A little slice of foodie heaven
CU CARTTE S STIC&K FINGE Y RS
N o I T U L O V E T R E E STR
NO.18 AUGUst 2017
I invented Polos!
NO.18 AUGUst 2017
Surf vs turf Sea Or sOiL?
iCh Gets WhiC vOte? yOur vO yO
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ExpLOre the COastaL Larder with
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I hear you made a mint!
7 SUMMER SENSATIONS!
SCORCHIN CHING RECIPES
The GOurmet FOraGer
FeeL The BURN
t N I M
TURN UP THE HEAT!
FROM THE REGION’s BEST COOKS
THE REDDEST, HOTTEST CHILLI PEPPERS
AND HOW TO GROW THEM
£ 3 wh
d N E G E L E TGh r's e m m u s h it w h s e r f et COOLest inGredient
sO MintOxICatinG Is there a better time of year to enjoy mint? Spring may have claimed it for the lambs, but I think its heart belongs to summer. Thrown in a jug of Pimms, tossed through a freshly boiled batch of new potatoes, mixed with cucumber, courgettes and peas in a salad… we could go on. And on. In fact, there are so many dishes it likes to have fun with, we just had to name it this month’s Hero Ingredient. In saying that, though, summer is pretty darn great for all fresh herbs. Our herb garden is abundant with flavoursome foliage, ready to spruce up the simplest of meals. While we feel quietly confident about what to do with herbs, seaweed is a different kettle of fish (or should that be ‘family of plants’?). Did you know that there are over 20 different types of edible seaweed native to UK coastal waters? No, neither did we. You can eat it raw, stir-fried, dried, and even fermented. It’s completely versatile and the flavours vary wildly, depending on which part of the shore you take it from. This month we were lucky enough to get the lowdown on some of Devon’s rich coastal pickings when we met up with The Gourmet Forager – read all about it on page 30. Oh, and as usual we’ve been scouring the county for yummy seasonal recipes from the region’s best cooks. Turn to page 19 to see what delights you could be rustling up for tonight’s supper. There’s even a treacle pudding in there. (Whadda ya mean, that’s not a summer recipe? In our opinion, treacle pudding is timeless.) Enjoy!
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MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800; www.mediaclash.co.uk large version
© All rights reserved. May not be eproduced without written permission reproduced of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we spent hours on our hands and knees foraging for lobster. (Sadly, all our efforts came to nothing, but we had lots of fun in the beautiful, briny sea.)
Table of Contents STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Keeping things minty fresh 11 OPENINGS ETC The latest foodie findings 12 ASK THE EXPERT Feeling hot, hot, hot 14 TRIO Ice cool ice creams
CHEF! Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 20 Potato and chorizo hash, by Guy Watson 22 Sesame crusted salmon, by Mindful Chef
NO. 18 AUGUST 2017
24 Halloumi and summer veg, by Jim Fisher 26 Sticky ale and walnut pud, by Toby Hembury
KITCHEN ARMOURY 30 HOUSE CALL Looking for lobster with The Gourmet Forager 35 THE WANT LIST Summer strawberry delights
MAINS 38 SURF VS TURF Pitting the meaty maestros against the fishy fiends
42 HITTING THE STREETS In pursuit of Devon’s finest, tastiest street food
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 50 Pattard Kitchen 52 Noel Corston 54 The Village Inn 56 The Jubilee Inn PLUS! 58 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Devon food blogger Gaby Dyson shares her favourite foodie hangouts
OPEN GRILL | ALFRESCO DINING ON THE TERRACE
To book your table call 01626 777956
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
IN THE SUMMER TIME, when the weather is hot, let’s all drink gin, aboard a luxury yacht… Or so we reckon the song should go. And now, our decktop fantasy has become a reality thanks to those clever bods over at Salcombe Gin, who are offering the South West’s first gin delivery service. The guys have teamed up with Dartmouth-based Ribeye, who have provided a stylish and powerful custom powerboat to deliver gin hampers to yachts along our coasts, ensuring the booze arrives rapidly and in perfect condition for the ultimate sundowner. Each hamper contains everything you need for the perfect G&T: a 70cl bottle of Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’, tonic water, Copa-style gin glasses, a copper gin jigger measure, ice, tongs and (of course!) a ruby red grapefruit for the signature garnish. From £100 per delivery and hamper. Make ours a double! salcombegin.com/yachtdeliveryservice
S T A R T E R S
THE COOLER-THAN-COOL HERB THAT BRINGS SOMETHING UNIQUE TO THE PARTY: A CLEAN COLDNESS THAT SAYS ‘REFRESHING’ IN A WAY ICE ITSELF CAN BUT ENVY…
he Greek goddess Persephone had a tough time of it. The daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, she was abducted by her own uncle, Hades, and forced to become his Queen of the Underworld, taking it all out on the sexy water nymph, Minthe. This lass lived in the river Cocytus, until Persephone turned her into a plant when she found out her incestuous hubby fancied her. Bad luck for the saucy naiad, but good luck for us – for this plant became mint, best friend to lamb and to chocolate, and gift to the morning-breathed.
Nobody’s quite sure how many varieties of mint there are, but it’s somewhere in the teens as regards basic species, plus endless hybrids and cultivars – so spearmint is one of the originals, for instance, and peppermint a hybrid derived from it. (Confusing things further, everything from basil to rosemary are in the mint family too.) Whatever version you’re looking at, though, we’re talking an aromatic herb with distinctive serrated-edged, often downy leaves; they’re all hardy, fast growing (even invasive, if allowed to be), love to be near water, and are generally considered a good companion plant, attracting beneficial insects and repelling unwelcome ones.
Turns out, compounds like pulegone and menthone – distinctive smelling, and part of what we enjoy about mint – are all natural insecticides. (Wasps and ants, for instance, hate ’em.) Though not strictly seasonal – mint grows all year round – we’re talking about it now because it’s a key ingredient in some of our favourite summer cocktails. Mojitos, Mint Juleps, Martinis, G&Ts and Pimms can all be brought to life with a hint of fresh mint. It's amazing in vegetable soups – pea especially – too. The taste of mint is enough to make it a star anyway, but what really gives it such a distinctive kick is its cool aftertaste, so potent in teas, soft drinks, and sweet dishes of every kind. It also gives mint a unique role, flavouring toothpaste, chewing gum and breath fresheners – not glamorous, perhaps, but nothing looks as clean as mint feels – and appearing in all sorts of traditional medicines. (Not great for the small proportion allergic to it, of course; it can both cure diarrhoea – and create it.) Mint and menthol crop up in aromatherapy too, and many a perfume and cosmetic – indeed, in ancient times it was thrown on the well-trampled dirt of a home’s ground floor, where animals often shared space with people, making the reek at least
tolerable. As an additional plus, it kept away rats and mice. In the kitchen, of course, mint buddies up with lamb the best. Mint sauce – fresh chopped mint leaves, something sweet (caster sugar or honey, maybe), white wine vinegar and hot water – is a joy, but mint works with almost all the natural accompaniments (minted Jersey Royal potatoes, for instance), too. And mint also goes with other meats – indeed, in the 18th century it was often seen as a natural pairing with pig. Elsewhere, mint stars in puds – it enjoys the company of pineapple and pears, raspberry or (naturally) chocolate. Mint’s beverage uses don’t end with alcoholic cocktails, either; there are mint lemonades and mint teas, though the 2012 launch of Minta, a mint-flavoured soft drink, has so far failed to set the world alight. (Tastes too much like mouthwash, apparently.) Rumour has it we’ve got Elizabeth I to thank for the lamb thing, by the way. One of her royal edicts – demanding lamb only be eaten with bitter herbs, an attempt to safeguard the wool industry by keeping all the sheep from being gobbled up – sort-of backfiring when it was discovered that one ‘bitter herb’, at least, tastes great with the woolly jumpers.
BLACK JACK COCKTAIL
Recipe from Will Neal, bar manager at South Sands Hotel; southsands.com 20ml Cornish pastis 15ml Jack Daniels 30ml Lillet handful of black mint, chopped 30ml elderflower liqueur Heron Valley apple juice METHOD 1 Mix together the pastis, Jack Daniels, Lillet and the mint. Shake well! 2 Pour over crushed ice and top up with the elderflower liqueur and apple juice.
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder 4
LOCAL PRODUCE THAT’S PUTTING A ZING IN OUR STEP THIS SUMMER 1 PASS THE CHUTNEY Otter Vale Apple and Mint Jelly, £2/350g For 21 years, Otter Vale have proven themselves to be masters of quality, handmade chutneys, and this little beauty is no exception. This juicy jelly goes down a treat with Sunday’s roast pork or lamb, but we also like to use it with leftovers the next day, and put a dollop of it in our sandwiches to liven up the taste buds. Available from farm shops and delis across Devon. otter-vale.co.uk 2 FEELING FRUITY Annings Pear & Mint Cider, £2.65/500ml A picnic wouldn’t be complete without a crisp, fruity cider to
slurp on while we tuck into our sausage rolls and mini quiches. We’re particularly partial to this gem, made exclusively by Lyme Bay Winery for Annings. Created using real fruit extracts and devoid of any of that sugary badness that leads to a whopping hangover, this juicy, sweet pear cider is given a refreshing lift by the aroma of garden mint. lymebaywinery.co.uk 3 LET’S GET SAUCY Fussels Mint Mayonnaise, £2.50/240g We’re huge fans of clever condiments here at Crumbs Devon, so we were thrilled when we stumbled across this delicious mint mayo. Slather it on your burgers, pair it with your sausage
and mash, or keep it traditional with lamb chops. Technically not a Devon product, as it’s made across the border in Somerset, we had to add it our lust list purely because of its tantalising twist on your traditional mayo. Available from Mole Valley Farmers and select farm shops. fusselsfinefoods.co.uk 4 SOMETHING SWEET Mint Chilli Chocolate, £3.50/100g If you’re looking for an after-dinner palate cleaner, banish that box of After Eight (so 1980s, don’t cha know?) and indulge in this Mint Chilli Chocolate from South Devon Chilli Farm. A Gold winner back in 2007 at Taste of the West, it still packs a punch today. The mint
sensation hits you first with a zing, followed by the warmth of the chilli. Available from independent retailers across Devon. southdevonchillifarm.co.uk 5 BBQ-LICIOUS Riverford Lamb and Mint Burgers, £4.95/400g Treating your nearest and dearest to a summer barbecue and not sure what to cook? Look no further than these deliciously succulent burgers from our friends at Riverford. Organic and gluten-free, they’re packed with flavour, with a hint of mint. Best of all, they don’t crumble when you put them over the coals, like so many soggy supermarket burgers do. Available from Riverford. riverford.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
instA FEED COTTAGE INDUSTRY
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage could be set to grow if East Devon Council approve a planning application to expand the headquarters at River Farm in Axminster. The plans submitted are for a cookery school, a 16-room guesthouse, an events space and farm ‘living room’. If approved, it will create 19 new jobs and allow River Cottage to compete with some of the biggest cookery schools in the country. “The future offering will include four-day residential cookery courses in line with other major cookery schools like Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Padstow Seafood School and Ballymaloe Cookery School,” reads the planning application. We will watch this space… rivercottage.net
@thestorescroyde Enjoying National Cream Tea Day at The Stores in Croyde
@rocksaltcafe Lovely and light in the hot weather. Rabbit terrine, celeriac remoulade, soused raisins and wild garlic
VIVA LA REVOLUTION! Revolution has landed in Torquay, with the chain’s latest branch opening in Winter Gardens. Keep appetites satiated with typical bar fodder, like burgers and nachos. Tuck into the bestselling Hey Pesto! pizza, with chicken, green pesto, roasted peppers, feta and fresh basil. Or, if you’re just looking for drinks, opt for the signature Salted Caramel Mudshake, featuring Ketel One Vodka, white chocolate and salted caramel popcorn-flavoured vodkas, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. A pud in a glass! revolution-bars.co.uk
IN THE DIARY...
