CRUMBS Devon No.19 October 2017
INT ERIOR IDEAs
! N E H C T KI
A little slice of foodie heaven My veggie never says what he means!
Is that the beet around the bush?
THAT WON ’T COST THE EARTH
No.19 October 2017
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT COOKING COW*
THEN, THIS IS HOW NOW
*BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK
MEET DEVON’S YOUNGEST MILK
N A F
CLARIFIED BUTTER’S GETTING US IN A SPIN
THE BEET GENERATION
FROM THE REGION’S BEST COOKS
£3 where sold
•BROWN & BEAN YES, THEY’RE • DUCK & FROM LONDON – BUT THEY WAFFLE LOVE DEVON GOAT! •TASTE OF T THE TEIGN
A C I T TS
s ’ T BE ETRBOO RIGHT E ST THE
(A N D WH E R E TO FIND T H EM)
H EALTHFOOS DAGE OF IT
EP BUT KENISH A V E TH ! HANDY
yOu Can’t beet it! We cannot get enough of beetroot. There, we said it. Easy to grow, looks fab on the plate, and tastes earthy and full of goodness. We love how versatlle it is, too. Roast it and toss it in a salad; pickle it in vinegar and put it in a posh jar; grate it into a chocolate cake; or blitz it into a smoothie. Okay, yup, so it does also stain our hands and turn our wee a shocking shade of pink, but we forgive it. That’s why we’ve declared it this issue’s Hero Ingredient. Also this issue, we’ve been finding out all about ghee. Used traditionally in Indian cooking, this clarified butter is garnering some serious foodie buzz down Devon way, thanks to the chaps at Happy Butter Ghee. Read all about what it is, and how we should cook with it, on page 14. On our travels this month, we finally got the chance to catch up with Anita-Clare Field, who found fame on Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants with Michel Roux Jr. She’s made the bold move from London to Devon with her innovative supper club-style dining concept, La Petite Bouchée. As well as cooking up a French feast in the kitchen, she’s also pretty darn good at mixing a Bloody Mary, as we found out – read all about it on page 36. Oh, and has anybody noticed how summer has sneaked away and the nights are drawing in? Not just us, then. This means we’ll be spending much more time at home, cooking in our kitchens. Get some kitchen revamp inspiration on page 53. Enjoy!
Melissa Stewart, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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Table of Contents
MATT GYNN firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVES
JANE INGHAM email@example.com
NO. 19 OCTOBER 2017
GREG INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org large version
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800; www.mediaclash.co.uk © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission 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 faced our fear and tried ox tongue for the first time. Happy to report we didn't feel like Hannibal Lecter. Not one bit. In fact, we rather enjoyed it!
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT We’re diggin’ beetroot 10 OPENINGS ETC The latest foodie findings 14 ASK THE EXPERT Ghee whizz! 20 LOCAVORE A man that’s milking it
CHEF! Amazing regional recipes 26 Chicken with citrus and olives by Rachel Roddy 28 Okonomiyaki, by Jane Baxter 30 Goat kofta with ezme salad, by Tom Cenci
32 Chocolate and salted ewe’s milk sorbet, by Luke Fearon
KITCHEN ARMOURY 36 HOUSE CALL Foodie inspiration from Anita-Clare Field 40 THE WANT LIST Potty about Devon pottery
53 KITCHENS REVAMPED Design ideas for your home 56 TASTE OF THE TEIGN Foodie goodness on the Teign Estuary
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 62 Brown & Bean 64 The Swan
MAINS 44 EXCLUSIVE EATS The best private dining rooms you’ll find in Devon 50 WHAT’S THE BEEF? From tongue to liver, we get down with beef
PLUS! 66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Ben Watson on his top Devon hangouts
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
Radio 2 presenter Sara Cox has teamed up with two of Devon’s top organic producers, Riverford and The Well Hung Meat Company, to launch a highly worthwhile (if slightly clunkily named) campaign called ‘Organic. Feed Your Happy’. It is, of course, all about celebrating organic food, and revolves around a series of short films featuring Cox and chef Rosie Birkett, in which they tell the stories of various UK organic producers. As the daughter of a farmer, Sara knows a thing or two about farming. “I choose organic because it tastes better, it’s gorgeous, and I think it’s good for the animals and good for the planet,” she explains. “Food grown organically is food as it should be. Give me a knobbly, misshapen organic strawberry over the weirdly uniform non-organic ones any day. To put it simply, organic food makes me happy.” Sounds good, but how should we get involved? “To anyone thinking of going organic,” she suggests, “choose one or two things at first – perhaps some lovely vine tomatoes or some sausages – and experience the flavour. Choose what’s important to you and what your budget allows, though, as organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune.” Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Join Sara in sharing your favourite organic meals at #FeedYourHappy, or go to the website to find out more. feedyourhappy.co.uk
To celebrate Organic. Feed Your Happy, The Well Hung Meat Company is offering free delivery throughout September. Fancy it? Then simply enter voucher code CHOOSEORGANIC at checkout, or phone 01364 643 087.
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BE E TROOT NO HERE-TODAY, GONE-TOMORROW SUPERFOOD FAD, THIS RUBY RED ROOT IS MOREISHLY SWEET, CRAZY VERSATILE, AND UNBELIEVABLY GOOD FOR YOU. GO ON, RISK IT! (YOU NEVER LIKED THOSE WHITE TROUSERS ANYWAY...)
ots of people hate beetroot, and it’s not hard to see why. Those flabby pickled slices, so familiar from ’70s salads, had a tendency to turn everything red – fingers, shirts, those unfortunate Iceberg leaves forced to give it plate-room – and became synonymous with a certain type of cuisine: cheap, unimaginative, smelling vaguely of the ration book. Today, of course, we know different. Roast beetroot has been a foodie darling for some years now, a fashionable British ingredient that also speaks of Slavic and Nordic cooking, and in a broad and pleasing way of peasant food everywhere. Part of its near-universal success is because this coastal relative of spinach and chard, originally a wild sea beet offshoot, is so easy to grow – and so tough it rarely needs a pesticide. Though traditionally a rich purple – thanks to all the betacyanin it contains, thought to help suppress some cancers – white, golden or even red/white candy-striped versions can also be found. (A word of warning, though: they’re way less useful health-wise.) Both the leaves (bitter) and the once long-and-thin, now spherical root (sweet) are edible, and impressively potent; both have folic acid, manganese and potassium, but the greens are rich in iron, calcium and A, B and C vitamins too. To enjoy the leaves – which we’ve been eating for much longer than the roots – treat them as you would spinach. You know how we often big up the Romans on this page? Well, here they are again. The ancient Greeks used to cook beetroot leaves with honey and wine, but it was the Romans we have to thank for the modern vegetable, and for some of the ways we eat it. (They enjoyed it in salads with olive oil, mustard and vinegar – which sounds an excellent dish even
today.) The Romans realised the medical benefits too, using beetroot as a weapon against skin diseases, fevers and liver disorders – though the great Roman foodie Galen of Pergamon reports that Emperor Julian was actually warned about eating too much of the stuff by his doctor. By the 16th century, beetroot was being given as a ‘blood builder’ to those who looked run down – it’s the iron content that was doing the good work here – and was being eaten for pleasure too. (It was described in the Oxford Companion to Food, 1633, as “a most excellent and delicate salad” – despite the then-current practice of wiping beetroot in fresh dung before cooking.) But the benefits don’t end there. The fibre in beetroot helps bowel function (and can lower cholesterol), while eating it can promote the creation of white blood cells and antioxidant enzymes. It’s a rich source of folic acids (great during pregnancy), and contains plenty of the amino acids that maintain the intestinal tract. It can help reduce blood pressure, has been used as a cure for everything from depression to dandruff, bad breath to hangovers – and has even been dubbed one of ‘nature’s Viagras’. Yep, this plant is said to boost libido, and to get the blood flowing to the extremities – and there might actually be something to this, as it contains both nitric oxide and boron. To this end, Pompeii’s main brothel, the Lupanare, was adorned with pictures of beetroots, while in WWII, General Montgomery told his troops to “take favours in the beetroot fields” (basically, visit prostitutes if you must). More romantically, it’s said that if a man and woman eat of the same beetroot they will fall in love. Buying beetroot is simplicity itself; if it looks good – smooth, firm, of vibrant colour with fresh-looking greens – you can’t go far wrong. Small is best for sweetness, and though the greens will only keep for four days in the fridge, the roots can last for weeks. Though available all year, they’re sweetest and most tender June-through-October – now, basically. Cooking is easy too. Peeling’s a mistake (that’s where much of the goodness lives), but you can rub the outer skin off once done. And here’s where the fun starts. You can roast beetroot or put it on the barbecue; you can juice it; or you can dig deep into the Eastern European cookbook for classic recipes like borscht. Beetroot goes especially well with pasta or lamb, game or beef, or oily fish like mackerel. Oh yeah, and it also works in cakes and puds (chocolate and beetroot is a real classic). Beetroot is at its best, though – as with other sweet root vegetables, like parsnip – when paired with something sharp, sour and bright: yoghurt is a great choice, as is goat’s cheese, sour cream, or – whisper it – the dreaded vinegar. (Try roasting it with a splash of balsamic instead.) Of course, as we said at the top, beetroot still has its naysayers. Those who only remember the pickled variety often turn their noses up, while others find its proudly earthy flavours reminiscent of nothing better than, well, dirt. And while lemon juice, or raw pear, can help get beetroot stains off your hands, we can’t guarantee their powers when faced with something labelled Burberry or Prada. You and I might forgive beetroot almost anything, then – for its bold visual statement (when cut, the most amazing rings are revealed) and its amazing versatility, and most of all for being such a health-food superhero – but some won’t ever laugh off the staining. Or perhaps it’s just that they’re averse to their pee and poop being turned a harmless but most alarming shade…
ROASTED BEETROOT, CARROT, LENTIL AND CUMIN SEED SALAD SERVES 2 RECIPE FROM RIVERFORD; RIVERFORD.CO.UK 2 medium beetroot, scrubbed well 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarters lengthways 5-6 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 100g Puy lentils 2 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste bag of salad leaves, e.g. rocket or watercress salt and black pepper 1 Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast it in the hot oven – this may take an hour or more, depending on their size. 2 About half an hour before the beetroot are cooked, toss the carrots in a roasting tin with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the cumin seeds and some salt and pepper. Add to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until beginning to caramelise. 3 Meanwhile, put the lentils into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender. Drain and dress with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a little salt while still warm. 4 Mix the lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil with a little salt to make a simple dressing. 5 Allow the beets to cool, then slip off the skins. Cut into chunks and toss with some of the dressing. 6 Dress the salad leaves, scatter over the lentils and top with the carrots and beetroot.
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instA FEED ZERO-WASTE PIONEERS An organic enterprise in Totnes has been building some serious buzz recently, and for all the right reasons thanks to its status as the UK’s only zero-waste supermarket. Earth.Food.Love sells over 200 organic products, including beans, pulses, rice, cereal, flours, sugar, herbs, teas, vinegars, oils and spices, alongside household cleaning products. What makes these guys unique is that they use no disposable bags or packaging, instead encouraging customers to shop with their own reusable jars, boxes and bottles. “We were inspired by an article we read about a store in Berlin called Original Unverpackt,” explains Nicola Eckersley, who runs Earth.Food.Love with her husband, Richard. “Promoting a zero-waste lifestyle is essential in order to protect our home, planet Earth. Plastic pollution is destroying our land and oceans, putting wildlife in danger and releasing toxic chemicals into our food chain.” thezerowasteshop.co.uk
PaIRINGS FOR ShaRING
@macaines Lip-smackingly good looking grouse on the autumn menu at Lympstone Manor
@wildmoordeli Red wine and Italian sharing platters are perfect autumnal fodder
IN THE DIARY...
