly have been friends with Romy for a long time and love hearing her tell our guests stories of growing up in India and her determination to open her restaurant in Thornbury, just outside of Bristol. If you like Indian cooking, this is a day not to be missed.

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Romy Gill

Food writer Charlotte Pike will be joining David and Holly at the school on Sunday 4th June – passionate about smoking food, she will be creating some amazing dishes, passing on lots of tips and discussing how the enthusiasm for this kind of cooking is growing. David and Holly discovered “low & slow” smoking on their road trip in America so are keen to compare notes with Charlotte.

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Charlotte Pike

Classes will take place at Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear and run from 10am – 4pm. All are limited to just 12 students and cost £175 per person.

To book one of the Guest Chef Classes visit http://www.mannafromdevon.com/cookery-courses/guest-chefs/ or call 01803 752943.

Follow Manna from Devon on:

Twitter (@mannafromdevon)

Facebook (facebook.com/mannafromdevon)

Instagram (mannafdevon)

Experience Valentine’s Day at South Sands Hotel

Salcombe’s South Sands Hotel is offering guests an exclusive dinner experience this Valentine’s Day as Head Chef Allister Bishop has prepared a romantic six course feast for lovers on this special night. Wherever possible, Allister uses local ingredients and integrates foraged food as demonstrated in this mouthwatering menu:

Beetroot soup

Liquorice & peppermint cured salmon, liquorice gel, soft herbs
or
Heritage tomato textures, Devon goat’s cheese mousse

Steamed local lemon sole fillet, hazelnut crust, wilted baby spinach
or
Sautéed gurnard, salsify purée, sprouting broccoli

8 hour slow cooked Dartmoor reared beef cheeks, heritage carrots & purée, soft mash
or
Pan fried guinea fowl, red quinoa, roasted shallot purée, grilled baby leeks

Sharing chocolate assiette plate
or
Oven roasted compressed rum scented pineapple tart tatin, lemon grass ice cream

or
Selection of West Country cheeses

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Encouraged by the knowing lure of fresh beach side produce and divine country living, Allister brings with him decades of experience having been based in London, working at some of the most reputable establishments the city has to offer – Harrods, Le Meridien and Hilton to name but a few.

Head chef Allister Bishop comments on the Valentines menu: “We look forward to welcoming our Valentine’s diners who are looking for something extra special – not just with the tasting menu but also with the wine, cocktails and surroundings. Wherever possible at South Sands we use local ingredients and integrate foraged food into both the food and the drinks menu. We’ve tried to create a sensational and ultimately romantic dining experience combined with the unparalleled views overlooking the Salcombe Estuary.”

The Valetine’s Dinner menu is complimented by a wine flight curated by sommelier Richard Coulson who recently joined the hotel from Gidleigh Park bringing with him 24 years of knowledge of the wine business.

Bar Manager Will Neal has created two Valentines cocktails, both are based on a warming and seasonal blend of white rum and honey with a sparkling splash of Lyme Bay Brut. The ‘Stupid Cupid’ includes beetroot powder and a touch of lemon juice and ‘Cold Black Heart’ incorporates activated charcoal.

The team are also hosting a South Sands Lunch Club from Monday to Saturday, 12-14.30, offering two courses for £14.95 or three courses for £19.95. This ends March 31st so don’t miss out on this sumptuous Winter treat!

The Valentine’s Day Dinner costs £65 pp or £95 pp with wine pairing and is bookable here or by calling 01548 845 900.

Whether it’s a first-rate dining experience, a romantic escape, a wedding or a corporate event space required, South Sands Hotel is the destination to treat your loved ones in 2017. Doubles cost from £170.

Vegans to Celebrate with First National Festival

The Vegan Festival of Britain

20 May –10 June 2017

From Aberdeen and Newcastle to Bristol, Exeter and Norwich, events are taking place all over the UK as part of the first Vegan Festival of Britain.

