This year I will be attending The Dartmouth Food Festival and I am incredibly excited about it. Not only is Dartmouth a beautiful town but it has a strong culinary history. This festival showcases the best of what the South West and particularly Devon has to offer. It’s free to attend and this year promises to be the best yet! Here is a snippet from the press release to get you as excited about the event as much as I am!
The Dartmouth Food Festival is now in its 15th year and over 20,000 people flock to see chefs in action in the beautiful town. It takes place between 21 and 23 October and the main Festival days to visit are Friday, Saturday and Sunday where there’ll be a wide array of market stalls, celebrity Chef Demonstrations and other activities going on.
With a vibrancy only matched by its selection of independent, nationally renowned shops, restaurants and galleries, Dartmouth is truly a captivating destination.
Beautiful Elizabethan streetscapes, incredible river views and a rightly romantic reputation has mean the beautiful town of Dartmouth, where a unique community sits nestled along the dramatic coastline of the River Dart, has always attracted those looking for the finer things in life.
With an abundance of locally-produced, high quality ingredients and a growing reputation for world-class food, Dartmouth is the perfect setting for what has been described as a ‘feast for the sense’.
With over 100 producers, including around 75% from Devon – the festival attracts visitors from near and far to browse from a wide selection of sumptuous food and drink and buy direct from the growers, makers, bakers and brewers. Stands selling breads, cheeses, meats, drinks, wines, beers, chocolate, flapjack, cake, chutneys, oils and much more will be available from 10am each day.
Taking over the town from the South Embankment, through the heart of the Royal Avenue Gardens, to the old Market, the Festival celebrates the kind of art we all love the taste of. There are stalls a plenty, something to suit everyone taste, from Bad Boy Chilli Mash, Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka, Café Alf Resco, Taco Shack, Miso Tree to name just a few that we’re excited about this year.
The festival plays host to over 20 chef demonstrations from TV Chefs to other talented, inspirational figures and local food heroes, you will not be disappointed with what you see. 2016 also sees the return of Mitch Tonks, one of the original ambassadors. Mitch describes the Festival as having “a party atmosphere from start to finish” which is clearly why he returns every year and we love having him and his team!
Mitch has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable seafood people in the country and an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author in the process. His Seahorse restaurant has won the Observer’s ‘Best UK Restaurant’ gong; his Rockfish takeaway restaurant chain has twice claimed ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards. Of his books, one of them – Fresh – scooped ‘Best Fish Book’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. And his achievements and influence have been further recognised with a nomination for Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and inclusion in The Caterer’s prized ‘Top 100 Most Influential Foodies’ list.
We’re also delighted to welcome Romy Gill MBE who is one of the few female Indian chef/owners in the UK, having opened Romy’s Kitchen Restaurant in September 2013 in Thornbury. She has since been nominated as a BBC Bristol Food Hero, shortlisted for an Asian Women of Achievement Award, was one of five women listed in the inaugural Bristol and Bath Business Awards in the ‘Woman of the Year’ category, was nominated in three categories in the Bristol Good Food Awards, and as ‘Best Newcomer’ in The British Curry Awards 2014. Tom Parker Bowles listed Romy among his top ‘fabulous female chefs in the UK’ in the Daily Mail and this year she has become an ambassador for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.
Matt Tebbutt is also set to return and we’re so excited! Matt’s culinary career began with a diploma from Leith’s School of Food and Wine. He completed a traineeship with Marco Pierre White, then moved to the kitchens of Chez Bruce, followed by a stint at Clarke’s, where he learned the art of bread-making.
He returned to Wales in 2001 after an absence of eight years and, with his wife Lisa, has transformed the former Foxhunter pub at Nantyderry into an acclaimed restaurant, winning AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales in 2004. Matt had previously also worked with pioneering chef Alastair Little at his Lancaster Road and Soho restaurants, and the chef’s influence is evident in Matt’s menu at the Foxhunter.
Tom Parker-Bowles, Mark Hicks, Simon Hulstone, Matt Norton among many others, including local chefs will be whipping up a storm in our kitchen and having a fair few laughs along the way.
Susy Atkins, the famed author and broadcaster who is known for her no-nonsense, down-to-earth and often humorous approach, will also be returning. She says: “”I love Dartmouth and I totally volunteered to be part of it. The South West is so great at promoting its best produce and I’ve made it my personal business to try and promote drinks more. I be hosting some drinks seminars at Browns Hotel which I love”. Susy appears regularly on BBC1’s flagship cookery programme, Saturday Kitchen, and speaks at food and wine festivals around the UK.
Susy writes the weekly ‘Sauce’ drinks column for the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine and is wine columnist for the new National Geographic magazine supplement Green. She has won awards for her writing, including the Glenfiddich Book of the Year for Drink!, Champagne Lanson Book of the Year for the Which? Wine Guide (twice!) and International Wine and Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year
The Guardian newspaper describes the Festival as “One of the Top Ten food festivals in the UK”. Whilst The Telegraph saying It is a ‘heady mix of celebrity chefs, parties, food markets, tasting shacks and demonstrations’, it is no surprise that the festival is now a landmark event on the culinary calendar.
I will be staying right in the heart of the town amongst all the foodie activities and I can’t wait to tell you all about my experiences whilst I am there. I hope to see and meet plenty of exhibitors and have the opportunity to try lots of yummy local delicacies. I’m sure there will be lots of new things for me to try. I also hope to get involved with some of the demonstrations. As you can see from the press release there will be plenty of fine foodie knowledge that can be passed on to me. I am truly very excited to spend time in a wonderful town with likeminded food enthusiasts. Look out for my blog posts!