IN THE A-TEAM
Lyme Bay Winery added another string to its bow last month when it achieved a BRC Global Standard (Issue 7) with a Grade A rating – the only English wine producer to currently hold this prestigious accreditation. This follows on from it being awarded a number of high profile drinks awards over the past few months, adding to the brand’s already impressive reputation as a leading English wine producer. lymebaywinery.co.uk
(29 July) EXETER RUM FESTIVAL Learn about the history of rum, meet distillers and sample over 50 varieties of the sailors’ favourite tipple at the fifth annual Exeter Rum Festival, held at Exeter Castle. ukrumfestivals.com (30 July) ROCKFISH CRAB FESTIVAL Mitch Tonks and Angela Hartnett host this lunchtime party celebrating South Devon’s delectable crab. Enjoy the bar and live music as the boats pootle past on the river. therockfish.co.uk (4-6 August) DEVON STREET FOOD FESTIVAL Head to Ilfracombe for the second Devon Street Food Festival, showcasing some of the best of the county’s burgeoning street food scene. Confirmed stallholders include Soleluna Pizza, Gourmet Street Kitchen and Pakora Pod. facebook.com/DevonStreetFood (11-12 August) HONITON SAUSAGE AND CIDER FESTIVAL Sup on a pint of Silly Cow Cider and chow down on a sizzling sausage from Good Game Kitchen at this weekend shindig celebrating food, drink and music. honitonfestival.org
Ask the Expert
TUrNING UP the heat SOME MIGHT LIKE IT HOT, BUT THERE’S MORE TO CHILLI THAN JUST TEMPERATURE, AS STEVE WATERS, CO-FOUNDER OF THE SOUTH DEVON CHILLI FARM, EXPLAINS
Hi Steve! We can’t wait to hear all about your chilli farm, but first tell us how you came to be an expert in chillies. I initially trained as a computer software engineer, but chillies have always been a personal passion. It stemmed from a love of hot food, which led to me growing chillies in my garden greenhouse. Back in 2001, a friend and I took a lease on a plant nursery at South Milton in the South Hams. Our first crop was a great success, so we decided to plant more varieties. The rest, as they say, is history.
about, as they’re a key ingredient in a lot of Indian dishes. People naturally assume the plants are native to India, but no. As for us, it’s believed chillies were first brought over to the UK from India in the 16th century.
And winding back yet further, what can you tell us about the history of chillies? Consumption of chillies can be dated back to the time of the Aztecs. Today, chilli is still a staple ingredient in the Mexican diet. The peppers were first popularised in Europe when explorers brought them back on their ships. Ironically, it was actually the Portuguese who were responsible for first bringing the chilli plant to India as late as the 15th century – which is weird to think
And how do they vary in flavour and heat? The jalapeños have a medium heat and thick flesh, and are great for pickling and slicing onto pizzas or cheese on toast. The hot Cayennes are great for adding lots of heat to curries. Scotch bonnets, as you might know, are super hot and have a lovely fruity flavour. They are great for adding in small amounts to fresh salsas, Caribbean dishes or any meal where you want a good amount of heat and a fruity flavour.
What, then, are the most important types of chilli? The most common chillies that you find in shops in the UK are probably jalapeños, hot Cayennes or finger chillies, as well as Scotch bonnets.
Blimey! And how do you come up with ideas for all your chilli products? We grow over 200 varieties of chillies and, when we get new varieties, we experiment endlessly with the best ways to make use of their unique flavours. Chilli chocolate is one of our more unusual products, for instance. The combination of dried chilli with good quality chocolate is delicious – and quite moreish, once you get the endorphin rush from the chilli heat.
If someone doesn’t like their chilli overly hot, what type should they go for? We have lots of mild and medium heat chillies, such as pepperoncini, which is great for pickling; Sante Fe Grande or Hungarian hot wax, which is great for stuffing with cheese and baking or barbecuing; sweet banana, which has thick flesh and very little heat – good for chopping into salads or stews; and Anaheims, which are classic New Mexican chillies, typically stuffed with rice or minced beef. If we were thinking of giving chilli growing a go, what tips do you have? Chillies need warm soil to germinate, but once the plants are bigger they are happy on a windowsill, in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or even outside during the summer. They prefer free draining compost and don’t like to be overwatered. They are not frost hardy, so you have to bring them inside over winter.
A little bird tells us you’ve got some celeb fans. Do tell us more… Gillian Anderson from The X-Files and The Fall is a major fan of our chilli chocolate, we’re pleased to be able to say. Also, Jamie Oliver and Thomasina Miers have recommended us as a supplier of chillies in a few of their cookery books. Any recipes you can share with us? One that’s great for summer, when fresh chillies are in season, is Pimento de Padron chillies – a Spanish tapas chilli. You just fry them with a little olive oil and lots of sea salt, turn them until they soften and char a little on each side. Then hold by the stem and eat them whole, right down to the stem, whilst they’re still warm. They are typically mild, but the odd one can be really hot – so it’s a bit like Russian Roulette! southdevonchillifarm.co.uk
And how long does it take to grow a batch of chillies? We grow all of our summer crop from seeds germinated in January and February. The early fruiters are fruiting in June, and the super hot varieties are typically ready at the end of August. We keep harvesting the crop until November or December. Once picked and in our kitchens, how should fresh chilli be stored? Fresh chillies will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, and perhaps a year or so in the freezer. You can also dry them and store them in airtight containers. What dishes are best cooked with chilli? We like to add chilli to every dish – even desserts! If you don’t like things too hot, just add less chilli or a milder chilli. You can add a few drops of our chilli sauces to any dish.
MANGO SALSA SERVES 2
INGREDIENTS 1 mango, diced 1 spring onion, sliced thinly 1 teaspoon fresh, medium heat chillies, finely chopped juice of ½ a lime 1 small bunch coriander, chopped METHOD 1 Mix ingredients in a bowl. 2 Allow mixture to stand before serving.
S T A R T E R S
THE COWLICK CREAMERY
Who are they? An artisan ice cream business, based in Plymouth and owned and operated by a husband and wife team, Rory and Carly Fallon. The Cowlick creates unique, custom-made ice creams and sorbets from scratch. Whole milk and double cream are pasteurized in small batches, before adding locally sourced fruits and other seasonal ingredients. The venture has caught the attention of high-end restaurants and chefs, who can create bespoke flavours to complement their menus.
M A I N S
What about the flavour? The gin and tonic sorbet has been a winner this summer, popular at weddings and with corporate clients. Also tasty is the dairy-free chocolate sorbet, which tastes just like a dark chocolate torte, and the tequila and lime sorbet. Where can I buy it? Restaurants in and around Plymouth, such as Turtley Corn Mill, The Bridge, Chloe’s, The Dock, The Mission, Kuku and Steak & Omelette. The Cowlick Creamery, Unit 30F Estover Close, Plymouth PL6 7PL; thecowlick.com
GivinG it LiCKs IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER, YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM… (DEVON-MADE, OF COURSE)
VERNEY’S MOLTON ICE
Who are they? Verney’s Molton Ice is the award-winning brainchild of Janet Verney, who set up the business as a sideline on the family dairy farm. She separates the cows’ milk for the cream, and adds sugar and other carefully sourced ingredients from across the UK, to make a range of ice creams and sorbets.
Who are they? Nestled in Devon’s southern-most town, Salcombe Dairy has produced artisan ice cream for over 35 years. The milk is brought in from a local farm every morning and mixed with Devon double cream and the highest quality natural ingredients. The ice creams are egg and gluten free and the sorbets are suitable for vegans. Salcombe Dairy has won no fewer than 23 Great Taste Gold Awards.
What about the flavour? It’s famous for its honeycomb ice cream, with customers making pilgrimages to Salcombe just to buy it. The stem ginger and Alphonso mango sorbet are also top notch. Where can I buy it? Stocked in farm shops and delis across Devon, as well as some supermarkets, such as Waitrose. Salcombe Dairy, Shadycombe Road, Salcombe TQ8 8DX; salcombedairy.co.uk
What about the flavour? The ice cream has a unique white appearance – thanks to those healthy, grass-fed cows. Popular flavours include vanilla, lemon curd, blackcurrant, Exmoor heather honey, and elderflower (which is dairy and gluten-free). Where can I buy it? Stocked at a variety of farm shops and tourist attractions in Devon, including Mole Valley Farmers, Halberton Court Farm Shop, Barnstaple Museum, Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre and Love Local Food Exeter. Verney’s Molton Ice, Parsonage Farm, Bishops Nympton, South Molton EX36 3QL; moltonice.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
Ask the Waiter Who knows the menu best? Who makes the greatest impact on your experience? Who knows the menu best? Who is makes the greatest impact on your Front-of-house your friend! experience? Front of house is your friend!
events and cocktail competitions. Plus, my knowledge of food has increased significantly. Who is The Oddfellows typical customer, then? Our clientele varies, from students to families and everything in between. All kinds of people seem to like us and we have a good balance, from hipster young folk right up to those who are retired and enjoying life. I think it comes down to our laidback atmosphere and good products. The bar and restaurant are separated, so we get a good bar vibe and the restaurant is always busy. The Speakeasy Cocktail Lounge upstairs is also loved by a very broad demographic. It’s awesome up there. What are the bestselling dishes on your menu at the moment? Our kiln roasted salmon salad with sun dried tomatoes, cucumber, Parmesan and poached egg is very popular right now. Also, our tenderloin of pork wrapped in Parma ham, dauphinoise potato, braised baby gem, bacon and peas, asparagus and apple sauce is a serious crowd pleaser. For dessert, our white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake with basil sorbet has received countless compliments.
a nOrmaL feLLOw!