The three-week festival has been coordinated by Animal Aid to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The idea is for the rapidly growing vegan movement to inspire others by displaying its full range of creative talents. Events already organised include:

Food and living festivals

Cookery demonstrations

Restaurant promotions

Vegan markets

Talks and cookery lessons offered to every secondary school in the UK

A sponsored bike ride.

The Vegan Festival of Britain is to be launched at Vegfest UK, Bristol – Europe’s biggest vegan gathering – on 20 May, where 2000 slices of a giant vegan birthday cake will be handed out to the public.

Festival Organiser Mark Gold said today:

Few will deny that veganism is the diet of the moment, with opinion polls showing a massive rise in the number of people switching to plant-based nutrition. But as well as celebrating this surge in popularity, the Vegan Festival of Britain is looking to the future, with a nationwide programme of events to whet the appetite of all those who are open to the growing evidence that vegan food is better for our health and the environment and, of course, better for animals. What’s more, the food is fabulous!

For more information on The Vegan Festival of Britain – including a full list of events and a history of Animal Aid – go to http://veganfestivalofbritain.org.uk

Three events will be held in Exeter during May and June, see the dates and details here.

South West Chef Winners Announced Following Tense Final

Winners of this year’s South West Chef of the Year were announced last night at a glittering awards ceremony and dinner held at Exeter Golf & Country Club. The evening was hosted by competition co-founder Michael Caines MBE and his team of judges, each a top chef from the region, including Stephane Delourme of The Seafood Restaurant; Consultant Chef Peter Gorton; Matt Mason of Jack in the Green; Hywel Jones of Lucknam Park and Seth Ward of Bidvest Foodservice. The competition was also judged by Paul Ainsworth of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6; Neil Haydock of Watergate Bay Hotel; and Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park who spoke highly of the skill and dedication of the entrants.

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The tense grand finals of the two professional classes and the student chef class took place during the day at Exeter College with chefs battling it out for first place in their category as well as the coveted South West Chef of the Year 2016 award. Entrants in the Home Cook and Junior categories, whose finals had taken place earlier in the month, joined competitors for the awards presentation and dinner to find out if they had won an award in this year’s competition.

The awards dinner comprised a feast with courses prepared by three top regional chefs: judge Hywel Jones, a Michelin-starred Executive Chef at Lucknam Park, Bath; Jamie Rogers, a previous winner of South West Chef of the Year (2015) and Head Chef at Belgrave Sands Hotel, Torquay and Scott Paton, also a previous winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year (2009) and Head Chef at Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth. Hywel, Jamie and Scott were supported in the kitchen and front of house by students of the Michael Caines Academy.

Despite the competition being in its 13th year, the quality of cooking demonstrated by the entrants continued to surprise judges with its complexity and technical skill. Of the standard, Michael Caines said: “I have been delighted by the standard shown by the competitors. It’s not just about technical skill and the ability to put together mouth-watering flavours; we are also looking for innovation and flair together with the desire to really get behind locally sourced ingredients and give them the culinary treatment they deserve. I am passionate about our regional produce and have been really struck by the dedication our competitors have shown too.”

This year’s South West Chef of the Year was awarded to Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel. 2016 was Jamie’s second entry to the competition, proving that perseverance pays. Of his experience and win Jamie said: “This means a lot; it’s my second time competing at South West Chef of the Year and it feels amazing to have won. The competition has provided me with excellent experience and feedback; I came to the heats this year feeling much more prepared. I knew the larder and the process; I knew what I needed to do. My plan now is to keep working hard and learning as well as entering competitions.”