As the dark, winter nights start to draw in, it can only mean one thing for us foodie fans: cheese board. And what better with cheese than a finely matched liqueur? Nothing that we can think of, so we were thrilled to hear that those clever peeps over at Lyme Bay Winery have only gone and created a list pairing their eight fruity liqueurs with some of the South West’s finest cheeses. So, match Lyme Bay Cherry Brandy with Godminster Traditional Organic Brie, or a Blackcurrant Rum with Quicke's Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar. For more about Lyme Bay Winery’s cheese and liqueur pairing ideas, head to the website. lymebaywinery.co.uk
New Devon luxury hotel and events venue Paschoe House has appointed Alex Gibbs as executive head chef. The stunning 10-bedroom manor house on the edge of Crediton threw open its doors to the public for the first time in its 800-year history last month. Tabitha Amador-Christie, owner of Paschoe House, believes her new chef will play a vital role in the hotel’s success. “Alex has an excellent reputation,” she says, “and I’m excited about his creativity in the kitchen, and can’t wait to see what delights he and his team produce at Paschoe House.” Alex previously held the position of executive head chef at The Royal Clarence in Exeter, but sadly lost that job when the world-famous hotel and restaurant burned down in 2016. paschoehouse.co.uk
(16-17 September) PLYMOUTH SEAFOOD FESTIVAL Plymouth’s historic harbour will transform into a culinary extravaganza with live cookery demonstrations, a fish auction, and family entertainment. barbicanwaterfront.com (23 September-1 October) TASTE OF THE TEIGN FESTIVAL Celebrate the provenance and local flavours of the Teign Estuary. Workshops include learning how to pick and prepare crabs and a gin masterclass. Find out more on page 56. tasteoftheteign.org.uk (7-8 October) POWDERHAM FOOD FESTIVAL Appealing to foodies of all ages, this festival showcases some of the region’s finest culinary talents. Exeter Cookery School will stage a number of live demos, and the Fun Kitchen will give kids the opportunity to get hands-on with cooking. powderhamfoodfestival.com (20-22 October) DARTMOUTH FOOD FESTIVAL Enjoy cookery demos, drinks seminars and tastings while mingling with celebrity chefs, local cookery heroes and some of the UK’s top food writers. dartmouthfoodfestival.com
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And what does the future hold for Saveur? Saveur – formerly known as Les Saveurs – has a very good reputation, which we would obviously like to maintain. I believe we’ve already made our mark by creating a more up to date menu, though. I’ve established some great local contacts for produce, which is allowing us to have a fluid menu that changes frequently. Kerry has a natural service style too, which I feel leads to a relaxed dining experience, and I hope my food has a similar feel to it. We are particularly proud of our cheese trolley, which has proven a big success – although I still laugh at Kerry wheeling it out like Mrs Doyle from Father Ted! How do you describe your style of cooking? Modern European, although I have picked up lots of ideas while we were travelling, which I hope will influence the menu going forward. What is your earliest memory of being in the kitchen? I remember wanting to make a chicken pie, and my mother teaching me the different elements. As a child, I used to constantly talk about food.
SaveuR the fLavOur
MEET NIGEL WRIGHT, WHO HAS TAKEN OVER THE REINS AT THE MICHELINRECOMMENDED RESTAURANT SAVEUR… Hi, Nigel! Great to meet you. To start off, tell us a bit about your foodie background… I started out, aged 17, as a trainee chef at a restaurant in the New Forest. It wasn't the best start, as the food quality was not that great, but it was a youth apprenticeship scheme which allowed me to go to college. My next role was at the Rose & Thistle in Rockbourne, Hampshire, where I was second chef to the owner; it was a great place to learn a bit more about quality food. I then moved to The Three Lions at Stuckton, in the New Forest, under head chef/patron Michael Walmsley, formerly of Lucknam Park. It was with Mike that I learnt not just about quality ingredients and how to make the most of them, but also about foraging for seasonal ingredients, especially mushrooms. I then returned to the Rose & Thistle, where I was head chef for about 10 years. We were a well-renowned pub restaurant, which people travelled miles to dine at. Why did you decide to move to Devon? My partner Kerry and I decided to sell the Rose & Thistle and take a late gap year, travelling the world. While we were in New Zealand we were pondering where to go back to, and it reminded us a bit of Devon – so here we are!
Who are your foodie inspirations? Raymond Blanc – I think he is a crazy, but inspirational, man – and Nathan Outlaw, a very clever chef who has made simple ingredients sing. What do you love about being a chef? Seeing the food change through the seasons – and receiving a box of quality produce – is always a pleasure, as it gets the creative juices flowing. Also, of course, clean plates and happy customers make the hard work worthwhile. What are the biggest challenges of being a chef? When your lovely ingredients are not up to scratch. It is demotivating, and can eat hours out of your day following it up. Also, reliable kitchen staff are hard to find. And, of course, the hours... I don't think there's a chef who wouldn’t say that! What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? Mackerel, crab and our lovely longhorn beef from Powderham Farm Shop. I should also mention the cheese, as we British have got some amazing cheeses now. What piece of kitchen kit or gadget couldn’t you live without? My 5-inch cook’s knife, and a whisk. What are your top five-a-day? Strong tea, coffee, work, beer and bed! Current favourite flavour combination? Mackerel, ricotta, broad beans, beetroot and horseradish. It just works. Finally, what's your fondest foodie memory? Right now, I'd say all the wow food we had in Asia. I can’t stop thinking about it! saveursrestaurant.com
Ask the Expert
GettinG OUR Ghee On! WE CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTER… BUT IT’S NOT! GHEE IS HAVING A MOMENT AS A COOKING OIL WITH HEALTH BENEFITS, SO WE SAT DOWN WITH KATE FRY, CO-FOUNDER OF SOUTH DEVON-BASED HAPPY BUTTER GHEE, TO FIND OUT MORE… PHOTO S M AT T AUS T I N
Hi there, Kate! First up, you’d perhaps best fill us in: what exactly is ghee? Isn’t it just butter in a jar? Ghee is a clarified butter; it differs from butter in that it has been cooked gently for many hours, which removes all but traces of the lactose (milk sugar), casein (milk protein), and all the water, to leave a product that is a concentrated and pure butter fat. Critically, ghee has a very high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures. Ghee can be used up to around 250C. The great thing is that you get all these extra qualities which are an improvement on butter, and still get the delicious buttery taste! If anything, the flavour is enhanced. Sounds good to us! Paint us a picture; can you describe the smell, texture and taste? The smell is almost nutty and caramel-like, out of the jar. The texture when the ghee is at room temperature should be grainy to start with and smooth to finish. And the taste…? Well, this is what the judges said about Happy Butter Ghee at the recent Great Taste Awards: “A wonderful, golden yellow ghee with a huge impact on the palate – butter, fields of meadow sweetness, melting and beautifully rich and deep. Clean clarification, and not a hint of anything other than superb dairy.” Let’s step back in time. Tell us about the history of ghee. Do you know when it was first used in the UK? Ghee has been around for thousands of years in India as a cooking medium and, in Ayurveda, as a medicine. It’s also used in ceremonies throughout the Hindu culture. The need to cook the butter to remove the water, lactose and casein arose due to the lack of refrigeration. There are many versions of clarified butter and ghee used in different cultures around the world, including Europe. Other cultures ferment butter, which sounds interesting! We are really not sure when it was first used in the UK, but it most likely has been used in Indian communities living in the UK for a long time.
All of Happy Butter Ghee is made in-house, by hand, in small batches by Kate Fry (above) and her partner, Rupert Brasier
Wait a minute! As ghee is made up of saturated fats, aren’t these unhealthy? Saturated fats have been vilified since the 1970s, but more recent research shows that there are no significant links between a high-fat diet and heart disease. In fact, saturated fat is a vital part of a healthy diet, and is necessary in many processes that go on in the body. Ghee also contains bio-available vitamins A, D, E and K, butyrate and essential fatty acids – omega 3, 6 and 9 – in an optimum ratio for humans. What makes ghee healthier than other cooking oils? Because ghee remains stable at higher temperatures, it is believed to be much healthier for cooking than other cooking oils, like vegetable, nut and seed oils. Oils with a high polyunsaturated content tend to oxidise at high temperatures, thus degrading the oil and ultimately making it toxic in the body. Oils such as olive oil are fantastic raw or lightly heated, but not so when used at temperatures over 148C. What types of things can you cook with ghee? Use as you would any cooking oil. In fact, leave the olive oil for salads and have a jar of ghee by your cooker to
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cook all your food. Use it to fry onions, sauté potatoes, fry steak, fish or tofu, make popcorn, fry or scramble eggs, rub on chicken for the crispiest oven-baked chicken, stir-fry kale or cabbage, pan cook carrots, and roast vegetables and potatoes. Also, you can stir it into porridge, make flapjacks, make granola… The list is pretty endless. You can use it as a creamer in coffee (you need a blender for this), and it’s also great for making energy balls with dates, coconut, maple syrup and nuts. Where did the idea for Happy Butter Ghee come from? My partner, Rupert Brasier, and I had been making ghee for ourselves to use at home for some time, mainly for health reasons, and more and more people became interested in our ghee. When you cook ghee, the smell is truly amazing and it captures most people’s attention. We then decided that we’d have a pop at making it commercially. We haven’t looked back. We looked at other brands available and did blind tastings and found ours to be tastier. We now supply over 50 stores in the UK and Ireland. Stockists include Whole Foods, Planet Organic and As Nature Intended in London. Our biggest customer so far is Nourish Stores in Dublin. They love it almost as much as we do!
entire process by hand, including all the pouring, jarring and labelling. It’s about as handmade as you can get. We hear your Golden Turmeric Ghee is gorgeous. How did that come about? We are very proud of this one, and it’s a truly innovative product thought up by Rupert. We love turmeric in our house! Ghee with turmeric has been used for centuries as a throat and cough tonic, but typically with powdered turmeric. Made with the entire root, it’s sweet and gingery. Yum! Turmeric has many health benefits and the curcumin, which is the main active ingredient, is fat-soluble which means it becomes more bio-available if it is taken with a fat. This makes it work in perfect synergy with the ghee. It’s a bit niche, but the people who like it really like it! It’s the product that not only got Gold at Taste of the West this year, but is almost a medicine. It’s delicious.
And how do you make your ghee? What does the process involve? It involves sourcing the very finest organic local butter, and then cooking it with love. It arrives in very large blocks and is slowly cooked for many hours to get it to the point where it’s ready to jar. We do the
SalmOn fiLLets with GOlden TurmeriC Ghee
INGREDIENTS salmon fillets (1 per person) Golden Turmeric Ghee Himalayan pink salt black pepper
METHOD 1 Preheat oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. 2 Slather each fillet of salmon with 1 teaspoon of ghee. Pop the fillets in a cast iron baking dish and season with a small amount of Himalayan pink salt and a load of black pepper. (Note: the piperine in the pepper activates the curcumin in the turmeric.) 3 Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue cooking for roughly 10 minutes. 4 Serve with dark green veg and brown rice.
For those of us who are new to ghee, how should we store it and how long does it last? Ghee came about as a way to store precious butter without it going off, so its shelf life, without refrigerating, is very long. We recommend using our Original Ghee within two years and within one year with the Golden Ghee, although it is likely they will both last a lot longer. There are pots of ghee in Indian temples used for ceremonies that are about 900 years old! It is an ambient product, but once opened we suggest you put it in the fridge and use within four weeks. We have ours out by the cooker, but then a jar never lasts more than four weeks in our house! If you had to convince us to buy ghee in three words, what would they be? Delicious. Healthy. Versatile. What’s next for the Happy Butter Ghee business? We’ve got these two amazing products that define who and what we are. We have already won Gold at Taste of the West for both our products, and also two stars at the Great Taste Awards. Hopefully these endorsements will tempt more people to give our ghee a try, and our business can flourish and grow. happybutter.co.uk
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In the Larder
ThinGs that make Us GO mmmm…
A FEW OF THE TASTY TREATS FILLING OUR KITCHEN CUPBOARDS THIS MONTH 1 A TOUCH OF SALT Quicke’s Mature Clothbound Cheddar, £3.60/200g Following years of tweaking at Home Farm, Quicke’s has announced that its multi awardwinning cheese will now be made using Cornish sea salt. The use of sea salt adds a new complexity of flavour to the Devon-based cheesemaker’s expertly crafted clothbound Cheddar, and is sure to tantalise the taste buds of curd nerds everywhere. Pass us the cheeseboard, please. quickes.co.uk 2 GET YOUR ROCKS ON Rocks Sparkling Elderflower, £1.99/250ml Summer may have largely been and gone, but this thirst
quencher from those clever bods at Rocks will brighten even the gloomiest of autumn days. Made in Woodbury Salterton, outside Exeter, it contains no nasty artificial flavours or sweeteners, just crushed and pressed elderflower and Devonshire spring water. We mixed it with Prosecco for a cheeky spin on a Bellini cocktail. Delish! rocksdrinks.co.uk 3 PASS THE POTATO Burts Fish ‘n’ Chips, 79p/40g Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside… But when that’s just not possible due to magazine deadlines, then we’ll make do with a bag of these scrummy new Fish ’n’ Chip-flavoured crisps from Burts Chips. The
new limited edition flavour is part of a collaboration with seafood restaurant Rockfish. Also, look out for Burts Smoked Crispy Bacon flavour, created in partnership with Devon-based producers spoiltpig, which are equally moreish. burtschips.com 4 MERRY BERRIES Wildsea Raspberry Splash, £1.80/330ml The guys at this little-known, family-run raspberry farm in Georgeham, Devon have been busy selling fresh raspberries, vinegar and jam all summer, but it’s their Wildsea Raspberry Splash that has really got our juices flowing. Each bottle contains the juices of a whole
punnet of raspberries. Delicious on its own over ice, or it makes a great mixer with gin or vodka. Available from John’s of Instow and Appledore. wildsearaspberries.co.uk 5 TAKING THE BRISKET Eversfield Organic Dry Cured Spiced Beef Brisket, £19.84/1.2kg If you’ve ever salivated over Joey’s pastrami sandwiches on Friends, you need this brisket in your life. Slow cook this marbled brisket joint marinated in mustardy, peppery goodness for 4-5 hours, and you’ll have meltin-your-mouth pastrami. Perfect on a bagel topped with pickles. Store it in the fridge and you have next week’s lunches sorted. eversfieldorganic.co.uk
Meet the Team
FA M I L Y VA L U E S PART OF THE FAMILY BEHIND OTTER BREWERY, SIBLINGS JOE AND ANGUS MCCAIG HAVE MADE THEIR OWN MARK IN THE HOSPITALITY TRADE WITH THE HOLT – A PUB, RESTAURANT AND COOKERY SCHOOL BASED IN HONITON. SO, WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE GROWING UP AND NOW WORKING TOGETHER…?