BENJAMIN CUMNER, HELLO! WE HEAR YOU’RE ASSISTANT MANAGER OF THE ODDFELLOWS GASTRO BAR IN EXETER So, Ben, how long have you been helping to man the pumps at The Oddfellows? Just over nine months. Before here, I worked for JD Wetherspoon. What are the best things about being here? Working in an environment that serves food and drink of exceptional quality, which is locally sourced wherever possible, is a predominant factor – and gives me a strong sense of pride in my work. Also, I enjoy being part of an independent family business where the team has worked extremely hard to create a place that guests can return to time and again. What’s the most challenging part of your job? Keeping up with product knowledge. The bar and restaurant industry is ever-changing, as are customer needs, and new products are coming onto the market daily. Having said that, it’s also the most interesting part of my job, and it keeps us all on our toes.
What about tipples? We have an ever-expanding gin selection, sourced exclusively from the West Country, and we frequently have customers coming to us specifically to try a new gin. We also have an avid ale following. From The Speakeasy Cocktail Lounge, our Smokey Joe goes down really well, as does the Real McCoy, which is our take on a Pornstar Martini, served with a shot of Prosecco on the side. What do you think makes great customer service? Visitors need to get the sense that nothing is too much trouble. It’s about feeling welcomed, and being served by someone who is passionate about what they do. As a staff member, it’s having confidence in the products you’re selling and being able to advise customers, whether it be on dietary requirements or just a suggestion of what to eat when there is too much choice. Where have you visited locally where the food and customer service was excellent? I eat and drink in Rendezvous, Southernhay House and Forn, as frequently as possible. The staff at all three venues are effortlessly efficient, and so welcoming every time I visit. The Oddfellows Exeter Gastro Pub, 60 New North Road, Exeter EX4 4EP; 01392 209 050; theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
What skills have you learnt since coming here? I’m lucky to have had so many opportunities to expand my knowledge and love of the trade. I have been fully cocktail trained, had barista training, and have attended wine master classes, gin tasting
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B O O K
T H E
M O N T H
THESE ARE THE BOOKS THAT MARK TAYLOR HAS BEEN TUCKING INTO THIS MONTH…
CARAVAN DINING ALL DAY
SPICED ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, HARISSA, POMEGRANATE YOGHURT
This is the long-waited first recipe book from New Zealanders Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton and Chris Ammermann, founders of London’s award-winning Caravan restaurants and Caravan Coffee Roasters. This entrepreneurial trio is responsible for bringing the Antipodean all-day dining culture to the UK, and this stylish cookbook features more than 100 recipes that reflect Caravan’s global food ethos. Using vibrant and healthy ingredients with an emphasis on grains, vegetables and innovative ingredient combinations, recipes include jalapeño cornbread, chipotle butter, coriander and lime; aubergine purée with preserved lemon gremolata and poached eggs; and chargrilled lamb cutlets and chermoula. There’s also a chapter dedicated to coffee and how to make the perfect brew at home without the need to buy an expensive espresso machine.
Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton and Chris Ammermann (Vintage, £25)
The harissa and pomegranate yoghurt give the dish that extra hit of flavour, and makes for lovely presentation too. INGREDIENTS
1 large cauliflower 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or neutral-flavoured oil 1 tbsp olive oil 25g garam masala 75g Greek yoghurt 15g pomegranate molasses 100g harissa 1 tbsp nigella seeds 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds sea salt coriander cress, to garnish (or use picked coriander leaves) METHOD
1 Preheat the oven to 180/350F/gas mark 4. 2 Cut the cauliflower into quarters and then cut each quarter in half, so you have
8 wedges of cauliflower. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan and fry 4 pieces of cauliflower on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and repeat with the remaining 4 pieces. 3 Place the cauliflower into a large bowl, pour in the olive oil and garam masala and toss to ensure a good coating on all sides, then tip the cauliflower onto a large roasting tray and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. 4 Meanwhile, combine the Greek yoghurt with the pomegranate molasses in a small bowl and season with salt; set aside. 5 Spread a tablespoon of harissa over the base of each serving plate, then place a couple of wedges of cauliflower on top of that. Dollop on spoonfuls of pomegranate molasses yoghurt and sprinkle with nigella seeds and pomegranate seeds. Finally, garnish with coriander cress or leaves and serve.
VENETO: SIX RECIPES FROM SEASONS: AN ITALIAN A NEW COUNTRY WAY WITH KITCHEN VEGETABLES Valeria Necchio Faber, £20
Italian-born food photographer and writer Valeria Necchio captures the spirit and flavours of North Eastern Italy in her first cookbook, which was inspired by her popular recipe blog. This is essentially a book of Venetian home cooking, with ideas inspired by what’s good at the local markets. The recipes are straightforward and comforting – think tagliatelle with rabbit ragu, barbecued pork ribs, pancetta and sausage with rosemary, and stir-fried fine beans with basil and garlic. For those with a sweet tooth there are some delights including almond polenta shortbread tart, baked peaches with mascarpone cream, and lemon sorbet with Prosecco and grappa. It’s all brought together with some beautiful photographs that will make you want to jump on the next plane to Veneto.
Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg Artisan, £30
Chef Joshua McFadden spent years cooking in some of the finest kitchens in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, but it was his two years on a farm in Maine that changed his understanding of how to make vegetables taste extraordinary. Divided into six seasons, rather than the traditional four, to give a more accurate reflection of what’s happening in the fields, this book is a groundbreaking look at cooking with vegetables. Each chapter opens with recipes that feature raw vegetables straight out of the soil and, as each chapter progresses, McFadden uses grilling, steaming, sautés, panroasts, braises and stews. An important book, its highlights include pasta carbonara with English peas; green bean, tuna and mushroom ‘casserole’; cauliflower ragu; and roasted beet, citrus and olive salad with horseradish.
VEGAN RECIPES FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
EAT, DRINK, LIVE
Fran Warde Ryland Peters & Small, £14.99
Parvin Razavi Grub Street, £18.99
Iranian-born Parvin Razavi says the starting points that inspired this book were ‘enjoyment, hospitality, tradition, creativity, sustainability and joy of life’, which certainly seems to have most things covered when it comes to home cooking for family and friends. Think of Middle Eastern cuisine and you may immediately think of meat, but vegetables are treated with the utmost respect and this book makes them the star. Taking the varied cuisines of Iran, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey, many of the dishes in the book are based around grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits. The recipes include cool and fragrant soups, delicate preserves, pilaff, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries. We particularly like the stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate, and the roast cauliflower with tahini dip.
Chef Fran Warde’s philosophy is ‘to give people the confidence to cook and laugh in their own kitchens’, using ingredients that are readily available at the local supermarket. The 150 simple recipes are designed to leave time for sharing with friends and family, with inspirational ideas for table decorating. From weekend brunches with friends and roast dinner with the family to romantic dinners for two and summer picnics, the range of recipes includes Middle Eastern barbecued lamb with preserved lemon and tomato pickle, Turkish toasted bread and watermelon and rosewater salad, and potato and watercress salad with mustard seeds. Backed up with some stunning lifestyle photography from Debi Treloar, this is an invaluable book for those who want to eat well despite having busy lives.
CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
H I G H L I G H T S
Find comfort in eggs, asparagus, new potatoes and chorizo Page 20
Walnuts are the healthiest of all the nuts, apparently. So we feel no guilt at all eating walnut pudding. Honest!
Spruce up your fillets with an Asian-inspired twist Page 22
LET’S GO NUTS A sticky walnut pudding that’s devilishly moreish Page 26
P L U S
STACKED! The ultimate veggie supper CRUMBSMAG.COM
C H E F !
MaKING a hash OF IT
NEW POTATO AND CHORIZO HASH WITH ASPARAGUS AND EGG SERVES 2
WHO SAYS COMFORT FOOD IS JUST FOR WINTER? THIS SEASONAL SUPPER FROM GUY WATSON HAS GOT US FEELING ALL COSY INSIDE British asparagus is one of those ingredients we just can’t get enough of during the summer. Delicious on its own, blanched for a few minutes in hot water and then drizzled with salty butter, it’s equally at home paired with other strong flavours, like smoky bacon, Parmesan or mint. In season until the end of the month, nab yourself a bunch of British asparagus now and try this delicious dish from Guy Watson at Riverford. The combination of new potato, chorizo, asparagus and egg makes us feel all glowy on a chilly summer’s day. Guy tells us we can either fry or poach our eggs for this recipe. His top tip: use the freshest eggs for making poached eggs, so the white seals around the yolks (adding white wine vinegar helps with this too).
INGREDIENTS 600g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half, or in quarters if larger sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying and roasting 250g asparagus, trimmed splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar ½ tsp smoked paprika 1 red onion, finely diced 2 cooking chorizo sausages (200-250g), skinned and meat crumbled handful of finely chopped parsley splash of white wine vinegar or cider vinegar, if poaching your eggs 2 eggs salt and black pepper METHOD 1 Heat the oven to 210C/190F/gas mark 7, or heat a cast-iron griddle pan over a high heat. Put the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Drain and lightly crush with a potato masher or fork. 2 Toss the asparagus in 1 tablespoon of oil in a baking dish. Add a splash of sherry or red wine vinegar, the smoked paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8-12 minutes (depending on the thickness), until tender. 3 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook slowly for 10 minutes to soften without colouring. If it starts to catch, add a splash of water and reduce the heat. 4 Add the chorizo, increase the heat slightly and fry for 4-5 minutes, to cook the chorizo through. Stir in the potatoes and warm through. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. 5 If poaching your eggs, add a good splash of vinegar to the simmering pan of water. Crack the eggs into individual ramekins or small bowls. Use a spoon to swirl the water so it looks like a whirlpool. Gently drop the eggs into the water, one at a time, and poach for 3 minutes. Alternatively, fry the eggs in a little oil to your liking. Sprinkle the eggs with a little extra salt before serving on top of the potatoes, chorizo, onion and asparagus. For more Riverford recipes, visit riverford.co.uk/recipes
C H E F !
LOOKING FOR A QUICK AND HEALTHY SUMMER SUPPER? RUSTLE UP THIS SUCCULENT SALMON DISH FROM MINDFUL CHEF IN UNDER 20 MINUTESâ€¦
Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries are the faces of Mindful Chef, and are the authors of the bestselling cookbook, Eat Well: Live Better. Originally school friends at Exeter School in Devon, they founded Mindful Chef in 2015 to bring healthy recipe boxes to the UK. The premise is simple: they send out pre-portioned ingredients to customers so they can cook up delicious, healthy recipes at home. The brand makes a point of steering clear from refined carbohydrates or cheap fillers. All recipes are gluten-free and packed full of nutritious vegetables, high quality protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. They proudly source most of their ingredients locally from the West Country, while famous fans of their food include Sir Andy Murray and Victoria Pendleton. For this recipe, the crispy salmon is coated in black and white sesame seeds which contain vitamin E for healthy skin, while the salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy brain function.