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As well as the opportunity to win a prestigious and respected title for their CV, competitors also received invaluable feedback from the judges, each a highly respected chef in their own right. This year also saw the return of previous competitors seeking to repeat their experience and progress up through the categories.

| Winners of this year’s competition |

Best Use of Regional Produce: Sue Stoneman of Exmouth, Devon

Best Menu: Timothy Kendall, Chef de Partie at The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

Best Presentation: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

Best Dish: Shaun Cassidy Sous Chef at Jack in the Green, Devon

SW Junior Chef of the Year: Ethan Macdonald The Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon

South West Home Cook of the Year: Sue Stoneman of Exmouth, Devon

South West Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year: Harrison Brockington of Exeter College and Apprentice Chef at Dart Marina Hotel, Devon

South West Young Professional Chef of the Year: Timothy Kendall Chef de Partie at The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

South West Professional Chef of the Year: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

South West Chef of the Year: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

 

| Finalists of this year’s competition |

South West Professional Chef of the Year:

Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef at Manor House Hotel, Wiltshire

Shaun Cassidy, Sous Chef at Jack in the Green, Devon

Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef at The Square, Cornwall

Magic Kijewski, Head Chef at Molecular Magic, Dorset

 

Young Professional category:

Joshua Martin, Junior Sous Chef at Deer Park Country House Hotel, Devon

Lily O’Donoghue, Commis Chef at Mount Somerset Hotel, Somerset

Jade Stephens, Chef de Partie at Lucknam Park, Bath

 

Student/Apprentice category:

Maia English, Apprentice Chef at The Elephant Restaurant, Devon

Sophie Kennard of Somerset College and Apprentice Chef at The Swan Inn, Devon

Lauren King, Apprentice Chef at The Horn of Plenty, Devon

 

Home Cook category:

Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset

Oonagh Egerton, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Beverley Milner Simonds, Burnham on Sea, Somerset

 

Junior category:

Abbie Brockway, Lytchett Minster School, Dorset

Ashley Gilder, Penrice Academy, St Austell, Cornwall

Ethan Macdonald, The Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon

Laura Phipps, Severnvale School, Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Daisy Taylor, Lavington School, Devizes, Wiltshire

 

For more info:

Website:                www.southwestchef.co.uk

Twitter:                  @SWChefComp

Facebook:             www.facebook.com/southwestchef

Manna From Devon Cooking School – The Wood Fired Experts for 2017

The trend for cooking with fire is bigger than ever and it shows no sign of cooling down. In 2017 cooking on a wood fired oven is going to be huge and Holly and David Jones, from Manna from Devon Cooking School, are the experts to teach you how. Connoisseurs in everything wood fired, book your space on their ever-popular courses before they’re snapped up.

With more restaurants, food vans and hotels choosing to cook with fire, it is no wonder people have acquired a taste for the smokey delicacies it produces and are opting to install wood fired ovens at home. Holly and David teach students how to prepare, manage and use the flame to cook a whole range of dishes, from ‘flash in the pan’ squid, slow roasted joints, baked artisanal breads and delicious sweet treats.

Holly and David’s expertise came from a love of cooking in traditional ways and after taking gastronomic trips around the world, including India and more recently to the Southern States of America, they have picked up tips and tricks from the best pitmasters and tandoori kings of the world.

Recently becoming the brand ambassadors for Morsø Wood Fired Ovens, and having published the ‘Wood Fired Oven Cookbook’ in 2012, Holly and David are excited looking ahead to 2017 and have a lot in store for the year. Watch this space!

Holly, whose formal training was at Leith’s cookery school, is Manna from Devon’s expert in seafood, and now, to add to her repertoire, is teaching the wood fired oven courses alongside David. Both run the school group classes and are now available to teach private classes, either in their purpose built wood fired kitchen or in situ with your wood fired oven at home.

If you can think of someone who would thrive in the heat of a wood fired cooking course at Manna from Devon, they are now selling gift vouchers, ready for Christmas. Just visit http://www.mannafromdevon.com/gift-vouchers-2/ or call 01803 752943 to find out more.