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ANGUS We’re the youngest of four brothers, and there are 18 months between us. Our parents moved to Devon when I was five and set up a smallholding. That’s where our love of food comes in, because we had pigs, sheep, ducks, trout, koi carp, bantams and a huge vegetable garden. It was a really good grounding in the food industry, because we saw the pigs go off to slaughter, then they’d come back and we’d joint them up on the kitchen table. Our parents also instilled in us a strong work ethic. We were always roped into building a barn or doing odd jobs around the farm. Joe and I have always been close. Our first love was music and we were in a band together. I played drums and Joe was the singer and guitarist. To make ends meet, we both worked in The Drewe Arms in Broadhembury. I was in the kitchen and Joe was front of house. It was a really popular pub and always busy. The head chef "OUR FIRST there was Swedish. She was really LOVE WAS gregarious and full of life, but MUSIC AND also volatile at times. She cooked WE WERE in the style of her mother and IN A BAND grandmother before her; ancient TOGETHER" Swedish recipes, fresh seafood, pickled veg and fresh herbs. People absolutely loved it. After seven years, Joe and I decided to make the move to London. We were still in our band and wanted to make a go of it. Unfortunately, working in hospitality doesn’t leave much time for gigs! I ended up working at The Chop House at Tower Bridge and a few other places, before heading to the south of France. Joe, meanwhile, went travelling. When he got back we decided to move back to Devon – we’re country boys at heart! We had our own catering business for a while, but it was a full-on operation; catering for music festivals and weddings all over the South West. We opened The Holt in 2005 with the Otter Brewery, then became independent in 2008. It was a tricky time as it was the recession, the smoking ban had recently come in, and more people were drinking at home – but we persevered, and worked hard at building up the food side of the business. Today we have the pub, a café on the high street called Toast and a growing cookery school. I head up the kitchen and manage the food side of things, while Joe keeps everything ticking front of house and on the management side. I can’t imagine doing it without Joe. He’s brilliant front of house and has a knack at being able to read a service and anticipate what our customers want. Yes, it’s not all roses and there can be tricky points, but as long as he realises I’m right, everything is fine!
JOE The pub and restaurant trade is tough, but Angus and I both have a passion for it. We also take a real pride in what we do – we want to deliver the best. Growing up, our parents taught us the importance of working together. Even on family holidays they’d divide the chores up between us four boys. Running a pub restaurant business is hard work, but we both get a buzz off it, especially when it’s busy. I’ve travelled extensively and have worked front of house in numerous places, so I learned lots of tricks of the trade. I believe in organic training in order to empower our staff with the passion and knowledge that we both share. Angus is a really great chef and the food "WE TAKE A is amazing, but service is just as important. It doesn’t matter REAL PRIDE how great the food is – if your waiting staff are inattentive or IN WHAT rude, you won’t have a good experience. WE DO – In recent years, we’ve expanded the business and now WE WANT Angus runs the cooking school. He really enjoys the teaching TO DELIVER side of the business – passing on his skills and giving people THE BEST" the confidence to be more experimental with their cooking. Now we’re both in our 40s, we’re enjoying our work but also trying to make time for life, too. Both of our wives are involved in the business and we have young children, so we’re always busy. We take pride in ensuring that all of our staff, both front of house and in the kitchen, are trained well and treated with respect. This is a notoriously difficult industry, so it’s important that we all look out for each other and, as long as they realise that I’m right, everything is fine! theholt-honiton.com
MILKING IT WE CATCH UP WITH OLIVER LEE, FOUNDER OF HOW NOW DAIRY – A MAN ON A MISSION TO GET US BUYING PINTS OF THE WHITE STUFF FRESH FROM THE FARM
hile all farmers face their own challenges, the past few years have been especially tough for dairy farmers. Not only have they had to contend with plummeting milk prices, meaning less profit, but milk has become ever-more unfashionable. The rising trend for alternatives such as almond, coconut and soy milk, not to mention the increase in people who claim to be dairy intolerant, has meant that milk – which was once seen as a healthy beverage promoting growth and strength – is now viewed with increasing suspicion. But not everyone is prepared to throw the milk out with the bathwater. Step forward Oliver Lee. This enthusiastic 24-year-old is the brains behind How Now Dairy – an innovative new start-up delivering fresh milk in the South Hams area. Oliver is on a one-man mission to get people drinking and enjoying the white stuff again. He says: “So often when buying milk, we are unaware of where it comes from, how many cows are producing it and what kind of farm it’s from. Milk is a wonderful foodstuff that contains most of the essential nutrients needed for life, but sometimes we forget the minor
S T A R T E R S
details and intricacies of ‘common’ foods which can make them as interesting and as specialised as the finest wines. Here at How Now Dairy we want to change the way people think about milk.” Fighting talk if ever we heard it, but what, we ask, inspired this former Chemistry student to try his hand at an industry that’s seemingly on its way out? “My grandad was a Devon dairy farmer,” he says. “I remember visiting as a child and just being in awe of the farm and how it worked. Sadly, he passed away and most of the land was sold off, but I’m using the 40 acres the family was left with to run the dairy. I’m passionate about this industry and want to leave the land better than I found it. We’ve developed a mantra which sums us up perfectly: ‘Look after the land and the land will look after your cows. Look after your cows and they will look after you’.” The ethos behind How Now Dairy is simple – to create fresh local milk for the local area. There’s no processing or complex supply chain. Oliver owns 24 pedigree Ayrshire cows, which graze on the different plants that he’s intentionally sown or which have been left to grow naturally. Allowing the cows to eat a variety of plants helps to improve the qualities of the milk, boosting its Omega-3 essential oils and important minerals such as iodine and selenium. Once the cows have been milked, he pasteurises and cools the milk then packages and delivers it fresh, direct to his customers’ doors. “I endeavour to create creamy milk which tastes just as it should,” he says. “I can tell you everything you need to know about your milk, including which field the cows grazed in and all the cow’s names!” It sounds so refreshingly simple, but in these days of mass production, can this really become a sustainable business model? “Yes, I believe it can,” says Oliver. “The last thing I want to create is one big superfarm, mass producing milk for millions of people. How Now Dairy intends to stay local and intimate, only supplying milk within a 10-mile radius of the farm. If successful, we’d like to expand and create ‘milk bubbles’; a repetition of small local farms, each supplying their local populations.” To help him get his business off the ground, Oliver has had the support of The Collaborators, a branding agency that runs an innovative programme called The Seed Fund, offering marketing advice and support to South West food
producers. They’ve helped him build How Now Dairy’s brand presence, including creating a website and logo. To keep customers up to date with the dairy’s development, Oliver has also launched Milk Minutes, a monthly video blog. “We want to educate people about where their milk comes from and how it’s produced,” he says. “Milk Minutes gives us the opportunity to take people onto the farm to see where their milk comes from.” Aside from his valiant quest to reinstate the humble milk round as a regular part of people’s weekly shop, Oliver is also devoted to ensuring How Now Dairy upholds ethical standards. The dairy is part of the Free Range Dairy movement, which means they’re committed to keeping the cows outside for over 180 days a year. They’re also halfway through the two-year process of being certified organic by the Soil Association. When it comes to packaging, the milk is bagged, rather than bottled. “The bags use 70% less packaging than conventional cardboard cartons, and there’s no heating or washing costs associated with glass bottles. Bagged plastic is recyclable and more environmentally efficient than any other option,” explains Oliver. We raise our hats (or should that be: pop our milk bottle tops?) to that! hownowdairy.co.uk
Oliver raises his 24 pedigree Ayrshire cows on the same farmland in South Hams that his grandfather used to farm
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FROM REVAMPED CLASSICS TO NEW WORKS OF CULINARY LITERATURE, MARK TAYLOR’S BEEN DEVOURING IT ALL…
BLACK BEAN & BEETROOT BURGERS SERVES 4
P H OTO M IK E LU SM O RE
THE ART OF THE LARDER Claire Thomson Quadrille, £20
Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a proper old-school pantry or stately home-sized larder, the shelf or cupboard in your kitchen is still likely to be the place where most of your home cooking starts. With a well-stocked storecupboard, anything is possible, perhaps supplemented by fresh meat and fish or fruit and vegetables. In her latest book, Bristolbased food writer Claire Thomson shows us how empowering it can be to have a larder full of spices, grains, pulses, flours, oils and preserved goods. From a speedy week night family supper of pappardelle with cream, radicchio and prosciutto to an indulgent afternoon slice of Portuguese molasses cake, this is a book of thrifty and inspiring recipes for all occasions.
Serve these beet burgers with your choice of sour cream, mayonnaise, aïoli, pickles (sliced gherkins are fabulous here), lettuce leaves, goat’s cheese or feta. On rye bread or in a roll, find a combination that works for you. INGREDIENTS
1 onion, finely diced 1 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 2 medium beetroots (about 300g), peeled and grated 1 x 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained, then roughly mashed with a fork 1 tbsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp sweet paprika (smoked or unsmoked) 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped 80g rolled oats (or use breadcrumbs) neutral cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable)
1 Cook the onion in a small saucepan with the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set to one side. 2 Combine the grated beetroot, beans, mustard, spices, dill, oats/breadcrumbs and seasoning in a bowl. Use your hands to work the mix together until cohesive. 3 Shape the mix into burgers about 2cm thick and place them on a tray or plate. Put them into the fridge and leave them to firm up for an hour or so. 4 Heat a large non-stick frying pan with enough oil to go about 1cm deep, and fry the burgers over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crisp and the interior is hot. 5 Remove from the heat and serve immediately in buns.
ICE CREAMS, SORBETS AND GELATI Caroline and Robin Weir Grub Street, £18.99
Seven years since it was published, this is the first time this classic book – for many people, the definitive book on the subject – has been issued in paperback. Caroline and Robin Weir’s exhaustive work is the biggest-selling book on ices, and it features over 400 recipes covering ice creams, gelato, graniti, bombes and parfaits, as well as instructions on making wafers, biscuits and punches, and there are even ice creams for diabetics and vegans. As well as the history of ice cream, there is also a comprehensive section about the physics and chemistry of ices and ice cream. Far removed from the bought products, which are often loaded with sugar and additives, these recipes are for everybody – from beginners making homemade ice cream to professional chefs.
THE IVY NOW
FAST & FRESH
Fernando Peire (recipes by Gary Lee) Quadrille, £30
Miguel Barclay Headline Home, £16.99
London’s iconic restaurant The Ivy this year celebrates its 100th birthday, and the lavishly illustrated The Ivy Now is the first book about the restaurant in over 25 years. Featuring 100 recipes to celebrate 100 years, it includes not just the classic dishes one would expect to find – shellfish cocktail, shepherd’s pie and knickerbocker glory – but also an array of dishes that highlight executive head chef Gary Lee’s creativity and versatility, such as Thaibaked sea bass; dukkah spiced lamb with smoked aubergine and quinoa tabbouleh; and Strawberry Fields jelly with Champagne granita. It’s all interspersed with director Fernando Peire’s highly entertaining account of life at The Ivy, and the fascinating story of how it became the most famous restaurant in the world.