SESAME CRUSTED SALMON AND BUCKWHEAT NOODLES SERVES 2
INGREDIENTS large handful of fresh coriander 1 red chilli 200g carrot ½ cucumber 2 tsp black sesame seeds 2 tsp white sesame seeds 2 x 150g salmon fillet (skin off) ½ tbsp olive oil or coconut oil 120g buckwheat noodles 1 lime 2 tbsp sweet white miso paste 2 tsp honey METHOD 1 Roughly chop the coriander (stalks removed) and thinly slice the red chilli (remove the seeds for less heat). To make the vegetable noodles, trim the ends of the carrots and peel, and peel the cucumber. Using a peeler, thinly slice the carrots and cucumber into long thin strips. 2 Mix the sesame seeds together in a bowl with a pinch of sea salt. Coat the salmon fillets in this mix and press into the salmon so the sesame seeds form a single layer over the salmon on all sides. 3 Heat a frying pan with ½ tbsp oil on a medium heat and cook the salmon fillets for 10 mins, turning occasionally, until cooked through and turning golden brown. 4 Pour 500ml boiling water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then add the buckwheat noodles with a pinch of sea salt and simmer for 5 mins. Once cooked, rinse briefly in cold water and set aside. 5 To make the dressing, mix the juice from the lime with the sweet miso paste and the honey. 6 In a large bowl, place the vegetable noodles and the buckwheat noodles with the dressing and chopped coriander. Stir well to combine. 7 Place the noodles, cucumber and carrot in two bowls and top with the sesame crusted salmon and the sliced chilli. For more MIndful Chef recipes, visit mindfulchef.com/recipes
C H E F !
GRIDDLED HALLOUMI AND SUMMER VEGETABLES WITH TOMATO AND FENNEL SAUCE, BASIL OIL AND BLACK OLIVE PURÉE SERVES 4
sTaCK IT up
VEGGIE GOODNESS REIGNS SUPREME IN THIS SUMMER SHOWSTOPPER Summer is the perfect time to celebrate locally grown vegetables, and boy do we have an abundance of quality produce right on our doorstep here in Devon. This is a fantastic vegetarian main course, presented with added wow factor, and features on the vegetarian cookery course at Exeter Cookery School. If you are feeling really adventurous you could even make your own halloumi. “The beauty of this recipe is that it’s fresh, delicious and you can vary it depending on what vegetables are in their prime,” explains Jim Fisher, co-owner and head chef at Exeter Cookery School. “Look out for locally grown aubergines and courgettes, and maybe even add in the odd broad bean or two.”
INGREDIENTS For the basil oil: 2 large handfuls of fresh basil, stalks and all 500ml extra virgin rapeseed oil For the black olive purée: 500g pitted black olives in oil For the tomato and fennel sauce: 8 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into quarters 2 medium onions, peeled, ‘root’ attached and cut into 16 wedges 2 bulbs of Florence fennel, cut into 16 wedges sprig of rosemary and thyme 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced 12 black olives, pitted and halved zest and juice of an orange 2 x 25ml measures of Noilly Prat or dry vermouth 25ml Pernod or Pastis 175ml dry white wine 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp salt For the griddled summer vegetables: 4 courgettes, topped, tailed and cut into chunky slices 2 aubergines, tailed and cut into thick disks 2 fennel bulbs, topped, tailed and sliced into 8 segments each 4 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 segments, keeping the root intact extra virgin olive oil sea salt freshly ground black pepper For the halloumi: 500g fresh halloumi cheese olive oil, for brushing sea salt and ground black pepper METHOD 1 Blanch the basil leaves in boiling salted water until just wilted. Transfer to a muslin-lined sieve set over a bowl and drain overnight. Separate the green oil from the watery basil liquid underneath. Discard this watery liquid and pour the basil oil into a squirty bottle. 2 Blend the black olives with their oil to a smooth purée, adding more olive oil if required. Reserve in a squirty bottle. 3 Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 4 Place all the sauce ingredients into a baking tray and tumble them around so they each get a coating of the various liquids and seasonings. 5 Pop into the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender. Toss everything over once or twice, and it’s nice if some of the edges of the vegetables get a little toasted, because colour means flavour. 6 Blend to a fine purée and pass through a fine sieve. Adjust the seasoning. Pour some of the sauce into a squirty bottle and reserve. Freeze the remainder. 7 Brush the prepared summer vegetables, season with salt and pepper, then griddle on high heat until marked, but not cooked through. Remove to a baking parchment lined tray to cool to room temperature. 8 Slice the halloumi into finger thick slices, brush with a little olive oil and season. Place on the hot griddle pan to mark both sides. 9 Arrange the griddled vegetables and halloumi on your chosen serving plates. Drizzle the sauce and two oils around and serve. Exeter Cookery School, Quayside, Exeter EX2 8DP; exetercookeryschool.co.uk
C H E F !
HOT & STICKY
DAY OR NIGHT, COME RAIN OR SHINE, WE LOVE A WARM PUDDING TO ROUND OFF A MEAL. THIS WALNUT NUMBER FROM TOBY HEMBURY IS JUST THE TICKETâ€¦
Redwing is an independent bar and restaurant nestled in the beautiful estuary village of Lympstone in East Devon. The kitchen is manned by local lad Toby Hembury, who has worked there for over a year and has recently taken on the role of head chef. One of his signature dishes is this much-loved (and very moreish) sticky ale and walnut pudding. Made using Branoc ale from nearby Branscombe Vale Brewery, it’s a hit with diners all year round and whatever the weather. For a shot of extra warmth, try it served with a tot of Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez sherry. Redwing Bar & Dining, Lympstone EX8 5JT; redwingbar-dining.co.uk
STICKY ALE AND WALNUT PUDDING WITH BRANDY SNAP BASKET, SALTED CARAMEL AND CLOTTED CREAM SERVES 12
METHOD The salted caramel sauce: 1 Melt the butter in a pan and dissolve the sugar into it. 2 Remove from the heat and whisk in the double cream and add a pinch of salt. The pudding: 3 Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 4 Soak the dates in ale and set aside. 5 Whisk together the butter and sugar until you have a creamy consistency, and then slowly whisk in the eggs. 6 Add the ale-soaked dates and mix well. Then fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and walnuts. 7 Bake in a greased and lined 12-inch (30cm) baking tin for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 8 Cover with the salted caramel allow to cool. The brandy snaps: 9 Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 10 Put butter, sugar and syrup into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has all dissolved. Then remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. 11 Add the ginger and mix well, then mix in the lemon juice and brandy. 12 Allow to cool, and then roll into marble-sized balls. 13 Cook in the oven on greaseproof paper for 12 minutes. 14 Remove from the oven and, while soft, flatten and curl the brandy snaps on a rolling pin. 15 Allow to harden until set.
INGREDIENTS For the salted caramel sauce: 125g salted butter 125g unsalted butter 250g dark brown sugar 250ml double cream pinch sea salt For the pudding: 185g chopped dates 170ml ale 75g softened unsalted butter 225g dark brown sugar 3 medium eggs 215g self-raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 tbsp ground ginger 2 tbsp all spice 100g chopped walnuts For the brandy snaps: 165g unsalted butter 165g demerara sugar 165g golden syrup 1½ tsp ground ginger juice of 1 lemon 25ml brandy
Portion up the pudding and the brandy snaps, and serve warm with caramel sauce and clotted cream.
Choose your weapons
ONe FOR The POT
THE MUCH-LOVED FALCON ENAMELWEAR HAS COME UP WITH SOMETHING NEW: A POT! IT COULD BE LESS INNOVATIVE, SAYS MATT BIELBY, CHANNELING HIS INNER EEYORE. NOT SURE HOW, BUT IT COULD BE… You remember Eeyore’s birthday, don’t you? Eeyore? What, the grumpy grey donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh? The very same! A right old misery guts he was, even though his friends were always trying to do nice things for him. Trying and failing. Remember the time Pooh and Piglet destroyed his house because they mistook it for a rotten old pile of sticks? They did build him a new one. True enough. And they did get him a birthday present – which is what I was actually getting at in the first place. What was it again? An old empty honey pot to keep things in, even though he didn’t own anything much, except that old red balloon that was popped?
And what did he do? Put the balloon in the pot, then took it out again. Hours of fun. And that’s what this thing reminds me of. A pot, which you can put things into, then take them out again. Brilliant. It is a pot, granted. And you can put things inside it, true enough. And you can take them out again. The thing is, though, it’s not just any old pot, but a Falcon Enamelwear pot – their new utensil pot, in fact – and, as such, is highly covetable. It comes in four of their most popular colours (white with blue trim, red, grey and black), and will easily hold all three of their also-new utensils (a spoon, a slotted spoon and a ladle). Imagine how much fun Eeyore would have with that little lot! C’mon, Eeyore didn’t care about cookware – not even old-school design classics. Sturdy, functional, timelessly elegant old school design classics, I’ll have you know, which are chemical resistant, impossible to
burn and will never shatter, but just chip – at worst – even if you treat them horrendously (and then, of course, look better than ever). Regardless, I still don’t know what he needs kitchen utensils for… C’mon, he must have eaten something. He did. Thistles. Raw, spiky thistles. No wonder he was so miserable. I suppose he could have taken a thistle, put it in this pot, then taken it out again... Indeed! Now we’re getting somewhere. And we’ll soon get him cooking, I promise you. In fact, I can feel a Hero Ingredient on thistles coming on… The Falcon utensil pot retails at £22; the new kitchen utensils are £12 each. Find ’em at the likes of Steamer Trading in Taunton. For more, falconenamelware.com
THIS MONTH • STRAWBERRY MOTIFS FOREVER • DESPERATELY SEEKING SAMPHIRE
C R U M B S
C O O K S
W I T H
staRs Of the seA FROM SCOURING THE COASTLINE FOR LOBSTER TO GROWING HIS OWN GREENS, DEVON’S MATT BURRIDGE – THE GOURMET FORAGER – IS ON A ONE-MAN MISSION TO GET PEOPLE SOURCING, GROWING AND PREPARING THEIR OWN FOOD…
WORDS: MELISSA STEWART PHOTOGRAPHS: BECKY JOINER
crambling over the rocks at Croyde Beach as the tide comes whooshing in, we watch as Matt Burridge, aka The Gourmet Forager, plunges into a rock pool, net in hand, in pursuit of lunch. Fresh crab, prawn, eel and, if we’re lucky enough, lobster, could all be in the day’s bounty as we forage along the North Devon coastline. We first heard about The Gourmet Forager through the iconic big blue bus that is Croyde Surf Academy. In recent years, the academy has branched out into different coastal activities, including teaming up with Matt to host coastal foraging sessions for people of all ages. Intrigued, naturally, we got in touch. As it turns out, Matt is something of a food guru in north Devon. As well as lending his expertise to the surf academy, he also runs a smallholding with wife Emma on the outskirts of Barnstaple. Known as The Whole Life Project, it grows an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs, and also rears ducks, goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits. The project is run as a community enterprise, providing skills training for adults and young people with learning disabilities. It was set up by the couple 10 years ago, and has been a real labour of love for them as they seek to educate clients about the provenance of food on a busy, working farm.
