Who’s quince’s favourite singer? Katy Pear-y!
G 9 N X I X BO EVER CL
TH E N IGHT J AR’ S D
BR O W
CRUMBS DEVON NO.21 December 2017 / January 2018
WRAP BASLYTFTESLTIVEE!FOODIE FAVOURS A little slice of foodie heaven
SWEET NOGGY DAYs!
THE SECRET HISTORY OF EGG NOG (AND MORE FAVOURITE YUL ETI DE TIPPLES)
2017 NO.21 December 18 / January 20
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FROM VTOONP CHEFs DE
MY NAME IS
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THE THE CHR IST ONE MA AND S PR ONL INCE Y ,
REVIEWED! THE FRESH QUINCE
THE GIANT CLUB PICKLE SHACK TEST KITCHEN TORQUAY’s GROSVENOR HOTEL
STARRY, STARRY NIGHT
FEASTING ON EXMOOR UNDER A WINE DARK SKY
BONKERS -LUSH RECIPES FR
O M TH E R EG IO BE ST CO O Ks N 'S
’TIS ThE SEASON
Despite the biting cold and the blustery winds, we’ve got to admit we’re in love with this time of year. The nights are darker, meaning we feel no guilt whatsoever at huddling up indoors in front of the telly, and Christmas is just around the corner, bringing an air of excitement everywhere we go. But above all else, it’s just such a fantastic time of year for food. First, let’s talk about what’s in season. Quince, apples, pumpkins, sprouts, parsnips, wild venison, pheasant… our dinner plates are abundant with sumptuous tastes and textures. As fans of the slow cooker, there are so many hearty concoctions you can rustle up with just a few simple ingredients. Set the cooker to a slow heat and wait a few hours for the magic to happen. This month, we take inspiration from North Devon caterers Seadog, who recently served up a slow-cooked harvest feast for us on Exmoor, using the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Winter is also the perfect time for dinner parties. Summer barbecues are all well and good, but there’s something extra special about setting the table, creating a seating plan and pouring ruby red wine into a decanter, and it gets us channelling our inner Nigella. Having recently attended both the Dartmouth and North Devon Food Festivals, and sampled a zillion amazing cheeses and preserves, we’ve been inspired to dig out our Le Creuset to rustle up some of our own homemade apple and quince jelly. Decanted into pretty jars decorated with ribbon, it makes for a cheap, cheerful, yet tasty DIY Christmas gift. If you don’t have time to make your own presents, fear not, we’ve got your Christmas sorted with this issue’s festive gift guide. Plus, if that doesn’t inspire you enough, check out our list of festive foodie events in Devon – where you can be sure to pick up a bottle or jar of something delicious for all your friends and family. Have a very Merry Christmas, be sure to fill your boots with plenty of local produce, and see you all in the new year!
Melissa Stewart, Editor email@example.com Crumbs is now an app! Search ‘Crumbs’, or go to crumbsmag.com
Gastro Pub & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar
The oddfellows is a quirky British themed gastro pub with a delicious Speakeasy style cocktail lounge on top.
BOOK NOW FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS EVE DINING! The Oddfellows Christmas Menu 2017 Three courses for £25 Christmas menu available online at: www.theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
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NO. 21 DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018
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Table of Contents
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 took our inspiration from I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and tried ants for dessert – and we liked them.
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT The qualities of quince 12 OPENINGS ETC The latest foodie findings 14 LARDER New treats from Devon 17 ASK THE EXPERT Crafting cocktails with Doctor Ink’s Curiosities
AMAZING REGIONAL RECIPES
24 Roast squash salad, by Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall 26 Close wool lamp rump, by Allister Bishop
28 Duck and pistachio terrine, by Neil D’Allen 30 Luxury lobster BLT, by James Strawbridge 32 Cranberry and orange biscuits, by Molly Forbes 33 Chocolate mousse, by Ben Palmer
53 9 WAYS WITH CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS What to do with the remains of the Day 56 FESTIVE DRINKS The history behind our fave Yuletide tipples
NEW & NOTABLE RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, BARS
37 SUPPER CLUB Late night harvest feasting on Exmoor with Seadog
60 Pickle Shack Test Kitchen 62 The Giant Club 64 The Grosvenor Torquay
66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Barbican Kitchen’s Chris Tanner on his foodie faves
46 THE GIFT LIST Our festive foodie picks
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
Festive FOOdie Events DITCH THE SANTA’S GROTTO THIS YEAR, AND INSTEAD ROCK UP AT ONE OF THESE SPARKLING SOIRÉES…
3 DECEMBER FESTIVE FOOD EXTRAVAGANZA Kick off advent with a Sunday spent sampling festive fare and Yuletide tipples at John’s of Instow. A host of Devon-based producers will be showcasing their wares at this North Devon waterfront deli, giving you the chance to stock up on Christmas gifts. Confirmed attendees include Plaistow Trout, Waterhouse Fayre and The Dog Treat Company. johnsofinstow.co.uk