One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay became an instant bestseller and went on to be the biggest debut cookery book of 2017 when it was published in January. Back with his second book, Miguel focuses on fresh and light food, again for £1 per person. Featuring warm salads, light soups, nutritious stir-fries and plenty of vegetarianfriendly meals, these pocketfriendly recipes range from tom yum soup and white bean fish cassoulet to chicken and chickpea stew and Goan cauliflower curry. Using ingenious shortcuts and often sticking to seasonal produce (because it’s cheaper) and frozen food, these short, simple recipes are ideal for people who want to eat healthy and tasty dishes on a budget, and would especially suit homeleaving students.
THE LEGENDARY CUISINE OF PERSIA Margaret Shaida Grub Street, £25
First published in 1992 and a recipient of a Glenfiddich Award, Margaret Shaida’s acclaimed book about Persian cooking has been redesigned and newly photographed by Grub Street. One of the oldest and greatest cuisines of the world, Persian food is refined, sophisticated, subtle and varied. Fruits, nuts, herbs and spices are combined with rice, fish and meat in combinations whose ancient influence can be found in the cooking of the Middle East, Spain and India. It may be centuries old but Persian cuisine is still relevant to the modern style of eating – many of the dishes are vegetarian, and there’s a distinctive marriage of sweet and savoury. Standout recipes include split pea and lamb stew; duck with walnuts and pomegranate; and saffron rice pudding.
• NEW BREWERY SHOP NOW OPEN • with regular brewery tours taking place Estuary View, Ledstone, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 4BL | 01548 854888 | www.salcombebrewery.com
Cocktails and ice cream?! Come visit our brand new bar area for cocktails, beers, cider and crazy flavoured shots at Caramello Gelato
Christmas bookings now being taken Concord House, 70 South St, Exeter EX1 1EG Tel: 01392 433856
CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT â€“ DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES Bet this made you look! Discover which chef is putting smoked eel in her Japanese pancakes on page 28
H I G H L I G H T S
Hang on to the last days of summer with this citrus-infused supper Page 26
Pancakes, but not as you know them! Page 28
GETTING OUR GOAT
Celebrate Goatober with scrummy goat koftas Page 30
P L U S
WHIPPED! A dessert to make you go mmmm
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The chef and cookbook author Simon Hopkinson recently said that, “Rachel Roddy describing how to boil potatoes would inspire me”, which is high praise indeed. And completely justified too, for Roddy is a unique voice in food writing and the closest we’ve had to Elizabeth David since the legendary food writer herself. For the past decade, Roddy has immersed herself in the culture of Italian cooking – mainly from Rome but also Sicily, where her partner is from. Splitting time between the two places, Roddy cooks family meals and sticks religiously to the seasons. This zesty chicken dish is from her latest cookbook, Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome.
ORANGES AND LEMONS GET YOUR CITRUS HIT FOR THE DAY WITH THIS ITALIAN-INSPIRED DISH FROM RACHEL RODDY
CHICKEN WITH CITRUS AND OLIVES SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 2 unwaxed oranges 1 unwaxed lemon 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing 1 clove garlic 1 free-range chicken, jointed, or 8 thighs 100g green olives a sprig of fresh oregano or marjoram METHOD 1 In a bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of 1 orange and the juice of the lemon with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. 2 Crush the garlic gently with the back of a knife so that it remains whole and add to the marinade, along with the chicken, making sure each piece is covered. Cover with cling film and leave it for 4 hours, or overnight, in the fridge. 3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 4 Brush with oil an ovenproof dish or roasting tin that will hold the chicken in a single layer, add the chicken and pour over the marinade, which will come about halfway up the chicken. Add the olives and oregano, then slice the remaining orange and tuck the slices in between the chicken. Roast for 45 minutes. If the tops look as if they are browning too fast, cover the dish loosely with foil. 5 Once the chicken is cooked, assess the amount of liquid that remains. If there is a lot, lift out the chicken pieces and reduce the liquid to a thicker sauce in the roasting tin, or tip it into a pan and boil it hard until it is as thick as you would like, then pour it back over the chicken. I sometimes return the chicken to the oven while the sauce reduces to give colour to the undersides.
Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy is published by Headline Home, £25; headline.co.uk
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When not busy writing recipes for the famed Leon restaurant’s cookbook series, chef Jane Baxter is busy running Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge with good friend, and event organiser, Samantha Miller. Taking time away from the kitchen, she shared this rather yummy recipe with us from her latest book, Leon Fast & Free. “We are doing the okonomiyaki quite a lot at Wild Artichokes,” she says, “using Severn & Wye Smokery eel. These savoury Japanese pancakes can be topped with lots of different sauces – they literally mean ‘what you like’. You’ll like them. Promise.”
A LITTLE OF WhAT YOu LIKE IMPRESS YOUR MATES AT LUNCH, BRUNCH OR DINNER WITH THESE JAPANESE PANCAKES
OKONOMIYAKI SERVES 2
INGREDIENTS 100g gluten-free plain flour 2 tsps baking powder 100ml dashi or fish stock 2 eggs, beaten 100g smoked salmon, thinly sliced 200g white cabbage, shredded ½ kohlrabi, grated 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped rice bran oil mayonnaise 130g okonomiyaki sauce salt and cayenne pepper Optional toppings: pickled ginger, bonito fish flakes, nori, chopped fresh chives, sesame seeds METHOD 1 Sift the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder. Add the stock and the eggs and whisk together to combine. Fold in the salmon and vegetables. 2 Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan and pour in the batter to make a shape about 1.5cm thick. You can make smaller pancakes, or one or two large ones. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the pancakes are firm to touch. 3 Remove from the pan and drizzle with the mayo and okonomiyaki sauce. (Note: If you can’t find okonomiyaki sauce then mix together 90g tomato sauce, 30g Worcestershire sauce and 10g tamari – check the ingredients lists first, though.) 4 Top with any of the suggested optional toppings. If you have made one large pancake, slice it up to serve.
Leon Fast & Free: Free-From Recipes For People Who Really Like Food by Jane Baxter and John Vincent is published by Conran, £25; octopusbooks.co.uk
haVe a GOat at ThIS!
OCTOBER IS NOW OFFICIALLY ‘GOATOBER’! WE’RE BIGGING UP THIS LESSER-EATEN ANIMAL IN THE NAME OF SUSTAINABILITY, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THESE GOURMET GUYS…
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Goatober is a month-long celebration of eating goat meat, raising funds and awareness for the charity Action Against Hunger. While some may wince at the thought of chomping down on Three Billy Goats Gruff, kid goat meat is actually a by-product of the dairy industry – as the male kids, deemed useless for their inability to produce milk, would otherwise have been euthanised shortly after birth. Instead, they get to live healthy, happy lives – at least until such time as they are slaughtered, of course. James Whetlor (below) is founder of Cabrito, a Devon-based goat meat business supplying supermarkets and top restaurants; he’s spearheading the campaign to get more people in the UK eating goat, and to this end has shared a delightful recipe with us prepared by one of his customers, exec chef Tom Cenci (above) of Duck & Waffle, the restaurant near the top of 110 Bishopsgate in London. cabrito.co.uk
GOAT KOFTA WITH EZME SALAD AND CUMIN YOGHURT SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS For the goat kofta: 500g minced goat 200g goat heart, chopped 200g minced pork belly 1 tsp ground coriander 1 shallot, diced 1 garlic clove, diced 50g oats 1 egg salt and pepper For the ezme salad: ½ bunch parsley (flat leaf) ½ bunch coriander 1 pomegranate 100ml pomegranate syrup 1 shallot, sliced 1 red chilli, diced For the cumin yoghurt: 200ml Greek yoghurt 10g ground cumin METHOD 1 Make the koftas by mixing the goat mince, heart and pork belly together. Add the coriander, shallot, garlic, egg and oats and then season with salt and pepper. 2 Form into small round balls of about 60g each, then flatten each ball into rectangle koftas. Place into the fridge until needed. 3 Next, make the salad by chopping the parsley, coriander, shallot and chilli and mixing together. 4 Add the pomegranate seeds and syrup, then season with salt and pepper. Allow the salad to marinate together in the fridge until needed. 5 Now combine the yoghurt and cumin together, and set aside. 6 When everything is ready, grill the koftas on a chargrill or BBQ until cooked through. Place on top of the cumin yoghurt and finish with the ezme salad.
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WhIP IT UP! LUKE FEARON GIVES US A BEHINDTHE-SCENES GLIMPSE AT HOW HE CONJURES UP A DREAMY DESSERT…
VALRHONA CHOCOLATE AND SALTED EWE’S MILK SORBET SERVES 8
INGREDIENTS For the salted ewe’s milk sorbet: 2000ml ewe’s milk 200g caster sugar 225g glucose 230g Sosa Procrema Cornish sea salt, to taste For the chocolate aero: 200g natural cocoa butter 150g Valrhona Dulcey 30% chocolate For the Valrhona chocolate mousse: 250g egg yolks 200g caster sugar 1160ml double cream 2 Madagascan vanilla pods (seeded) 9 sheets of gold leaf gelatine, bloomed 200g Valrhona Opalys 33% chocolate (melted) For the chocolate temper tubes: 100g Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate (in bag condition) For the chocolate glaze: 200ml cold water 100g glucose 200g caster sugar 100g cocoa powder
Every now and then we like to share a recipe that, admittedly, we might not exactly be rushing to master ourselves (‘iSi gun’, anyone?), but which gives us a real insight into the craftsmanship which goes into a top chef’s menu. This sumptuous dessert by Luke Fearon, head chef at The Treby Arms in Plympton, fits into that category perfectly. Yes, it’s a little complicated to create, but oh so worth it in the end. “At the restaurant, we relish this time of year,” Luke says. “Our surrounding estates are supplying amazing game to us; local farms are full of the season’s best roots and greens; the foragers are covering woodland and shoreline to find some of Devon’s hidden treasures; and we plan our menus to include as much of this wild larder as we can. “With this in mind, I always find by the time we get to dessert I’ve had enough of rich food. Here, I want to share with you my perfect way to end a meal: a chocoholic’s dream that can transcend any season. Enjoy!”
METHOD Salted ewe’s milk sorbet: 1 Mix all of the ingredients together, except for the Sosa Procrema, and bring to the boil. 2 Hand blend in the Procrema, and then season it with Cornish sea salt to taste. 3 Chill for 24 hours before churning in an ice cream machine. Chocolate aero: 1 Melt the cocoa butter in a microwave. 2 Add the chocolate and then follow the microwave chocolate temper method (below) to temper to 30C. 3 Place the chocolate mix into an iSi gun and charge twice with N2O. 4 Spray into a 4-litre container and vacuum the container so that the air is pulled out of the chocolate, creating bubbles. Set aside for 3-4 hours to set. Valrhona chocolate mousse: 1 Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, 160g double cream and the vanilla to create a light sabayon. 2 Add the bloomed gelatine to the sabayon, and then fold in the white chocolate. 3 Lightly whip the rest of the double cream and fold this in, too. 4 Split the mix in two. Put half in a bowl and rewhip once, so it}s set for piping onto each plate. 5 Place the other half of the mixture into a piping bag and use to fill the chocolate temper tubes. Chocolate temper tubes: 1 Melt the chocolate in microwave for 1 minute on full power. Stir well and repeat on 30 seconds. Repeat in 10 second bursts and check the temperature. The ideal heat is 28-29C. 2 Stir well and spread onto a thin sheet of acetate and roll into a tube. Chocolate glaze: 1 Stir together all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. 2 Heat the pan over a moderate heat until a syrupy consistency is achieved. thetrebyarms.co.uk
Choose your weapons It’s weird, isn’t it? I hate it when a cup of hot coffee goes cold – I won’t drink it – but cold brewed coffee is a very different thing. That’s because it’s smooth and chilly and perfect for summer – especially the hot, people-packed summers of New York – but not at all watery or bitter. (At least, not if you do it right.) And it’s a million times better than your basic iced coffee – which is just regular filter coffee poured over ice – or the big coffee chain versions, which are sweetened to within an inch of their lives. It doesn’t get as hot here as New York, though, so cold brewed coffee does seem more an affectation than a survival essential… That’s true, which is why we should enjoy it for its other pleasures too. A good cold brewed coffee, you see, is rich in flavour, subtle in its sweetness, and utterly refreshing – and its secret is that it’s steeped in cold water from the start, not brewed hot then cooled down with ice. Traditional iced coffee is made hot, fast and very strong – so the taste can survive dilution with all that frozen water – but this is a process that also makes it horribly bitter; cold brew is different, its gentler infusion process taking up to 24 hours and keeping the acidity low throughout, leaving it sweeter. And because it’s already cold, you don’t need to serve it with much – or even any – ice, meaning there’s little dilution going on. It’s just coffee, though, so surely it’s easy enough to make at home? Indeed, and without extreme barista skills too; all you really need are coarse coffee grounds, cold water, a big jar, a big bowl, a sieve, some paper towels – and the patience to wait overnight for your brew. It’s possible to make it using your regular cafetière, too. So what do I need this thing for? I was about to say! Basically, the KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a way to make everything easier for yourself, reducing the process to three simple steps: grind, brew and pour. It steeps your coffee in cold water for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 (though over-steeping can result in the bitter flavours we’re trying to avoid), giving smooth,
BeST SeRved COLd
THE JAPANESE AND AMERICANS HAVE LONG SAID THAT COFFEE, LIKE REVENGE, IS BEST SERVED COLD. NOW, RECKONS MATT BIELBY, KITCHENAID HAS COME UP WITH A EASY WAY FOR US TO ENJOY ITS UNIQUE MELLOW QUALITIES TOO… balanced results every time. There’s no need to drink it all at once either, as – unlike regular coffee – the low acidity means it will keep in the fridge for weeks, actually saving you time each morning. Since it’s by KitchenAid, it’s pretty cool looking too, right? Yes, and solidly made – all stainless steel and chunky glass – as well as easy to clean and small enough to fit easily on a fridge shelf (or even in the door rack). From the fill guideline mark to the reusable stainless steel steeper for custom brewing, it’s designed to make the whole process as fool-proof as possible. Oh, and it’s surprisingly cheap, too.