For upcoming dates and to book one of their wood fired courses visit http://www.mannafromdevon.com/cookery-courses/woodfired/ or call 01803 752943. Follow Manna from Devon on Twitter (@mannafromdevon), Facebook (facebook.com/mannafromdevon) or Instagram (mannafdevon)

South West Chef finalists announced for 2016

Entrants battled it out at the semi-finals of South West Chef of the Year on Saturday 8th October hosted by Exeter College. The region’s prestigious culinary competition, now in its 13th year, was co-founded and is co-judged by Michael Caines MBE and aims to nurture the next generation of top chefs. The nail-biting semi-finals on the weekend gave entrants in the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice classes the chance to impress nine top chefs from the region as well as the opportunity to go through to the grand final to be held on Monday 24th October.

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Of the standard demonstrated over the course of the semi-final, Michael Caines said: “All the entrants put in a huge amount of hard work with rigorous standards shown throughout the preparation stage and in the cooking and presentation of dishes. The judging team was delighted to see cooking of such high calibre.”

For the first time, judges were unable to split the semi-finalists in the Professional category and have selected five for the final, instead of the usual four. The finalists are Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef at Manor House Hotel; Shaun Cassidy, Sous Chef at Jack in the Green; Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel; Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef at The Square and Magic Kijewski, Head Chef at Molecular Magic.

Finalists in the Young Professional category are: Timothy Kendall, Chef de Partie at The Seafood Restaurant; Joshua Martin, Junior Sous Chef at Deer Park Country House Hotel; Lily O’Donoghue, Commis Chef at Mount Somerset Hotel and Jade Stephens, Chef de Partie at Lucknam Park.

Finalists in the Student/Apprentice category are: Harrison Brockington of Exeter College and Apprentice Chef at Dart Marina Hotel; Maia English, Apprentice Chef at The Elephant Restaurant; Sophie Kennard of Somerset College and Apprentice Chef at The Swan Inn and Lauren King, Apprentice Chef at The Horn of Plenty.

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The competition aims to provide entrants with the opportunity to learn and progress thanks to the feedback and mentoring they receive. Maia English, finalist in the Student/Apprentice Chef category is a previous winner of the Junior category in 2013 when she was still at school. Maia was mentored by one of the competition’s judges and since winning in 2013, has gone on to become an apprentice chef, firstly at Gidleigh Park while studying part-time at Exeter College and now at The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay.

Competitors frequently work their way up through the various categories of the competition and several of the entrants have reached the final before including: Jamie Coleman, Magic Kijewski and Joshua Martin.

This year’s competition was judged by Paul Ainsworth of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6; Stephane Delourme of The Seafood Restaurant; Consultant Chef Peter Gorton; Neil Haydock of Watergate Bay Hotel; Matt Mason of Jack in the Green; Amanda Metcalfe of Exeter College, Seth Ward of Bidvest Foodservice, Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park and head judge Michael Caines.

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The next stage of the competition will take place on Saturday 15th October with those in the Home Cook and Junior Classes battling it out in their final at Ashburton Cookery School in Devon.

A grand final for the two professional classes and the student chef class will take place on Monday 24th October at Exeter College. This will be followed by a sumptuous awards ceremony and dinner in the evening hosted by sponsor, Exeter Golf & Country Club.

The awards dinner will be hosted by Michael Caines and his team of judges and comprises a culinary feast with courses prepared by three top chefs from the region. The chefs selected to cook at this year’s awards dinner are judge Hywel Jones, a Michelin-starred Executive Chef at Lucknam Park, Bath; Jamie Rogers, a previous winner of South West Chef of the Year (2015) and Head Chef at Belgrave Sands Hotel, Torquay and Scott Paton, also a previous winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year (2009) and Head Chef at Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth. Hywel, Jamie and Scott will be supported in the kitchen and front of house by students of the Michael Caines Academy.

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Members of the public can buy tickets to the South West Chef of the Year Annual Awards Dinner, priced at £80 per person and enjoy sumptuous food and drink throughout the evening.  A further information and ticket reservation email address has been set up: info@southwestchef.co.uk.