LOOKING FOR RICHES
Coastal foraging, however, is Matt’s real passion, and has given him the incentive to diversify his business into the tourist market. As he explains, “I love to teach people all about the riches our coastline has to offer. Thanks to chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, we’ve seen a growing demand from people to learn more about food and where it comes from. These days I can take visitors to the area out for a foraging session and then back to the farm, where we can pick veg and rustle up a meal from what we’ve sourced that day.” Keen to find out more, we were thrilled when Matt invited us along, to experience a day with The Gourmet Forager first-hand.
ON OUR DOORSTEP
As we cast our nets out in the rock pools of a chilly Croyde Bay, Matt tells us why he thinks learning about the culinary potential of the shoreline is important. “It’s crazy to think that people buy prawns from the supermarket that are imported from Thailand, when they can find them here on their own doorsteps,” he says. “It’s about educating people about food and why you shouldn’t be afraid of it just because it hasn’t come from a packet.” We realise just how guilty we can be of this when Matt shows us a vast patch of delectable marsh samphire literally yards away, which ordinarily we’d pay through the nose for at the local supermarket. “I don’t want to lecture anyone,” says Matt. “But I do think that, as a society, we rely too much on factory farming and processed food production. The world can’t keep up with what we’re doing to it. Everyone needs to take responsibility for that.
C R U M B S
“People say being a vegetarian or vegan is better for you, but I’d argue that products like soybeans lead to deforestation and you need air miles to get them to the UK. I really am an advocate for local food – growing your own, foraging for what you can, and using local farmers’ markets for your meat and dairy.”
Sadly, our attempts at catching our own lunch don’t amount to much. We do find a few tasty looking crabs, but Matt tells us they’re too small to eat and that it would be unethical to take them. “I think it’s important with foraging to keep things sustainable,” he explains. “I don’t forage every day, and I’d never take a small crab like this just for the sake of it. You need to respect the environment and only take what you really need. “I call myself The Gourmet Forager because I believe that seafood like crab and lobster isn’t something you should eat every day. My family and I eat a largely vegetarian diet, but it’s nice to know we can supplement it with gourmet food we’ve caught ourselves, and which would otherwise cost a lot to buy from the shops.” Fortunately, Matt has planned ahead for our visit and has that morning defrosted some local prawns, which he foraged for the previous week with his daughter. “It’s not realistic to expect to find an abundance of seafood every time I take a trip out for a foraging session, so it pays to be prepared!” he laughs.
C O O K S
W I T H
C R U M B S
C O O K S
W I T H
The next stop on our coastal adventure is the Taw Estuary, where we comb the banks for succulent, wild edible greens. Admittedly, we feel a bit shamefaced when Matt points out just how many different plants are actually edible. Greens we’d previously have dismissed as weeds can easily be added to the pot, and present a variety of different flavours. Purslane, also known as fatweed, Matt explains, can be substituted for spinach in salads, stews and sandwiches. While glasswort or marsh samphire has a salty tang, and tastes delicious cooked in a little lemon and olive oil and paired with white fish.
COOKING OUR HAUL
Back at the farm, Emma helps us to pick fresh carrots, beetroot, spring onions, garlic and parsley, while Matt fires up the barbecue using his homemade charcoal. “I want visitors to get the full experience of what it’s like to go out and source their food and cook it fresh from scratch,” he explains. “The beauty of hosting people on the farm is that we can show them all the different things we grow and they can appreciate how to make a tasty meal with just a few simple ingredients.” While we take a pew by the barbecue, Matt gets to work whipping up a quick lunch with our findings. First up, he comes over all Blue Peter on us and magically whips out a loaf of bread he made earlier that morning. As he slices through the crust, steam rises and the aroma of freshlybaked bread hits us smack in the nostrils. And yes, after all the morning’s sea air, we realise we are ravenous. He then casually throws a couple of slices on the barbecue to toast while whisking up some scrambled eggs, then stirs
through the samphire. It’s amazing how a simple dish like eggs on toast can be given a new lease of life by something most people would perceive as a seagrass. We follow the eggs with a simple prawn stir fry. Again, almost everything has been sourced from the sea or the farm, apart from soy sauce and Shaoxing rice wine, which gives the dish an Asian edge. “I don’t like to buy any ingredients in if I can help it,” says Matt, “but every now and then, depending on what I’m cooking, I add in some extra sauce or spice.” As we tuck into our food, Matt talks about what’s next for The Gourmet Forager and The Whole Life Project: “The plan is to convert our kitchen on the farm into a commercial kitchen, where we can host supper clubs and give guests the full gourmet experience. Everything we eat will have been foraged on the coast or grown here – we’ll even brew our own beer and make wine.” As we head off for the day, bellies satisfied, we leave buzzing from all that Matt has taught us. With his passion for teaching and enthusiasm for food, something tells us The Gourmet Forager is going places. Book a session with The Gourmet Forager via Croyde Surf Academy at croydesurfacademy.com. To find out more about The Whole Life Project, visit wholelifeproject.co.uk
K I T C H E N
The Want List
A R M O U R Y
THESE JUICY, FRUITY STRAWBERRY DESIGNS WILL BE TASTY ADDITIONS TO YOUR KITCHEN THIS SUMMER!
5 1 STRAWBERRY PRINT COLANDER £8 Perfect for giving those freshlypicked strawberries a rinse (or, indeed, washing leaves, draining pasta or any of your other usual colander-based activities), this will add a bright, fruity flavour to proceedings. Get yours from John Lewis in Exeter. johnlewis.com 2 SUSIE WATSON DESIGNS STRAWBERRY EGG CUP £9.99 Nothing quite beats a good ol’ boiled egg and soldiers in the morning. Brighten up your breakfast with this cute strawberry egg cup. Available from Darts Farm, near Exeter. darstsfarm.co.uk 3 WEDGEWOOD WILD STRAWBERRY JAM POT £50 Wedgewood’s Wild Strawberry design is an oldie but a goodie, having been around for more than 50 years. There’s a whole range of fine china available featuring the print, but we love this jam pot best! Find one in House of Fraser in Plymouth. wedgewood.co.uk 4 CHEF’N STEMGEM STRAWBERRY HULLER £7.49 Hulling strawberries is never a pleasure, always a chore. (Are we right?) Except no longer, thanks to this nifty little gadget which hulls with ease. Oh, and it works on tomatoes, too. Pick one up from Lakeland in Exeter. lakeland.co.uk 5 SILICON BOWL COVER £11.99 Keep your strawberries (or anything else) fresh as the day they were picked with this airtight silicon strawberry bowl cover. Available from Steamer Trading in Truro or Taunton. steamer.co.uk
THE JUBILEE INN West Anstey, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3PH
Tel. 01398 341401
Sweetlands Woodland Weddings
Recently voted Number 6 in The Sunday Times Britain’s 50 Best Value Hotels, Sam and Claire welcome you to our beautifully refurbished home, to stay and dine with us in country comfort. Showcasing exquisite and flavoursome dining, with a classic French twist, we are proud to announce our team has just been awarded 2 TASTE OF THE WEST, GOLD AWARDS for ‘DINING PUB’ and ‘RESTAURANT’, and a SILVER AWARD for our luxurious B&B. With locally sourced produce and creatively seasonal dishes, you can select from our Fine Dining Menu or a daily Classic Menu du Jour. We offer food which gives you cause to smile… and not just about good, honest prices. Telephone bookings advisable as we are unable to guarantee availability without reservation.
“Enjoy your special day at Boveys Down Farm. A beautiful retreat with far reaching views of the Coly Valley as the backdrop, you can enjoy your special day in the perfect countryside setting of our “Secret Garden” themed “Woodland Wedding Venue”
See our website for details of all special offers and upcoming events, and contact us direct for best room rates. JubileeDining
Booking essential – DINING TUESDAY TO SUNDAYS – See website for further details
Liscensed and approved for Civil Ceremonies
Boveys Down Farm, Farway, Honiton EX24 6JD Telephone: 01404 871436 www.sweetlandscountryfare.co.uk www.boveysdownfarm.co.uk
M AI N S
TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
We’ve got summer feasting (and drinking!) down to a fine art H I G H L I G H T S
THE BIG BATTLE
Who will come out on top when we pit sea against soil? Page 38
OUT AND ABOUT
I N C L U D I N G
Getting the goss on Devon’s growing street food scene Page 42
STREET FOOD VENDORS who share their summer menus
M A I N S
SurF vs turF
DING DING! IN THE BLUE CORNER WE HAVE OUR MEAT PRODUCERS, WHO KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT KEEPING THINGS JUICY AND SUCCULENT. WHILE IN THE RED CORNER WE HAVE OUR FISHMONGERS, WHO LIKE TO KEEP IT SALTY AND OH, SO FRESH. LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE…
et’s face it; Devon is a whopping big county. With 6,707km2 of land and 819km of coastline, it encompasses everything from sandy beaches and vibrant market towns to vast stretches of open farm and moorland. The sheer size of Devon and its varied terrain makes it an absolute treasure trove for farmers, fishermen and food producers. And, as any avid Crumbs reader will know, this means that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping for a feast of fresh produce. With the fertile farmland producing some of the UK’s finest beef, lamb, pork and poultry, and the coastline throwing up a wide variety of fish and shellfish, we set ourselves the challenge of finding the ultimate contenders – the guys and gals who make it their mission to keep our taste buds tickled and our bellies full.