THIS MONTH • HIDDEN RESTAURANTS • POTTY ABOUT POTTERY
Remortgage the house cheap, right? Not so; you can pick one up for £129. Not much, considering how cold brewing drags all the flavour (and, yes, all the caffeine) from your beans, but leaves behind everything that can make coffee sour. And if the weather turns (and it’s likely to, let’s face it), you can just warm your cold brew up in the microwave for the perfect hot cup, less bitter yet more caffeinated than normal filter coffee. You may have discovered your new morning pick-me-up. The KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker costs £129. Find yours at KitchenAid stockists like The Cook’s Shop in Exeter; kitchenaid.co.uk
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HAVING SWAPPED THE CHAOS OF SOUTH LONDON FOR A SLEEPY DEVON VILLAGE, ANITA-CLARE FIELD AND HER SPIN ON SUPPER CLUB DINING ARE CREATING QUITE THE STIR WORDS BY MELISSA STEWART PHOTOS BY BECKY JOINER
hen we rock up in Witheridge village square to meet with Anita-Clare Field, chef and proprietor of La Petite Bouchée, we’ve got to be honest: we have no idea what to expect. Anita-Clare and wife Caroline moved to Devon from London back in February. They arrived with a level of fame, having just appeared on Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants with Michel Roux Jr, where their quirky 1971 Citroen HY Campervan took centre stage as they served up delicious French cuisine to hungry clientele in Crystal Palace. Yes, that’s right. Their campervan was a four-seater restaurant. And quite the reputation it had, too. Anita-Clare’s culinary flair at whipping up such French staples as fruit de mer and coq au vin outdoors, while customers sipped wine and looked on, earned this unusual dining concept a coveted Time Out Best Restaurant Award. Now they’ve moved their winning idea to Devon and swapped the campervan for an intimate 20-cover restaurant, housed in an annex on the side of their home, which fittingly just happens to be the old village butcher’s. “The campervan will return one day, definitely,” Anita-Clare assures us, “but at the moment we’re focusing on the dining room.” La Petite Bouchée is gaining quite the following in its new home, where the focus is on quality seasonal food with a French twist. Unlike other restaurants, guests are asked to pre-order their food ahead of their visit, so that Anita-Clare can ensure dietary needs are satisfied, as well as minimise food waste. But more on the restaurant later… We catch up with Anita-Clare at home, as she busily prepares for the weekend’s visitors. The phone is literally buzzing, as she fields various media requests and irons out guests’ menu requirements. It’s clear from meeting her that she thrives on the buzz. Witheridge may be a sleepy village, but Anita-Clare is full of life. As she busily whips us up a lunch of sautéed clams in tomato sauce, she tells us about her culinary background: “I watched my mother and my grandmothers and loved being in the kitchen. I always felt comfortable there, and there was a lot of love. From an early age my mother taught my sister and I how to cook – and not in a conventional way. Whereas other people get hung up on following recipes, we just freestyled, and you can do that with most
cooking – apart from some desserts and baking. In fact, that’s what I still do today. I trust my instincts and create my own recipes, rather than following a list of instructions.” Despite her love of cooking, Anita-Clare’s career path took her into publishing, where she built her way up to become a publishing director. But a few years ago she had a bad accident, shattering her arm, which made her reassess what she was doing in life. “I went from earning over £150,000 a year to almost nothing,” she says. “It was a difficult time. While I was in recovery, I started up a food blog – Lover of Creating Flavours – which gave me the opportunity to share my passion for cooking.” During her time recuperating from her accident, Anita-Clare also met her wife Caroline, and it was after watching George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces together that they got the idea to buy a Citroen van. The next day she was in her local food market in London, and was tipped off about someone who was selling one. They went and had a look at it and fell in love – buying it that same day. That’s the thing that strikes you about Anita-Clare: she’s not one to rest on her laurels. If she has an idea, she acts on it. Very carpe diem. Very inspiring. “We didn’t intend for the van to become a restaurant,” Anita-Clare explains, “but I had a brainwave in the middle of the night to turn it into a business. Caroline was immediately on board with it and La Petite Bouchée – which translates as ‘The Small Bite’ – was born. By the next day I’d created a website and set up a Facebook page. We were open for business.” After a couple of years’ success in London, the couple decided to make the move to Devon. “We both love the countryside, and had family memories from visits to Devon,” she says. “We didn’t have any particular ties to Witheridge, but when we saw the house we just fell in love.” And what a house it is, too. Sprawling over two floors and littered with antiques, including a baby grand piano, the couple are still mid-renovation, meaning that their glorious roof garden is sadly out of bounds to us on the day of our photo shoot. Even though they’ve only been here a relatively short time, though, the house has that lived-in, homey vibe, thanks in part to the addition of their two dogs and three cats, which seem to be completely at ease in their new environment. “There’s a bit of work still to be done, but we’re getting there,” says Anita-Clare. “When we first got here we put all the energy into building up the business, and now that we’ve done that we can focus on the house.” They’ve also been welcomed with open arms into the community. “People have been really warm and friendly,” says Anita-Clare. “I’ve even joined the local choir.” Aside from making new friends, building a rapport with the locals has been vital for business. Thankfully, Anita-Clare has Devon’s rich larder at her disposal and has built up a solid relationship with local suppliers. “We use Burrow Farm for our meat, Creedy Carvers for our poultry and Devon Quality Fish for our fish and seafood,” she says. “Veg in a Box are brilliant. They supply us with our vegetables
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and wonderful micro-herbs and flowers. There’s nothing that they can’t get. They even found me chai flowers for a salad the other day. The Cheese Larder in South Molton is another revelation, and have the most wonderful cheeses.” Everything on La Petite Bouchée menu is locally sourced, apart from the wine, which comes from France and chimes with the French-inspired menu and the bistro vibe of the dining room. “Dining with us is about the experience. We serve food that’s locally sourced and well cooked. We don’t turn tables,” says Anita-Clare. “We only have one sitting a night, because we don’t want to rush people. We want them to have that experience where you sit down, have an aperitif, then a starter and all of a sudden three hours have gone by. We attract customers who love food and want to talk about their food and where it comes from.” Looking to the future, Anita-Clare is happy for things to keep running as they are, welcoming visitors from all over the UK who want to sample La Petite Bouchée’s experience. There are also rumours of a recipe book in the works. “You’ll have to watch this space…” she smiles.
Name: Anita-Clare Field. Occupation: Owner and chef at La Petite Bouchée, Witheridge. Who inspires you? Raymond Blanc, who I’ve had the pleasure of cooking with in the past and, like me, is self-taught. Also, Stéphane Reynaud – I have all of his books. I find his 365 Good Reasons to Sit Down to Eat is a constant source of inspiration. Favourite eateries in Devon? We’ve been so busy since we arrived that I’ve not had the chance to visit many places. I’d love to try to the River Exe Cafe, The Masons Arms and lots of the fish restaurants I’ve heard good things about. Your dream meal? That’s too hard to say; I like so many different things! I think at the minute it would have to be shellfish – probably fruit de mer. Although, unfortunately, I’ve just discovered I’m allergic to oysters, which is annoying. Or, I’d go to the completely other extreme and have toast and Marmite. Must-have kitchen item? It’s a complete indulgence, but it’s my Thermomix – I have two of them. They cook absolutely everything and even clean themselves. I can be making smoked mackerel pâté in one and then I can make focaccia in the other. You can do pasta, scones, soup – literally everything – and then it washes itself up. It’s amazing. Favourite ingredient? It varies, but I do adore fresh herbs. I love the French ones – tarragon, parsley, chervil, and rosemary. We make a house vinaigrette that uses a combination of herbs, oils and vinegars. I love working with flavours like that. Favourite drink? I love a Bloody Mary. I’m like a child in a sweet shop. Vodka, tomato, Tabasco, Worcester sauce, horseradish, celery salt, black pepper – stir, stick of celery, bosh. Yum. And can be enjoyed at any time of day! La Petite Bouchée Brasserie, The Square, Witheridge EX18 8AE; lapetitebouchéebrasserie.co.uk
K I T C H E N
A R M O U R Y
The Want List 1
WE’RE GOING POTTY FOR THESE LOVINGLY HANDCRAFTED PIECES OF KITCHEN POTTERY
1 SERVING PLATE £40 We think this gorgeous hand-painted dish, from Moretonhampstead-based potter Penny Simpson, would look great on any rustic country dining table. Available from the Devon Guild Shop. pennysimpsonceramics. co.uk
2 CRUMBLE DISH £49 This dish from North Devon potter David Westcott is the perfect vessel to house all those seasonal apple and blackberry crumbles. Get yours at Welcombe Pottery. welcombepottery.co.uk 3 SERVING BOWL £120 Potter Jon Curtis has made a name for himself creating unique tableware for restaurants, most recently showcasing Padstow-based chef Paul Ainsworth’s food on MasterChef. Available from his web site. joncurtisceramics.co.uk 4 OYSTERCATCHER JUG £20 This cute little milk jug from potter Rosemary Jacks is the perfect addition to any breakfast table. Stockists include Wendy’s Cookshop in Honiton and Little Blue Budgie in Totnes. rosemaryjackspottery.co.uk 5 SPOON REST £10 It’s not technically made in Devon, but it is available from Darts Farm Shop, and we love the striking colour of this handy spoon rest. dartsfarm.co.uk
THE HOLT Pub, Restaurant & Smokehouse
Try o one of out cooker ur coursesy See our web si for detai te ls
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
Trenchermanâ€™s Pub of the Year 2016
The Swan is the oldest pub in the charming historic town of Bampton, near Exmoor National Park, an area well known for its hunting, fishing, shooting and popular with ramblers and cyclists. We have a passion for food and with this we like to embrace the use of local produce, keeping menus simple, yet bursting with flavours and imagination. We take pride in our well kept, locally sourced ales and fine wines, to whet the appetites and suit all tastes.
Eat, Drink & Sleep At the Swan, Bampton
T. 01398 332248 E. email@example.com www.theswan.co Bampton | Tiverton | Devon | EX16 9NG
THE JUBILEE INN Reservations 01398 341401
Enjoy the last of the summer sun, combining the finest seasonal West Country produce with our fine dining, gastropub and light menus. Our luxury rooms include the use of a private guest terrace where you can bask in glorious Devon sunshine during your visit. For table reservations and best room rates, please telephone Sam or Claire. Showcasing exquisite and flavoursome dining, with a classic French twist, prepared by Head Chef Sam Salway, see our website for details of all special offers and upcoming events. Booking essential ~ DINING TUESDAY TO SUNDAYS ~ See website for further details.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.thejubileeinn.co.uk West Anstey, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3PH
Gluten Free, Full of Flavour. Church Rd, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5JT Telephone: 01395 222156
M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
We’ll be digging out our diamonds to visit this swish venue
H I G H L I G H T S
MIND OUR PRIVACY We explore some of Devon’s swankiest private dining rooms Page 44
BEEFING IT UP
Gen up on your bovine knowledge with nose-to-tail beef cuts Page 50
P L U S
KITCHEN REVAMPS that don’t involve ripping out the cupboards
EXCLUSIVE EATS WHETHER IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR OR A CORPORATE DINNER PARTY, KEEP YOUR EVENT INTIMATE WITH OUR PICK OF 10 OF DEVON’S BEST PRIVATE DINING EXPERIENCES…
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s summer ends and autumn starts to bite, now is the perfect time to start thinking about that next big annual event – Christmas! Yes, we know, it does perhaps feel a little early to dig out the festive jumpers and start planning our Christmas lunch menus, but with only a few short months between now and December this is actually the perfect time to start planning a festive knees-up, especially as most desirable dining hotspots book up early. Be it a work do, dinner with friends, or a family occasion, stay one step ahead of the pack and book your place at one of these swanky venues. Your colleagues, pals and loved ones will thank you for it, promise.
Kingsbridge This laidback, yet super-stylish, dining venue is the perfect place for a private supper. The dining room seats up to 40 and offers guests a real feasting experience – think long tables and a seasonal sharing set menu, with a chance to experience new flavours. Chef Jane Baxter’s typical winter menu might include: a selection of antipasti to start, such as truffle arancini, salumi and celeriac remoulade; braised cuttlefish on fava bean purée; and pecan blue cheese turnovers. For your main, roast duck breast with confit leg, sweet potato gratin, creamed corn and braised kale, and to finish, plum and blackberry amaretti crumble and a pear and almond tart. Menus change regularly, and can be tailored to suit vegetarians and other dietary groups. From £35 per head; wildartichokes.co.uk Enjoy fine dining in medieval surroundings at The Greedy Goose in Plymouth (opposite and above), or Georgian opulence at The Pig at Combe (below)
THE PIG AT COMBE Honiton Surrounded by lush Devonshire countryside, The Pig at Combe is an oasis of chic calm. There are two private dining options: the first one is The Folly, which has been ‘semi restored’ (meaning almost, but not really – think derelict chic!). It has an atmospheric indoor/outdoor bar and dining area with wood-fired oven, tables and benches and even cigars! The Folly is available for up to 22 guests and the menu is familystyle sharing dishes. A sample menu includes a platter of smoked salmon and a selection of salt cured meats and salads to start; slow roasted shoulder of pork or whole roasted market fish for your main; and golden apple crumble with clotted cream to finish.
The second private dining option is The Georgian Kitchen, with its range and fittings, and offers a really unique dining experience. It seats up to 14 guests. Both venues cater for all dietary requirements. From £28 per head; thepighotel.com/at-combe
THE GREEDY GOOSE
Plymouth Housed in one of Plymouth’s oldest buildings and dating back to 1487, The Greedy Goose offers guests a medieval and magical experience. The first-floor dining room – The Frater Room, accessed by spiral staircase – can be hired exclusively and seats up to 30 people. Parties can choose from a seasonal party menu, a tasting menu, or the a la carte; all of them have been created by chef patron Ben Palmer. Sample winter dishes include low and slow ox cheek, Bourginon garnish and smoking potato; and Wild Hart venison with chestnuts. Winter party menu is £28 for three courses, based on a minimum booking of 10; thegreedygoose.co.uk
Axminster The iconic River Cottage farmhouse can be hired for a private lunch or dinner. Guests are welcome to wander the smallholding at their leisure, or start the experience with a River Cottage cookery demonstration led by one of its expert chefs. The dining experience begins in
Oenophiles will love the wine cellar at Gidleigh Park (below and right), or you can enjoy stunning views of the Exe Estuary at Lympstone Manor (below)
pure rustic style with a short tractor ride down to the farm. The team then greet you with a seasonal aperitif and homemade canapés, and you can relax in the dining room as your personal chef prepares a sumptuous seasonal meal. Sample winter menu dishes include pigeon with roast chestnuts, hot smoked venison or wild mushroom pies, and quince crumble with praline ice cream. River Cottage caters for all dietary requirements. Lunch £65 per head, dinner £95; rivercottage.net
Chagford Set majestically on the banks of the River Teign, Gidleigh Park promises diners a special experience, particularly when you peruse two Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall’s sample winter lunch menu. Devon goose with pumpkin and gooseberries, and roe deer bresaola, quail egg and winter truffle are just two of the enticing-sounding dishes that caught our eye. The hotel also boasts one of the best wine cellars in the UK – so makes an ideal choice for oenophiles. There are three private dining rooms available for hire, hosting a maximum of 20 guests at a time. Lunch £65 per head, private dining room hire £200; gidleigh.co.uk
LYMPSTONE MANOR Exmouth This gorgeous country house hotel (and latest brainchild of Michael Caines OBE) offers discerning guests the very best in accommodation, cuisine and wine. There are two private dining options – the Mamhead dining room is available for small parties up to 17, while Berryhead can accommodate larger parties. Note that there may be a room hire charge, depending on group sizes. Guests can choose from the a la carte menu, Michael’s estuary tasting menu, or the signature menu. Sample dishes from the winter tasting menu that sound like they could tickle our tastebuds include Brixham scallops, slow cooked partridge and Powderham venison. Lunch £45 per head, dinner from £115; lympstonemanor.co.uk
Dartmouth This new private dining space is the latest enterprise from seafood legend Mitch Tonks. Situated next to his flagship restaurant Seahorse, it offers up to 12 guests an exclusive Italian-inspired dining experience with its own open kitchen and private chefs. Seasonal dishes include burrata with taggiasca olives and small artichokes; cuttlefish in ink sauce with soft polenta; or lamb ragu with penne and pecorino sarde.
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North Bovey Put on the map earlier this year as the venue which hosted Olympic diver Tom Daley’s fairytale wedding, Bovey Castle, located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, exudes classic old-world charm. There are two private dining rooms – the Bovey Room and the Mulberry Room, seating 32 and 20 people respectively. The winter menu includes pheasant with potato terrine and Alsace cabbage; roasted fillet of bream with citrus crushed potatoes; and hazelnut and spinach pithivier with forest mushrooms. Three courses from £60 per head; boveycastle.com
Main courses are served to the whole table and include whole roasted Pyranean lamb, Segovian suckling pig, whole market fish Mallorcian style, and poached turbot with sauce bearnaise. The Cantina caters for all dietary requirements, with guests asked to preorder their menu online. No hire charge, but a minimum spend of £600; seahorserestaurant.co.uk
BROOMHILL ART HOTEL
Barnstaple If you’re a culture vulture, then a private dining experience at Broomhill, near Barnstaple, is a must. Before you dine, enjoy free entry to the Sculpture Garden, housing one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary sculpture in the South West. Then sit down to a three-course lunch or dinner from the hotel’s Terra Madre restaurant celebration menu, which includes locally-sourced dishes such as slow cooked venison casserole and Bideford Bay mussels. The Library caters for a maximum of 12 people, and the restaurant can be booked for private parties with a minimum of 12. A non-refundable deposit is essential to secure booking. Lunch from £16.95, dinner £24.95; broomhillart.co.uk
SOUTHERNHAY HOUSE Exeter Step through the door at Southernhay House and you will understand why it’s different from other Exeter eateries. It’s chic, a little bit eccentric, and definitely makes an impression. There are a number of private dining options, too. There’s the up-market choice of the private dining room, which seats up to 14 (16 at a squeeze!) around an Edwardian dining table of gigantic proportions, in true Empirestyle. For a more casual affair opt for the Club Room, where the tables are scattered and seat up to 24. The private dining menus change bi-monthly and are full of local, seasonal and freshly prepared ingredients. All dietary requirements are catered for. Private dining menus are £38 per head, while room hire in the private dining room is £100 and, in the Club Room, £200; southernhayhouse.com
Dine like a lord or lady in the traditional surroundings of Bovey Castle (top), or enjoy boutique chic at Southernhay House in Exeter (above)
Sweetlands Woodland Weddings “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”
A contemporary farm to fork restaurant
Open: Wednesday-Saturday | 6pm - late **subject to seasonal variation**
Available for weddings, functions & private hire. Please contact for details. Pattard Farm, Hartland, Devon EX39 6BY Tel: 01237 441444
Licensed and approved for Civil Ceremonies
Boveys Down Farm, Farway, Honiton EX24 6JD Telephone: 01404 871436 www.sweetlandscountryfare.co.uk www.boveysdownfarm.co.uk
WHAT’S THE BEEF?
THERE’S MUCH MORE TO BEEF THAN SIMPLY STEAKS AND MINCE. LOCAL DEVON EXPERTS TALK US THROUGH SOME OF THE LESSER-KNOWN COW CUTS, AND WHAT TO DO WITH THEM… 50
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OX C H E E K
“This is an incredible cut of beef, and quite literally the cheeks of an ox,” says Anna Bury, sales and marketing director at Eversfield Organic. “This needs a truly low and lazy cook, no cutting corners or you’ll end up with something tough and chewy. But give it the day in a low oven or slow cooker, with shallots, winter herbs and a generous glass of red wine, and ox cheek transforms into super tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef. To serve, don’t forget the silky pillow of creamy mash underneath – and no skimping on the butter!”
“Offal has had a bit of a bad rep, but we love it!” says Anna from Eversfield Organic. “It’s basically organs from the animal, so this includes liver, heart, kidney and brain. It’s sometimes known as pluck, organ meat or variety meat. My personal favourite, and a great introduction to eating offal, is the classic steak and kidney combination. There’s not much that can beat a proper pie with our diced organic ox kidney and braising steak. Throw in a handful of mushrooms and a serious gravy and I’m happy.”
OX T O N G U E “This is something I remember from my childhood, as my grandma used to make it,” says Peter Greig, owner of Pipers Farm. “You slow cook it and then press it. It’s quite fatty and when you press it the important thing is to pour the cooking juices in with it. Then it sets with the beef fat, which adds to the smoothness of the texture and to the flavour. You can eat it hot, but I prefer it cold with salad or in sandwiches.”
As the name suggests, this is the backside of the cow and, while not as tender as the sirloin, is a cheaper cut that’s full of flavour. You can either roast a rump joint or fry it as a steak. “As we hang the animal for two months, the rump is as tender as fillet steak,” explains Robin at The Rusty Pig. “We use Dexter Beef from Chris Davis in Dunkeswell or Hayman’s in Ottery St Mary; one animal is a perfect size to use for the restaurant and charcuterie. It’s short grained meat, sweet and nutty. The rump is one cut we prefer to cook with simplicity, as the flavour speaks for itself. So, we will cook it over charcoal or perhaps chargrilled, with a simple marinade of garlic, thyme, plenty of sea salt and pepper.”
SH I N This cut comes from the foreshank of the animal and, because it supports a lot of weight, is full of muscle, as Peter at Pipers Farm explains: “All our beef comes from Red Ruby Devon cattle that have matured the traditional way on mother’s milk and grass. We believe strongly that it’s the best way to produce maximum nutritional value. At the farm, we sell a lot of stewing steak, which is made from the shin of beef, which has a lot of connective tissue in it. It’s that tissue that makes it very well suited to heating low and slow for a long period of time, as the flavours simply melt into the meat. You can make a wonderful casserole with the shin if you cook it with Devon root vegetables, like carrots, swede and potatoes. Make a big batch of it, because if you allow it to cool and then reheat it, it just tastes better each time.”
OXTAIL “This is simply the tail of an ox, steer or bullock [different names for castrated male cattle],” explains Anna at Eversfield Organic. “Our oxtail comes from organic, grass fed traditional breeds like Aberdeen Angus or Red Ruby Devon – these are beautifully marbled and incredibly flavoursome. Oxtail needs to be cooked low and slow until the meat falls from the bone; there’s no quick way to fantastic oxtail. By eating organic oxtail, you get a good dose of calcium, vitamin B12, iron and B6. To feed the family you’ll need about 1kg of oxtail, maybe more if you’re a hungry bunch. Oxtail was always one of my granny’s favourites – she would make a broth for the cold Devon winter. Now, my ultimate favourite recipe is slow-cooked oxtail ragu – it’s silky and rich and coats homemade linguine like a dream.”