T h E M E AT Y MAESTROS
T h E FA B U L O U S FIShMONGERS
THE WELL HUNG MEAT COMPANY
THE DEVON FISHMONGER
A specialist in delivering organic meat straight to your door, the award-winning Well Hung Meat Company offers a variety of cuts of lamb, chicken, pork, beef, veal and venison. Best known for its meat boxes, you can choose from a range of options, including a Healthy Start box full of lean cuts, and The Foodies Favourite for more creative cooks. wellhungmeat.com
Whether you’re after fresh sea bass, king prawns or lemon sole, this friendly fishmongers in Honiton will do its best to source it for you. Working with local fishermen from Beer, Brixham and Lyme Regis, they encourage shoppers to eat seasonally to protect fish stocks. You can buy in-store or online, and if you’re new to fish, the website is full of handy preparation tips and recipe ideas. thedevonfishmonger.co.uk
GOOD GAME (TOPSHAM)
On a mission to make the best tasting game and cured meat in the world, Pete, Jim and Steve from the Good Game Company rear their own pigs on a farm on the Powderham Estate and shoot their own game. Taking inspiration from Italy, their signature sausage is a venison salami, while a firm favourite is their air-dried coppa ham. good-game.co.uk
WILD FOOD DEVON (DARTMOUTH)
Fishing is in Mark Lobb’s blood, with his father and grandfather before him making a living from the sea. He’s passionate about all things fishy, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of different kinds of fish and how to cook with them. Visit him at Dartmouth Market or use his Fish by Post service, starting from £40 per box. wildfooddevon.com
PIPERS FARM (CULLOMPTON)
Made up of 25 small family-run farms, Pipers Farm supplies meat to some of Devon’s best-known restaurants, including Gidleigh Park and River Cottage Canteen. Its online shop sells an abundance of meat boxes and individual cuts; we particulaly love the homemade pies and stuffings. pipersfarm.com
DARTS FARM BUTCHERS (TOPSHAM)
If you’re a meat lover, then this on-site butcher counter is a feast for the eyes. Brimming with produce, including beef from the farm’s own herd of Ruby Red cattle, you’ll be overwhelmed with choice. Fear not, though: the friendly team of master butchers can guide you through what’s on offer and provide plenty of cooking tips. thebutchersatdartsfarm.co.uk
SALCOMBE CRAB & LOBSTER (SALCOMBE)
When they’re not busy supplying hotels and resaurants across the UK, famous family crabbing firm Favis of Salcombe are running this online shop so us Average Joes can have a slice of the action (or should that be ‘claw of the crab’?). Crab and lobster delivered direct to our door: what’s not to love? salcombecrabandlobster.co.uk
GIBSON’S PLAICE (EXETER)
Twice winner of Devon’s Fishmonger of the Year, Gibson’s Plaice has a reputation for selling some top-notch fish from the smaller day boats landing at Brixham Fish Market. Can’t make it to the shop? Look out for the Fresh Fish Van that makes weekly visits to Chagford, Moretonhampstead, Spreyton and Lustleigh. You’ll also find them at Exeter Farmers’ Market. gibsonsplaiceexeter.co.uk
M A I N S
HIGHER HACKNELL (UMBERLEIGH)
Nestled in North Devon, Higher Hacknell is a working organic farm selling meaty goodies direct to customers online. The farm has also branched out into homemade ready meals, with the lamb and squash curry, lasagne and cottage pie all winning awards for flavour. Also look out for the lamb koftas, recent winner of a Taste of the West Gold Award. higherhacknell.co.uk
EVERSFIELD ORGANIC (OKEHAMPTON)
Another organic farm that’s at the top of its game is family-run Eversfield Organic in Okehampton. Rearing grass-fed Aberdeen Angus cattle, the farm is famed for its award-winning rib eye and sirloin steaks. It also has a mouthwatering online bakery and deli and, for summer, a tasty barbecue range. eversfieldorganic.co.uk
BRITANNIA @ THE BEACH (KINGSBRIDGE)
Situated in the old fishing village of Beesands, with superb views across Start Bay, this fishmonger also doubles up as a village store and rustic café. Affectionately known as ‘The Shack’, visit during the summer months to pick up line-caught mackerel, bass or pollack. If you’re lucky, you might also see fisherman land the ‘fish special of the day’ from the beach out front. britanniaatthebeach.co.uk
RIVER TEIGN SHELLFISH
(NEWTON ABBOT) If you’re a fan of fresh oysters and mussels, check out this popular fatherand-son shellfish farming business, based on the River Teign at the edge of Dartmoor National Park. They sell boxes of oysters and bags of mussels online. teignshellfishdevon.co.uk
With both the meat producers and the fishmongers selling knockout locally sourced produce, there’s just no way we could choose between the two. Our loyalties are completely torn, so we declare this battle a tie!
Let’s hit the streets WE DITCH THE KNIVES AND FORKS AND CAST OFF THE CROCKERY TO CHECK OUT WHAT DEVON’S GROWING STREET FOOD SCENE HAS TO OFFER. JUST PASS US THE PAPER NAPKINS…
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Left: Seadog's Beth Newsome serves up worldinspired dishes; Above, right: Gourmet Street Kitchen tempter Adam Akyol
ot too many moons ago, when someone mentioned the words ‘street food’, the best we could hope for would be a tray of chips topped with cheese and gravy or a greasy kebab, usually consumed in the wee small hours after a night on the razz. Or, the same fodder ridiculously overpriced at a festival. Fast-forward to today and, thanks to the abundance of British summertime festivals, street food is no longer just about having a quick calorie hit after one-too-many ciders – it’s having a serious foodie moment. Fish tacos, savoury crepés, oysters, burritos, gourmet mac ’n’ cheese… there really is no limit to what’s on offer. So much so, the street food scene is throwing festivals of its own, where all manner of food vendors are taking centre stage. Think Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival and, closer to home, the Devon Street Food Festival in Ilfracombe. So, what is it about street food that’s currently so sexy? “The demand for the local and independent is ever growing, and most people are aware that the majority of the money spent on street food stalls stays local,” says Karen Skerratt, managing director of Hubb Group, and organiser of the Exeter and Bath Street Food Markets. “The choice of being able to eat off so many menus means families can dine together and everyone is satisfied. I also think it’s also a very important community event where people meet up and socialise the old-fashioned way, eating and talking.” Karen knows what she’s talking about, having set up Exeter Street Food in 2012 after witnessing first-hand the popularity of her own venture, a mobile pizza oven. “Using the oven on weekends proved popular and a crowd puller. So much so that my husband and I organically grew it into Exeter Street Food over a number of weeks. The market has extended to various locations around Exeter, and now into Bath with Bath Street Food.” While the thought of ditching the day job, buying a vintage Citroen van or tuk-tuk, and whipping up some gastronomical delights does have its appeal, running a street food enterprise is by no means an easy business. Think miles on the road, long days and nights setting up and serving, not to mention coming up with a quirky yet appetizing menu that will differentiate you from the competition and get the crowds gathering. For Karen, a great street food concept needs to have: “choice, presentation, a great atmosphere and first-class customer service.” With this in mind, we scoured the streets of Devon to ask some of our favourite vendors what they have to offer…
This award-winning street food concept was set up in 2013 by Beth Newsome and Jim Coslett. They serve up a variety of world foods made with local Devon catch. Where did the idea come from? “We set up Seadog with a view to celebrate the rich range of produce caught along the coasts of our north Devon home. Only 3% of fish and seafood caught here stays here, as the rest gets shipped out to Europe and beyond. Combining a desire to get our hands on the local catch and a love of the world of street food we have enjoyed across the globe, Seadog was born!” What are your specialities? “Our speciality dishes include our famous Japanese-influenced Sakana fish burger, Devon crab and smoked mackerel laksa, and our British Street Food Awardswinning seaside popcorn. We also serve all our dishes with a range of innovative, colourful salads with hometown herbs and edible flowers.” Where can we find you? Local festivals including Beautiful Days and On the Road. Also, pop-up restaurant events at the National Trust property Watersmeet, just outside Lynmouth. seadogfoods.co.uk
GOURMET STREET KITCHEN
Specialists in mac ’n’ cheese with a fancy twist, Gourmet Street Kitchen was set up in 2015 by Adam Akyol. Where did the idea come from? “I trained as a chef in London, but wanted to come back home to Devon to settle down. I always wanted to do street food. I love the freedom and diversity that it brings to the customer but also, as a chef, the opportunity to change location, menu and even the set up without any restraints. “The stove top mac ’n’ cheese cooking method was the perfect way to bring the theatre of the kitchen to the public on the street, not only providing high quality food but allowing the customers to see it cooked right in front of them.” What are your specialties? “The classic Return of The Mac (which is the base for all our dishes) is a béchamel sauce with mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan, seasoned well. We then add the magic, our delicious thyme and Parmesan crumb, which is really what makes the dish stand out from your home-cooked mac ’n’ cheese. We also like to mix things up, like adding king prawns or smoked haddock, to create a truly unique dish. We have recently also tried a few different menus, and the fresh mackerel bap with horseradish cream has been a huge success this summer so far.” Where can we find you? “Exeter Street Food events across the summer, Devon Street Food Festival, Sidmouth Food Festival and Dartmouth Regatta.” gourmetstreetkitchen.com
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Accompanied by our homemade seasonal sides, our aim is to make fish a surprisingly tasty, fun and nutritious meal to go.” Where can we find you? “Popping up at a number of festivals over the summer, and Exeter University Market during September and October.” wivestales.co.uk
THE GLORIOUS OYSTER
An oyster bar run from a horsebox in the centre of Westward Ho!, set up by Lyndsay Longdog in 2012. Where did the idea come from? “When I was living in Bristol my local fishmonger used to sell oysters outside his shop from a small butcher’s block. I just thought it was a brilliant idea to be able to get oysters without having to go to a restaurant. When I was made redundant as a senior youth worker back in 2012, I decided to take the plunge and set up my own oyster bar.” What are your specialties? “As well as oysters, we serve local Appledore mussels steamed in local scrumpy, Clovelly lobster roll with brioche, kuku sabzi – a Persian herb frittata with sea vegetables – and, new to the menu this summer, salt fish Bajan fish cakes. Creel-caught langoustines and hand-dived scallops from the west coast of Scotland feature as specials, and are always cooked simply to let the quality of the fish speak for itself.” Where can we find you this summer? “The horsebox has a permanent pitch in the centre of Westward Ho!, near the seawall and looking out to sea. It’s there every weekend and extra days during the holidays.” thegloriousoyster.co.uk
Inspired by an American road trip, Tom Allbrook and his partner Ruth set up this BBQ smokehouse-themed food stall. Where did the idea come from? “I started playing around with smoking meats and outdoor cooking in the restaurant that I was a chef at, and enjoyed the different flavours I came up with. We were lucky enough to speak to some of the pit masters when we were travelling in America and learned some useful tips. We knew that when we got back we wanted to set up our own venture and give the smokehouse style of cooking a go.” What does a typical menu contain? “Slow cooked beef brisket and pulled pork, which we cook in our smoker for around 12-15 hours. This is over a mixture of lump-wood charcoal and flavoured woods to ensure maximum flavour. We serve it in a brioche bun or topped over tortillas, accompanied with our homemade slaw.” Where can we find you over the summer? “Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival, Lyn Food Festival and Pilton Green Man. We also regularly attend Barnstaple Real Food markets, and have a pitch at Southernhay in Exeter.” facebook.com/ hornbrookkitchen
A retro food van serving up fish dishes, and run by three mums, Collette, Kerry and Katie, aka The Fish Wives. Where did the idea come from? “After a chat over some bubbles (of course!) Fish Wives was born. The concept being to deliver a ‘food experience’ – satisfyingly yummy, homemade fish dishes with a twist, made with locally sourced sustainable produce served in our own inimitable Fish Wives way (we dress in vintage costume) – as true street food should be. Our professional-fitted vintage Citroen HY Van, Fannie, enables us to do this in style and creates theatre at any event. Our megaphone ensures we look after our customers, too!" What are your specialties? “Handmade fish pies and prawn burgers with jalapeño tartare, fish finger subs, and our very own ‘Fish Wives Rub’ grilled salmon and thyme mayo ciabattas are menu favourites.