SH O R T R I B S “These are the beef equivalent of pork spare ribs and, as they are situated on the lower edge of the rib cage of the bullock, those muscles are doing a lot of work,” explains Peter at Pipers Farm. “They’re marvellous to eat because they have a delicious honeycomb marrow running through the rib bone, giving it a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth flavour. You cook the ribs long and slow, so that the meat just flakes away from the bone with a fork. It’s a real comfort food.” Robin at Rusty Pig agrees, saying: “The short ribs, also known as Jacob’s Ladder, are full of flavour and have a superb fat ratio. I like to slow cook them at 108C overnight – with a cheeky dash of Bourbon.”
Quick, add these to your contacts book! Eversfield Organic, Okehampton EX20 4LB; 01837 871400; eversfieldorganic.co.uk Pipers Farm, Cullompton EX15 1SD; 01392 881380; pipersfarm.com Red Ruby Devon, Ottery St Mary EX11 1QA; 01404 812800; redrubydevon-beef.co.uk Rusty Pig, Ottery St Mary EX11 1HD; 01404 815 580; rustypig.co.uk
THE KITCHEN IS THE HEART OF THE HOME, SO GIVE YOURS A REFRESH WITH TIPS FROM DEVON EXPERTS Us iurerum reresenia quia iscit acil ipsus sit dis
GIVE CUPBOARDS A LICK OF PAINT
“To avoid replacing your kitchen units, the easiest thing to do is paint the cupboards,” says Rebecca Dupere from Dupere Interior Design. “A couple of coats will probably do the trick! If the worktops are wooden, sand them back and treat with Danish oil.” If you lack the confidence to go mad with the Dulux and paintbrush yourself, then a company like Sprayco, based in Exeter, can do the job for you. “Providing the units are in a fair state of repair, we can help you to breathe new life into a tired-looking room,” explains Clive Wilson, owner of Sprayco. “Whether it is simply taking away the doors and drawer fronts for preparation and spray lacquering at our workshops, or painting the fixed panels and other parts ‘on-site’ as part of a larger scheme, we can colour match the durable two-part lacquer to any manufacturer’s colour card. Farrow and Ball and Little Greene Paint Company colours are particularly popular at the moment.” Costs for Sprayco’s services are typically between £800-£2,500, depending on the size of the project and level of service required.
GET A KITCHEN FACELIFT
Dream Doors’ kitchen facelift service involves replacing every part of your kitchen, apart from the ‘carcass’, as these before and after shots illustrate
If you really can’t face those tired ’80s-style kitchen units anymore, then you can go one step further. Make like a Hollywood actress and get a full kitchen facelift. Not quite as radical as a refit, this involves replacing everything that you can see – so the cupboard doors, cornices, worktops and so on – without actually removing the shell of the kitchen itself. Mike Maughan-Brown, owner of Dream Doors Exeter, says: “Our Kitchen Facelift service is really popular. The structures of kitchen units, known in the business as ‘carcasses’, should last for at least 25 years. Many of them are good for much longer. But kitchens go out of fashion, some of the older doors lose their brightness or change colour a bit, and often people want to freshen them up or change the look while the carcasses are still sound. “The saving achieved by keeping the carcasses in place can translate into a more affordable project or, very often, into a higher quality of finish than would be possible in a completely new kitchen with the same investment.”
ADOPT A TREND
Of course, if your kitchen units and worktops are perfectly fine for a few more years, there are other things you can do to liven your kitchen up. “You could change the taps and replace old kitchen tiles with a glass splash-back to give a more contemporary look. This is easy and inexpensive to do, but something that will really make a difference,” continues Rebecca. “Or, you could paint the walls. The current trend is for moody colours. For inspiration, take a look at the Little Greene Paint Company. We particularly like Pleat; a lovely green/grey colour.”
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ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE!
If you’re on a super-tight budget, then it’s time to get creative and add some decorative flourishes. If you have a big window, invest in some attractive pots and fill them with herbs – colourful and practical! Or, invest in a wall clock. “There is a huge selection of clocks to choose from, many very reasonably priced, and they always look good and are useful to have in a kitchen,” says Rebecca. Another thing you can do is change the handles or knobs on kitchen units and drawers. If you have a table in your kitchen, buy a colourful oil cloth covering to brighten up the room. (Plus, you’ve got the added bonus that you can easily wipe away any spillages!) Finally, candles and flowers add the finishing touch to a kitchen. “Candles are the cheapest way to change the mood of your kitchen and we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to candle holders,” Rebecca adds. “Pretty tea light holders, storm lanterns, candelabras, wall sconces, an empty wine bottle – or a combination of them all – will never fail to please!”
A variety of lighting options will allow you to change the mood in your kitchen, while quirky doorknobs (above) will liven up any tired cupboards. All are available from Dupere
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Lighting plays a big factor in kitchen design, too. While you’re cooking, you’ll want bright light to see what you’re doing, but then, if you have an open kitchen/ dining/living space, you’ll most probably want to dim the lights for a more relaxed vibe. Again, this doesn’t need to cost the earth. “There are some lovely pendant lights on the market at the moment – classic glass, designer ones, steamed wood or the metal, more utilitarian pendants,” says Rebecca. “Hanging them over the kitchen table or above a central worktop will definitely add a new dimension to the kitchen. Wall lights or spotlights with dimmer switches are always very effective, and good for creating different moods.”
Quick, add these to your contacts book! Dream Doors, Exeter EX1 2RJ; dreamdoors.co.uk Dupere Interior Design, Modbury PL21 0PS; duperedesign.com Sprayco, Exeter EX6 7RU; sprayco.co.uk
IL LU STRATIO N L AU RA WA L L
SMELLS LIKE TEIGN SPIRIT
WITH THE TASTE OF THE TEIGN FOOD FESTIVAL KICKING OFF LATER THIS MONTH, WE EMBARK ON A WHISTLE-STOP TOUR OF THE TEIGN ESTUARY TO SEE WHAT’S ON OFFER… 56
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e’ve long known that Devon is a mecca for foodies (why else do you think we live here?) but, admittedly, there are some parts of the region that are better known than others for their local produce and happening food scenes. The Teign Estuary is an area that has so far flown under the radar – but not any more. As it prepares to host its third Taste of the Teign Food Festival, we hopped down the motorway to meet festival organiser, Lori Reich, and find out more. Before we start, let’s set the scene. The Teign Estuary (pronounced ‘teen’) includes Teignmouth (pronounced ‘tin-muth’, just to be confusing) at the mouth of the river, while opposite is the pretty village of Shaldon, which locals access by bridge or a quaint wooden ferryboat. Further upstream is the village of Bishopsteignton, and at the top lies Newton Abbott. It’s a picture postcard place – less busy than Salcombe, but with that typical Victorian British seaside vibe. On arrival, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fish and chips on the promenade would be the only gastro goody on offer. But not so. Look closer, as there’s a lot more going on. “From fresh crab, mussels and eels to fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm, we’ve got everything right here on our doorstep,” says Lori who, as well as setting up up the festival, runs Shute Fruit and Produce – a pick-your-own farm. “Added to that, we’ve got a vineyard, a brewery, and numerous independent cafes and restaurants – you really couldn’t want for anything else.” The festival itself takes place between 23 September and 1 October, during which time many of the area’s businesses will be showcasing local produce. As well as cookery demonstrations and workshops, there will be plenty of tasting events and, on the final day, a street food festival. The prices are super reasonable too, with most events costing no more than a fiver. But the fun doesn’t stop once the festival ends. The team have collaborated with celebrated local artist Laura Wall to create a self-guided Taste of
Opposite: Teignmouth artist Laura Wall created this bespoke illustration for the Taste of the Teign food trail, celebrating the best of the area's local produce
the Teign food map, meaning that anybody visiting the area can download it and discover the Teign’s foodie secrets. Armed with this information, Lori offers to take us on a mini tour of some of the venues, to get a feel for the place and to sample some of the local wares. Naturally, being the greedy guzzlers that we are, we didn’t take much convincing… We start with a visit to Perrylicious, a cute little coffee and cake shop in Teignmouth that’s made a name for itself with its wide selection of gluten-free and vegan options. Over a freshly baked sweet potato scone, owner Katie Perry (yes, like the popstar) filled us in on why she got involved with the festival. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase what we do. We’re a small business and we cater for lots of different dietary needs – not many places have a menu specifically for vegans – and this gives us a nice bit of publicity.” Scones scoffed, we head down the street to visit Helga Beer, owner of ice cream emporium Cherry on the Top. Helga’s shop is in a covetable location right in the centre of Teignmouth, next to The Den – a grassy square by the beach which will host the street food festival. The shop is a bit like a Willy Wonka sweetshop, brimming with different flavours of ice cream supplied by Yarde’s Farm in
Lori Reich (above) is owner of Shute Fruit and Produce, and founder of the food festival
Plymouth. She gives us a sample of a Fravocado, a vegan ice cream made from coconut milk and avocado and produced in nearby Dawlish. We also sample one of her signature strawberry shortcake milkshakes, made using Shute Farm jam and biscuits from Luders Patisserie. A couple of hours in, and not only are our bellies increasingly expanding but, from the range of things we’ve eaten so far, it’s clear that the Teign Estuary really does have it all going on for us foodies. After a pootle down the promenade, we head to the locals’ favourite hangout, The Back Beach. Here we meet Dan, a local lad and owner of the award-winning street food van Teign Canteen. This year he took over the running of The Blue Hut, something of a Teignmouth institution, selling fresh seafood to boatmen, locals and tourists. When he suggests we try some fried salty eel in paprika, we have to admit our stomachs take a little turn after all that ice cream. But oh my, what a dish. Think big, meaty bits of whitebait – but even better. Just yum. “Teignmouth is in a brilliant spot because we have the sea and the land, and just so much great produce to play with,” explains Dan, who will be hosting a BBQ at The Blue Hut during the festival. Literally yards from The Blue Hut, we hop on the ferry to Shaldon, home to Café ODE. ODE is the brainchild of Tim and Clare Bouget who, alongside the café, run ODE dining – a Michelin-recommended fine dining restaurant, and ODE&Co – a new pizzeria and bar overlooking the sea. Over a pot of delicious Crowhurst Seafood Chowder, named in tribute to Donald Crowhurst (look him up – a fascinating character, and the subject of a new film starring Colin Firth), Tim tells us about his commitment to sustainability: “We try to be as sustainable as possible in everything we do – from creating our own energy and recycling, to using
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locally-sourced produce. We may make less profit, but it helps us to sleep better at night.” After so much food, a bit of exercise is in order, so we head to Lori’s place, Shute Fruit and Produce, for a spot of raspberry picking. Not only do Lori and husband David open the farm to the public to pick their own produce, but Lori also makes a very tasty line of jams, pickles and other preserves, which she sells at farmers’ markets. “I think it’s important that people understand where their food comes from, and the effort that goes into it,” she says. From there, it’s on to Old Walls Vineyard, producers of no fewer than 11 different wines. As it’s a Monday the vineyard is sadly closed for tasting, but we do get to sample a delicious Devon cream tea, before heading over the hill for a quick squiz at the Red Rock Brewery – also closed – but which will be hosting a brewery tour and pint-and-lamb supper during the festival. “As you can see,” says Lori, “even though we’re not a huge area, we really do have it all going on. There’s a real sense of community here, and everyone works together to support each other.” We end our day with a cheeky wee cocktail at Bronx Bar & Cue, owned by Patrick Fogarty, who also runs Dr Ink’s Curiosities in Exeter. Patrick blows our socks off with his historical knowledge of cocktails and science of mixology. As he rustles up a Snaps-Smith, made using a homemade sugar snap pea shrub syrup (delish!), he shares his passion for local produce. “Coming up with a cocktail list is about telling a story,” he says. “We want to be inventive and use the best possible local spirits and fresh produce to create our syrups and mixers.” To be fair, we could easily have sat and listened to Patrick and drank our way through the entire cocktail list, but sadly home beckoned, so we said our farewells and thanks to Lori and went on our merry way – fuller, wiser and with a new-found love for the Teign Estuary, Devon’s lesser-known foodie hotspot. The Taste of the Teign Festival runs from 23 September until 1 October. Find out more at tasteoftheteign.org.uk, or you can download a self-guided map of the Teign Estuary’s food and drink hotspots at visitsouthdevon.co.uk.
As well as sampling lots of local food, visitors can test the local ales and join a cocktail masterclass
Quick, add these to your contacts book! Bronx Bronx Bar & Cue, thebronx.co.uk Café ODE, odetruefood.com Cherry on the Top, facebook.com/ cherryonthetopteignmouth Old Walls Vineyard, oldwallsvineyard.co.uk Perrylicious, perryliciouscoffeeandcakerooms.co.uk Red Rock Brewery, redrockbrewery.co.uk Shute Fruit and Produce, shutefruit.co.uk The Teign Canteen, theteigncanteen.com
A F T E RS
NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
We reckon a proper pub needs proper bar stools and an open fireplace (obvs)
H I G H L I G H T S
COOL BEANS The Cotton brothers make their mark at Brown & Bean Page 62
A top-notch country pub that’s got our feathers all aflutter! Page 64
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BROWN & BEAN
AFTER LOSING THEIR HEAD CHEF THINGS COULD EASILY HAVE GONE SOUR FOR THIS PLYMOUTH EATERIE. NOT SO, DISCOVERS LAUREN HEATH. IN FACT, THEY’RE ON THE UP
lymouth’s main shopping centre enjoys year-round hustle and bustle, but with emptying pockets and full bags comes empty stomachs. If you’re looking to get away from the usual chain restaurant fodder found in city centres, escape between a certain coffee shop and easy-on-the-pocket clothing retailer, cross the concrete speedway, and find yourself in Ebrington Street. Among a couple of hip shops sits Brown & Bean, which was opened earlier this year by owners Paul Brown and Ben McBean, along with friend Anton Piotrowski of MasterChef fame. After his initial input Anton galloped off to pastures new, but this seemingly unfortunate situation
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has actually enabled two of his protégés to step up to the plate – and the pass. Brothers Jimmy and Joe Cotton have four years of Michelin-starred cooking behind them, having worked their way up from apprenticeship level under Piotrowski’s wings, and boy, are they flying, with excellent reviews oozing out of every site in the virtual clouds. We entered this small but perfectly formed restaurant on a damp Thursday lunch time, embraced by the warm dark wooden floorboards, stripped back tables and chairs and exposed brick wall – all complemented by soothing white wood and simple wall adornments. With plenty of natural light flooding in through the bay windows, as even the clouds opted for a lunch break, we felt relaxed in our surroundings, eagerly perusing the menus while our complimentary fresh warm bread with homemade houmous was put before us. At lunchtime they provide a very wellpriced set menu option (two courses £12.95 or three courses £16.95), as well as an a la carte menu consisting of four choices per course, with evenings becoming a more upmarket affair with their taster menu. We opted for the a la carte and dived into our pre-starters of crab and brown shrimp madras poppadum, and a salt pollock Scotch egg with fennel purée – incredibly tasty morsels all of them, so we knew we were in for a treat. For starters, we couldn’t resist the idea of more crab – this time curried Devon
crab with watermelon, cucumber and radish – while roasted quail breast, candied walnut and beetroot appeared opposite. Our dish contained delightfully sweet meat, enveloped in a respectful amount of curry that brought warmth to the back of the mouth, whilst the watermelon, cucumber and radish all worked their cleansing wonders after each mouthful – a fresh and balanced dish. The main course was a meaty affair of rump of beef, carrot purée, swede fondant and roasted shallot, while my dining pal was pleased with his Marmite glazed hake, roasted cauliflower and sea beet salsa – a perfectly cooked fillet of fish, basted until bronzed, adorned with crispy sea greens as if it had just come from the seashore.
Dessert was a beauty; delicately sweet and as pretty on the palate as it was for the eye. We had a plum double decker, with pink peppercorn marshmallow and yoghurt ice cream – there were textured layers, sweet jelly and mousse, a bit of spice from the mallow and the creamiest of ice creams. At the end of our meal we were treated to some chocolates Joe had made and, considering this is a skill all its own, it’s no wonder this talented duo are getting a warm reception. We urge more people to ‘cotton on’ to what’s happening in Ebrington Street and escape the concrete jungle to feast on exceptional food by Cotton and Cotton in the calm, casual environment that is Brown & Bean. brownandbean.co.uk
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THE SWAN THIS PLACE MIGHT SEEM AN UNASSUMING PUB RESTAURANT, BUT IT’S BEEN GARNERING SOME SERIOUS FOODIE BUZZ. MELISSA STEWART HEADS TO THE SWAN IN BAMPTON TO FIND OUT IF IT LIVES UP THE HYPE
ampton is a picturesque village a few short miles from Tiverton. In days gone by, before the North Devon Link Road was built, travellers would drive through it on their way to Taunton. Today, it’s arguably best known for its award-winning pub, The Swan. Quietly building a foodie following for a couple of years, including two AA Rosettes and Best Trencherman’s Pub 2016, The Swan pulls off that tricky feat of being a proper old-fashioned village pub that serves up top-notch pub grub. That feeling of being in a local pub hits you as soon as you walk in the door – and we don’t mean that as a negative. This isn’t yet another pretentious gastro-pub posing as a local boozer, with an over-inflated price list. Chef patrons Paul and Donna Berry have created the real deal – a pub that looks after its locals, but caters for visitors too. The atmosphere is warm and cosy, and
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the service staff friendly and welcoming, without being overbearing. We watch as they busily work the room, recommending particular dishes from the menu and topping up empty wine glasses. The menu is upmarket pub fare – think steak and kidney pudding and fish and chips, with mains averaging at a very reasonable £15. After a week spent writing about different cuts of beef (see page 50), we decide to satisfy our curious appetite with a starter of pressed ox tongue. Somehow it feels fitting to be eating a traditional English cold cut in an establishment that
dates back to 1450; all that’s missing is a flagon of mead. The texture of the tongue is a cross between a course country pate and a slow-cooked piece of brisket. The taste is subtler than expected, but emboldened by tangy dollops of piccalilli, providing a welcome zing. The only word of caution is that the portion is perhaps a little too generous for a starter, especially when a delicious hoof of earthy dark soda bread is added to the plate, which is just too good to leave. Across the table is a starter that’s completely at the other end of the spectrum: a delicate goat’s cheese panna cotta, served with figs, blackberries, candied walnuts and a honey and truffle dressing which is so prettily feminine and zesty that it almost dances off the plate. Next up is a fillet of sea bass with roasted cauliflower and cauliflower purée. While the fish is firm and meaty with a perfectly crisp skin – as every good piece of pan-fried sea bass should be – the cauliflower really is the crowning glory. Cauliflower often gets a bad rep – either laden with cheese as a side dish or boiled within an inch of its life, you rarely get to enjoy its distinctive nutty tones. Here, florets roasted with just the right amount of bite remaining, and a creamy cauliflower purée, allow this underrated vegetable to bask in its own delicious glory. My companion’s rump of Exmoor lamb, with summer veg and crispy bacon, is
declared one of the best cooked pieces of lamb he’s ever tasted. A bold statement from someone who almost always plumps for lamb from every pub and restaurant menu. Not too pink, it’s delicate, succulent and slides off the fork. There are no fewer than eight desserts to choose from, most of which are a spin on traditional pub favourites, such as a treacle tart, a fruit crumble and a trifle. After two extremely filling courses, we plump for the lightest dessert we can find – a lime and ginger iced parfait, almond and pistachio, with rhubarb yoghurt sorbet. The lime and ginger offers a sharp and refreshing palate cleanser to round off the meal, while the pistachio and almond comes in the form of a smooth, crumbly shortbread. Once finished, we find ourselves starting to feel sleepy. Surely the sign of a good pub meal, no? (In fact, next time we visit we’ll take the liberty of booking one of the three bedrooms upstairs, so we can indulge in a warming glass of red or two.) The Swan is perhaps not the fanciest of places, and lacks the polish of some other pub restaurants we’ve been to recently, but it’s charming, homely and the service is second to none. theswan.co
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B L A C K
B O O K
BEN WATSON, FOUNDER OF BEN’S FARM SHOPS – YES, THE OLD RIVERFORD FARM SHOPS – AND BEN’S WINE & TAPAS, SHARES HIS FOODIE HANGOUTS… Breakfast? The Green Table at Dartington Hall. It’s the perfect distance from my home in Totnes for a walk along the river, helping to work up a bit of an appetite. Grocery shop? Ben’s Farm Shop. What else can I say? (I can honestly claim that, even if I didn’t run it, I’d still do my shopping there.) Wine merchant? Ben’s Wine & Tapas. Buying wine professionally doesn’t leave much time for shopping elsewhere, and at least I know where I can get a good bottle for any occasion. If I couldn’t self-medicate, though, I’d be making trips to Kingsbridge Wine Room and Smith’s on Magdalen Road, Exeter. Sunday lunch? Wild Artichoke. Ex-Riverford Field Kitchen chef, Jane Baxter, just edges it with this one; it’s a bit cramped, but that’s more than compensated for by the food. Jane is a brilliant cook and nails it every time. Quick pint? It would have to be The Bay Horse in Totnes. It’s almost pretentious the way it’s so completely unpretentious. Best beer? It’s a toss-up between Barnaby’s Brewhouse Pilsner and New Lion Brewery Pandit. At my age I find lager or Pilsner a safer option, but my sons are massive Pandit fans. Cheeky cocktail? Bar Blah Blah at the Kitchen Table’s pop-up on the Totnes
Industrial Estate – it’s once a month on Fridays. I tend to do my cocktails at home, where the licensing laws don’t tell you how much booze you can put in, but it’s still good fun here, and Sima’s food is pretty good too. Posh nosh? Gidleigh Park. When you arrive, you can’t help wondering whether they really need two staff to take your coat, but after a while you get to quite like it. The food is more than a match for the service, and the wine list is like The Bible. Alfresco feasting? For a view, the Sharpham Vineyard Café takes some beating but I’m ashamed to say, despite the fact that chef Chris Sherville is a friend of mine, I haven’t been there since he moved in at Easter. His food is always good though, so I’ll be trying it soon. One to watch? It will be interesting to see how the School House at Mothecombe beds in once summer’s over. It’s only been open for a couple of months and the launch party was certainly a blast, but the food is well thought out too, and you couldn’t ask for a better setting. It’s a destination eatery. Comfort food? I don’t really go out for comfort food, but Charlotte makes a great fish pie. With friends? The Curator Kitchen, Totnes. The food is great, but the full Italian
experience does take its own good time, so you need to be with friends you’re comfortable with. It’s always worth the wait, though, and the wine’s good, too. With the family? We don’t get out much ‘en masse’, but we’ve always enjoyed fish and chips at The Cott Inn on a Tuesday night. Child friendly? The Beach House at South Milton is about as good as it gets for kids. A child-friendly menu and the beach: what more can you ask for? Best curry? With the exception of the man in Totnes Market (see below), I haven’t had one. There was a time when a good ‘English’ curry, like my mother used to make, was a pub staple, but those days are long gone. Something sweet? A place I keep meaning to try, and have certainly heard great things about, is Delphini’s Gelato in Totnes – artisan ice cream made with fresh ingredients, bought locally. Top street food? The Curry Stall at Totnes Market on a Saturday. I don’t know how he does it for the price, but it’s a good curry. Pre-theatre feed? I’m not really a theatre-goer, but colleagues who are tell me Chloe’s in Plymouth does a great pre-theatre menu.
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book... The Green Table, Dartington TQ9 6EE, dartington.org/visit/food-drink/the-green-table • Ben’s Farm Shop, Staverton TQ9 6AF, Yealmpton PL8 2LT, Totnes TQ9 5RY; bensfarmshop.co.uk • Ben’s Wine & Tapas, Totnes TQ9 5SQ; bensfarmshop. co.uk • Wild Artichokes, Kingsbridge TQ7 1EF; wildartichokes.co.uk • Bay Horse, Totnes TQ9 5SP; bayhorsetotnes.com • Bar Blah Blah, facebook.com/ barblahblahcocktails • Gidleigh Park, Chagford TQ13 8HH; gidleigh.co.uk • Sharpham Vineyard, Totnes TQ9 7UT; sharpham.com/cafe • School House, Mothecombe PL8 1LB; schoolhouse-devon.com • Curator Café, Totnes TQ9 5DR; italianfoodheroes.com • Beach House, South Milton Sands TQ7 3JY; beachhousedevon.com • Delphini’s Gelato, Totnes TQ9 5NN; facebook.com/delphinisgelato • Totnes Market, Totnes TQ9 5SG; totnesmarket.co.uk • Chloe’s, Plymouth PL1 2EX; chloesrestaurant.co.uk