To find out more about Exeter Street Food events and traders, visit streetfoodexeter.co.uk
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Eat · Drink · Learn · Share For all restaurant bookings and enquiries call 01404 47707 or email email@example.com For cookery course information firstname.lastname@example.org 178 High St, Honiton, Devon EX141LA www.theholt-honiton.com
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BURTS CHIPS INTRODUCES TWO NEW EXCITING FLAVOURS FOR A TRUE TASTE OF THE SOUTH WEST THIS SUMMER Smoked Crispy Bacon or Fish 'N' Chips? Which new BURTS CHIPS flavour will get your taste buds going?
lymouth-based crisp maker Burts Chips is excited to announce two new flavours this summer; Fish ‘N’ Chips and Smoked Crispy Bacon. The new flavours are made in partnership with Devon-based suppliers Rockfish and spoiltpig. Both flavours are hand cooked to perfection using only the highest quality ingredients to deliver the ultimate taste of the South West. For those who want a true taste of the seaside, Burts Chips has teamed up with its neighbour – awardwinning seafood restaurant Rockfish – to launch a brand new, limited-edition Fish ‘N’ Chips flavour for those who love the traditional British dish. What’s more, now you can even be beside the seaside with an exclusive on-pack promotion to win a luxury meal at any of their five restaurants in Devon, so make sure you cast your net soon to stock up. Burts Chips’ spin on the nation’s favourite dish delivers on the authentic and deliciously comforting taste, as well as being gluten-free. The more-ish new flavour is available while stocks last. So, whether you do end up by the sea this year or not, be sure to get your hands on Burts Chips’ new Fish ‘N’ Chips flavour for the ultimate snack of the summer. Thanks to popular demand from its loyal customers, Burts Chips is bringing home the bacon by launching its Smoked Crispy Bacon flavour crisps. Burts has collaborated with Devon-based producers spoiltpig to capture the delicious mouth-watering taste of crispy bacon, which you can enjoy wherever you are. The exciting new recipe is made using only the highest quality ingredients including real bacon, bringing the flavour to life with every crunch. Both flavours are available from July across selected South West retailers at RRP 79p. The newest flavours join the core range of Burts Chips already available throughout the South West.
For more information about Burts Chips visit the website at www.burtschips.com, like on Facebook (facebook.com/BurtsChips) or follow on Twitter (@BurtsChips) or Instagram (@burtschips) The Burts Chips traditional range includes eight taste-bud tingling flavours: Sea Salt • Sea Salt & Malted Vinegar • Sea Salt & Crushed Peppercorns • Vintage Cheddar & Spring Onion • Thai Sweet Chilli Spicy Chorizo • Firecracker Lobster • Devon Roast Beef
Restaurateur, chef and founder of Rockfish restaurants Mitch Tonks
Gluten Free, Full of Flavour. Church Rd, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5JT Telephone: 01395 222156
Pop in for a coffee, light meal, take away goodies or a touch of coastal Deli retail therapy. Fabulous food and drink made in house and by local artisan producers. Itâ€™s Devon and Dorset on a plate!
44 High Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6LQ T 01395 44 31 82 E email@example.com
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NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
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IN THE HARTLAND
From milking parlour to fine dining joint, we head to Pattard Kitchen Page 50 Insanely creamy scallops from Noel Corston’s revamped restaurant in Woolacombe
Surfer by day, culinary whiz by night Page 52
TIME FOR A JUBILEE
Much more than just your normal pub grub at The Jubilee Inn Page 56 P L U S
DOWN THE VILLAGE Thurlestone’s Village Inn, of course
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PATTARD KITCHEN IT MIGHT BE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK, BUT PATTARD KITCHEN WON’T REMAIN HIDDEN FOR LONG, THANKS TO ITS INNOVATIVE CHEF-PATRON, AS MELISSA STEWART FINDS OUT
his is a place that has been quietly building buzz since it opened at the tail end of last year. Situated in the picturesque village of Hartland, it’s not somewhere you’d accidentally stumble upon while out for a casual evening stroll; you have to go looking for it. And that’s what makes it special. It’s almost like a secret supper club for foodies (and the lucky tourists staying next door at Pattard Farm Cottages). As we drive through winding country lanes, slave to our sat nav, we’re pleasantly surprised when it leads us right to a cute farm, complete with a brood of clucking hens who rush out to welcome us. Pattard Kitchen is situated in the farm’s old milking parlour. Not that you’d know it when you step inside. The only tell-tale sign of its farming past is the exposed wooden beams in the roof; everything else is pared-back Scandi chic. Think minimalist furniture with simple, clean lines and industrial-style lighting. Mercifully, not a cow in sight! The interior reflects the Nordic roots of chef-patron Bjorn Moen. Half Norwegian, half English, but born in South Africa, he’s worked in a host of restaurants and pubs
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around the world, most recently the nearby Hart Inn. Pattard’s Kitchen has given him the opportunity to showcase his talents, offering seasonal farm to fork cuisine. The menu is a mix of the traditional and the more experimental – starters of tomato and basil, and beetroot and goats’ cheese, sit alongside scallops with Korean-spiced kimchi, and duck hearts with pickled blueberries. We plump for chicken with fire roasted peppers, salad, mango and chilli. It’s fresh and clean, with citrusy coriander and tropical mangoes perfectly offsetting the fiery chilli. Across the table, the scallops are gorgeously sweet and bursting with Korean bite, so much so that at times it overpowers the delicacy of the mollusks. Grey mullet is next, served on a bed of new potatoes, samphire and saliva-inducing caper beurre noisette. Remarkably simple, Moen lets the ingredients speak for themselves. The pan-fried grey mullet has a robust earthy flavour that does all the talking, with the buttery potatoes make for an obvious, but perfect, plate partner. My tablemate’s rump of beef is deliciously pink, if a little on the chewy side, but brought to life with salt baked celeriac, carrot and spinach. A touch of theatre is brought to proceedings by two innovative and palatable amuse-bouche. The starter is
followed by a foamy potato espuma with an intoxicating smear of truffle oil. The main, meanwhile, is rounded off with a beautiful beetroot and goats’ cheese macaron. The fusion of savoury and sweet allows the perfect segue into dessert. Compressed watermelon with black pepper meringue and coconut sorbet offer the ultimate summer desert. Cool, clean and sweet, without the slightest hint of stodge, it’s a real palate cleanser. A chocolate orange, doing exactly as it says on the tin – a gooey chocolate brownie with orange sorbet and orange segments – disappears almost soon as it hits the plate. A definite crowd pleaser. Prices are fair for a restaurant of this calibre. Starters and desserts average at around £8, while mains are just shy of the £20 mark. The atmosphere on the Saturday night we visit is buzzing, indicating that this is somewhere people are talking about and adding to their go-to list. In Hartland, where pub fare has reigned supreme for some time, Pattard Kitchen makes a refreshing change. The setting may be rustic and the service laidback, but the food is on its way to being five-star. PATTARD KITCHEN, Pattard Farm, Hartland EX39 6BY; 01237 441444; pattardkitchen.com
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NOEL CORSTON JESSICA CARTER GIVES PLENTY OF KUDOS TO THE PAIR BEHIND THIS BOLD DINING CONCEPT…
’m going to do something which, if you’re not the type of person to read the last line of a novel first, you might not like. (Sorry.) Basically, I’m starting with the summary. The summary being that this dinner was really something special. And that’s for a number of reasons of which the food is only, albeit a rather weighty, one. Noel, a North Devon native, has long been cooking in Woolacombe, and not long ago relaunched the former NC@EX34 as a new-look, self-titled, fine dining-stye restaurant. A popular low-key destination for families, surfers and beach seekers, this North Devon resort is far better known for its award-winning coastline and casual village pubs and cafés than for its upmarket
restaurants. Which means that you could either see Noel as a particularly brave chef – or a particularly clever one (most evenings get booked up, meaning that the market for this kind of food must be present). Or, you could just see him as a guy who loves North Devon, is in his element with the local produce here, and enjoys singing to his own tune. After all, it’s one he knows well, and is pretty well-practiced at… Following the rebirth of the restaurant, there are now just 10 covers available for each service. Everyone sits together around the kitchen, and everyone eats together – the same dishes at the same time – just like you would at a (rather upscale) dinner party. The rustic L-shaped bar that we sit at wraps around the kitchen’s prep area, and is made of local wood by a carpenter Noel knows, the natural curves and grain showcased in the design. Similarly, the bare slate coasters that our cutlery rests on were collected from the nearby beach by his kids. Already, you can see how these guys have translated fine dining into cool, casual Devonian. Food comes with much the same accent. The same bill of fare (£75 for seven courses, £95 for all nine) eradicates the need for menus and pressured decision making – and is scribbled on the wall in chalk. Ours for the evening reads: crab, scallop, turbot, lamb #1, lamb #2, Campscott, hibiscus, strawberry, sea buckthorn. Bosh. Straight up, no messing. The Ilfracombe crab is served with mint, elderflower (the tiny cream flowers delicately interspersed in the mix) and sea salt from Croyde. The scallops that follow are insanely creamy in flavour and
texture, having been gently cooked with a blowtorch in front of us by Noel, moments before serving. They sit in their shells, bathing in a kelp broth along with seaweed and an artichoke purée. Their delicate charring from the torch adds to the mix of subtle flavours. Noel completes the prep and assembles each dish as we finish up its predecessor, and serves it while explaining to the group how it’s been prepared and what ingredients he’s used (usually a refreshingly short list). The food is refined while maintaining a sense of simplicity and unpretentiousness; the ingredients are right up there in terms of quality, and have been treated with such respect that there’s no need for any frills or embellishments. The first lamb course is a 48-hourmarinated leg (lavender, mint, dill, and anything else that the chef found in his larder went into said marinade, he tells us). It had already been cooked in a water bath and, after taking the cuts out onto the patio to finish on the alfresco grill, he serves them on a bed of live yoghurt sauce, punctuated with dill. The second lamb course is a cut of best end on a bed of heritage tomatoes; maybe the best piece of lamb I’ve ever gobbled, so carefully and sympathetically was it cooked. Cheeses next: a three-month-old organic Devon ewe’s milk cheese has a touch of Parmesan about it, and comes served in slivers with chunks of last autumn’s pickled apples and a drizzle of Barnstable hemp oil. Then a sweet of marinated rhubarb is topped with mallow flowers (picked by Noel
that morning), its juicy flavours turning the matching wine almost to honey in the mouth. My chum and I are the only ones around the table who have never eaten Noel’s food before; due to the set up, though, conversation is largely communal, and we’re filled in by the mix of locals and tourists who are all well-versed in this chef’s career. Noel and his wife Nora are kind, welcoming hosts, who take genuine enjoyment from putting a smile on the faces of those they feed. What they’re doing here is special, and perfectly reflects North Devon’s landscape and character. Joining Thomas Carr up the road at The (nowMichelin-starred) Olive Room in Ilfracombe, Noel will hopefully continue to pull more touring diners into this area, and cement North Devon’s place on the food map. NOEL CORSTON, South Street, Woolacombe EX34 7BB; 01271 871187; noelcorston.com
THE VILLAGE INN THE PUB ATTACHED TO GRAND THURLESTONE HOTEL NEAR KINGSBRIDGE IS NO POOR RELATION. IN FACT, ITâ€™S NIPPING AT ITS HEELS, FINDS CHARLIE LYON 54
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here’s a fight to get into the Thurlestone Hotel restaurant on the midsummer Friday night we visit. Well, not literally – this is a swish hotel where gents are required to wear jackets to dinner, so the fight is metaphorical. But still, with two AA rosettes and views across Thurlestone Bay through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, seats here are hotly contested. Quieter is neighbouring pub, The Village Inn, which – although owned by the same family and situated next door – is a world away from the hotel in terms of vibe and design. We’re not sure why it’s that much quieter, because aesthetics aside (and putting price into the equation) this pub packs a mighty punch, dishing up great food that’s full of flavour. Just like the hotel, it’s bagged an AA accolade recently too (just the one rosette here, though), and is boasting new interiors after going through a massive refurbishment in 2016. There are a handful of tables out the front, but this homey haven is more suited to cosy winter months, with its snug bar and dining room that are great to hunker down in when the wind howls. The interiors are warm and comfy, echoing traditional pub design with modern twists – think dark wooden floors, beer barrels as stools, shelves bowing under the weight of intriguing books and clocks.
Curios, like a woven-wood cow’s head wall mount and carved flamingos, keep things contemporary. Banked seating is a brushed gold, and huge statement lamps tower next to an oversized chess board that keeps little fidgets amused. The bonus of having everything so new is that there’s not a trace of grime or inch of sticky carpet to be found – everything is spick and span. There are echoes of the hotel’s menu here (presumably supply is shared), but that’s where the similarities end. Specials today sound excellent – among others, pickled mackerel with marsh samphire and lemon (£7) to start, and whole turbot with new potatoes, spring greens and an olive and tomato salsa (£18) for mains. This is a pub that takes care to look after its seafood fans. Slightly at odds with the refined specials menu is the main menu, which has a rather economy look, listing dozens of pub classics (scampi and chips, veggie burger), all sign-posted with colourful kiddy icons that label food allergens. Thankfully, the presentation belies the quality of the food. Heritage tomato salad (£7.50) comes adorned with basil and awash with a fresh and citrusy dressing, made richer with balsamic glaze. Rich and creamy buffalo mozzarella gives more than a nod to burrata. The pickled mackerel from the specials menu is huge – two beefy fillets, sweet and sharp from the vinegar, come
piled with pickled veg and a pretty garnish of pea shoots. Add a handful of leaves and a slice of bread and you have a fine lunch in itself. With the starters so large I plump for the small mussels for main (£8.50 for 500g), and you wouldn’t want more. Fresh from Brixham, these sea beasts are huge and moreish, with a classic mariniere sauce that any Frenchman would lap up. Plus, I couldn’t imagine a fresher, more melt-inthe-mouth mollusc had I plucked it from its bed myself. Satisfying, too, is the tortellini across the table: huge buttery pillows of pasta stuffed with an earthy and creamy wild mushroom paste. The sauce is buttery too, but not overbearingly so, and amazingly the whole thing is snaffled. Could this be the best plate of pub pasta in Devon? It certainly would be up there with the finalists. There are puddings too, for £7 – a passion fruit posset with pineapple topping and coconut shavings makes a refreshing choice for a summer’s day. But filling, comforting options like chocolate and almond brownie with clotted cream are available too, and – we bet – a popular, well-deserved choice for refuelling after a walk along the beautiful coast in this glorious location. THE VILLAGE INN, Thurlestone, Kingsbridge TQ7 3NN; 01548 560382; thurlestone.co.uk
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THE JUBILEE INN THIS TRADITIONAL COUNTRY INN APPEALS TO LOCALS AND FANS OF FINE DINING, AS MELISSA STEWART DISCOVERS
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he last time we visited the Jubilee Inn, near South Molton, head chef Sam Salway was off rescuing escaped pigs from his smallholding, so we didn’t get a chance to sample his much-talked-about culinary delights. This time around, though, we were much more fortunate, arriving on a busy Friday evening. Sam and his partner Claire Sellar-Elliott reopened the inn two years ago. Built in 1935, it started off as a true British roadhouse, serving pints and pub grub to punters travelling on the old road to Cornwall. Today, with so many traditional country inns closing, Sam and Claire have achieved that tricky feat of creating a pub that appeals to locals but is also a go-to destination for foodies. The foodie appeal comes from Sam’s background working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, as well as a chateau in the South of France. The inn itself is cosy and quirky. The bar has an informal dining area or you can opt to eat in the dining room, which has rustic wooden tables, cute floral wallpaper and an assortment of curios. Should you wish to indulge in a tipple or three, the inn also has six boutique guest rooms where you can lay your head down for the night. The set menu, which changes regularly, features numerous French-inspired dishes made with the finest local produce. The prices are decent: £30 for three courses or £26.50 for two. It’s fine dining, but without pretention. The kind of place you could take a partner for a romantic getaway, but just as equally head to with the family. The beetroot cured salmon atop a buckwheat blini was full of flavour on its
own, but came perfectly complemented by a tasteful dollop of horseradish cream and a sharp shaving of pickled cucumber. Across the table, creamy herb crusted scallops, served in their fan-bottomed shell, were elevated by samphire and given a peppery kick of wasabi foam. My beef arrived just the right colour of pink, atop a bed of baby spinach, accompanied by herb crusted tomato and mustard potato cake. The dish comes served with jus diable, which translates to ‘devilled sauce’. Be assured, however, that it’s by no means spicy: just a dark, rich glaze, which, while delicious, has the potential to overpower the delicacy of the meat. My companion’s Exmoor lamb noisette with fondant potatoes and mint pea purée was given a unique twist by a black olive and piquello pepper jus. A fine dish where the flavours work well in unison. Desserts elevated the meal from good to exceptional. There’s a wide selection on offer, catering for a variety of tastes. A seasonal rhubarb and white chocolate panna cotta, lemon posset, hazelnut crumble and candied ginger, offered a smorgasbord of textures and flavours, the sharp rhubarb and lemon perfectly counterbalancing the sweetness of the white chocolate. Meanwhile, a vanilla crème brûlée came stylishly presented beside half a carmelised banana and raspberry sorbet. In pursuit of the perfect crème brûlée, it certainly ticks almost all of the boxes.
The Jubilee Inn is a step above many country inns in terms of ambition, with the food (and Sam’s every-changing menu) being the real star of the show. Indeed, the week we arrive it had just won two Gold Taste of the West Awards for dining pub and restaurant. Certainly worth taking a detour for the next time you find yourself on the North Devon Link Road. THE JUBILEE INN, West Anstey, South Molton, Devon EX36 3PH; 01398 341401; thejubileeinn.co.uk
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AS THE VOICE BEHIND THE DEVON FOODIE BLOG, GABY HAS EATEN HER WAY AROUND A FAIR FEW DEVON EATERIES. HERE ARE A FEW OF HER FAVES… Breakfast? I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast haunts, but I must say that JK’s Bistro in Honiton serves up a consistently great full English. Best brew? Taylors, Ashburton. Personally, I’m more of a tea drinker, so I love their extensive loose leaf menu and charming period décor– and the cakes aren’t too shabby, either! Favourite grocery shop? When I’m in south Devon I like to visit Lifton Farm Shop. There’s an amazing array of fresh produce, and the staff are always incredibly helpful. Best wine merchant? I don’t really shop with one particular merchant, but I do like to support local vineyards like Pebblebed and Lyme Bay. Sunday lunch? The Oddfellows in Exeter does a cracking roast. The Yorkshire puddings are mammoth, and the gravy is always spot on. Cheeky cocktail? If you’re fond of gin, then you can’t go wrong with Circa 1924, Exeter. There’s a really cool speakeasy vibe and they often play live music. Posh nosh? There are so many! Gidleigh Park Hotel served one of the few 10/10
dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating, but Lympstone Manor is hot on its heels! Quick pint? The Old Firehouse in Exeter is always my first choice for local ciders and ales. The atmosphere is great, and there’s a fabulous selection to choose from. Food on the go? Vanilla Sky Deli, Budleigh Salterton. Nick is very talented cook, and they offer some delicious salads and homemade dishes to bring home. Alfresco feasting? The City Gate in Exeter has done a marvelous job of revamping its alfresco space. In summer you can sit alongside funky spray-painted sculptures and nibble on tasty dishes from the burger van. Hidden gem? Yukisan, Plymouth. Although it doesn’t look like much from the outside, this Japanese restaurant serves some of the best sushi in Devon. One to watch? The George in Hatherleigh. With Chef Joe Dibley at the helm, this boutique B&B is producing some really outstanding food. With friends? The Holt in Honiton is a cosy and relaxed pub that is ideal for enjoying a hearty meal with good friends.
Comfort food? Harry’s Restaurant, Exeter. Not only is the fillet steak to die for, but Harry’s skillet pan cookie is my guilty pleasure. With the family? Lloyd’s Kitchen, Exeter. Possibly the friendliest staff around, and the menu has something for everyone. Child friendly? Tickety Boo in Ottery St Mary is a great spot to meet for coffee and bring the kids. There’s even a designated indoor play area! Best curry? It’s a bit of a trek to get there, but Viceroy in Dunkeswell creates some incredibly unique curries that I simply haven’t seen elsewhere. Best atmosphere? The Coombe Cellars, Newton Abbot. Spectacular estuary views coupled with stylish interiors make this premium pub one of my favourite foodie destinations in Devon. Something sweet? The Exploding Bakery in Exeter makes the loveliest polenta cake. Top street food? Two Coast County are the king of street food burgers. When you see their stall, you know your diet’s going out the window... tthedevonfoodie.com
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book... JK’s Bistro, Honiton EX14 1HA; jksbistro.co.uk • Taylors, Newton Abbot TQ13 7QJ • Lifton Farm Shop, Lifton PL16 0DE; liftonfarmshop.co.uk • The Oddfellows, Exeter EX4 4EP; theoddfellowsbar.co.uk • Circa 1924, Exeter EX4 3QJ; circa1924.co.uk • Gidleigh Park, Chagford TQ13 8HH; gidleigh.co.uk • Lympstone Manor, Exmouth EX8 3NZ; lympstonemanor.co.uk • The Old Fire House, Exeter EX4 4EP; oldfirehouseexeter.co.uk • Vanilla Sky Deli, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6LQ • City Gate Hotel, Exeter EX4 3RB; citygatehotel.com • Yukisan, Plymouth PL1 2AG; yukisan.co.uk • The George In Hatherleigh, Okehampton EX20 3JN; thegeorgeinhatherleigh.com • The Holt, Honiton EX14 1LA; theholt-honiton.com • Harry’s Restaurant, Exeter EX4 6AP; harrysrestaurants.co.uk • Lloyd’s Kitchen, Exeter EX1 1EU; lloydskitchen.co.uk • Tickety Boo, Ottery St Mary; ticketyboocafe.co.uk • Viceroy, Honiton EX14 4JP • Coombe Cellars, Newton Abbot TQ12 4RT; coombecellars.co.uk • The Exploding Bakery, Exeter EX4 3SB; explodingbakery.com • Two Coast County; twocoastcounty.co.uk