6 DECEMBER FESTIVE INDULGENCE EVENING Enjoy more festive food, drink and Christmas shopping at Darts Farm. Michael Caines, together with patisserie chef Sylvain Peltier, will be launching a new range of French patisseries as well as answering your foodie questions, while wine guru Susy Atkins will host a wine and gin tasting session. Tickets are £7.50 and can be bought online or in-store. dartsfarm.co.uk
16-17 DECEMBER THE SHOPS AT DARTINGTON CHRISTMAS FAIR Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas and buy last minute Crimbo presents at this foodie extravaganza. As well as cooking demos, get into the seasonal spirit with Salcombe Gin and Luscombe tonic samples; taste some handmade macarons from Frandie Macaron; and be the first to try The Shops at Dartington’s very own Elmhirst Gin truffles. shopsatdartington.co.uk
26 DECEMBER BOXING DAY BARBECUE If you feel like stretching your legs after the overindulgence of Christmas Day, and can’t face yet another turkey sandwich or Yuletide movie on the box, head to the picturesque village of Clovelly in North Devon for its Boxing Day Barbecue. Take a walk on the estate and then head to the village hall for food, live music and mulled wine. Entry to the hall is free, and the barbecue runs from 12pm until 3pm. clovelly.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
qUINce IT WAS THE GIFT THAT STARTED THE TROJAN WAR; THE MAGICAL FRUIT THAT KEEPS LOKI LOOKING YOUNG. AND, LUCKILY, THE TASTE LIVES UP TO THE MYTHS…
here’s the occasional foodstuff that we enjoy as much for what they look and smell like as for the way they taste. So it once was with the pineapple – an 18th century status symbol that could cost the equivalent of £5,000 a fruit, and were regularly rented as don’t-eat-it! party centrepieces – and, more recently, something similar could be said of the quince. Okay, so they’re not quite as expensive, but it’s true that many of us enjoy their almost Medieval looks and soft scent as much as we do the idea of eating the things – not least because they’re tough and sour in their natural state, and so one of the few fruit it’s no fun to chew on raw. The quince is an offshoot cousin to apples and pears – indeed, the various cultivars tend to look like big, lumpy, yellow versions of same – and has been growing easily on small fruit trees in English gardens since 1275, though many you’ll see on the supermarket shelves will have been imported from Turkey, Iran and around.
The Romans used to love a quince, and they’ve been eating them with honey or – occasionally and weirdly – leeks in the Med since time immemorial. In Plutarch, it’s said that an ancient Greek bride would gnaw at a quince before entering her husband’s bed, to freshen her kiss like a primitive Mentos, and, even today, a Middle Eastern grocer is often the most reliable place to get them. So yes, quinces are immensely hard and bitter uncooked, but they make up for it with their dramatic (if somewhat irregular and knobbly) looks, long life – these things virtually never rot in the fruit bowl – and gorgeous, heady perfume, especially strong if left on a sunny windowsill. Though in season from October through December, they last such a long time – at least a month – that we’ll still be eating them in early spring. Okay, so every quince needs cooking – but then so does every potato. And, when heated, they soon enough soften to a bright pinky-orange, with an almost jelly-like consistency. But what to do with them? The obvious thing, of course, is that we can make sauces and purées. The famous membrillo (a quince paste) is often served with firm cheeses in Spain, and they make terrific jams, chutneys and marmalades too. (Each quince contains a ton of pectin, which makes them perfect for this.) Whatever preserve you go for – we’re tempted by marmalade, since the word actually originally meant ‘quince jam’ – it’ll be amazing with something like blue cheese. But there’s more to the quince than that. For a start, they can be used in many dishes where we’d otherwise have apple or pear, sometimes in tandem with these fruit. Quince is great roasted with pork, ham, lamb or duck, and – somewhat sweet-and-sour – it goes brilliantly with game, too. And poached quince works equally well in a pud with other winter fruit, or in crumbles and tarts. Just one quince, mixed with a bunch of apples, adds something special to an apple pie. (A word of warning: you’ll have to cook the quince for longer than its pomme pals.) Even at the end of a meal quince comes into its own, as a brandy or dessert wine. And, next morning, you can have quince for breakfast too, perhaps with yoghurt where you might otherwise scoff stewed plums. Try adding cloves, lemon, honey or cinnamon – all go brilliantly with quince. How to prepare them? Well, first off, many are covered in a downy fuzz that needs to be washed off, and you have to be careful when cutting them raw, as they’re so tough-yet-spongy we’re always afraid the knife might slip. Poaching the cut-up slices should only take 15 minutes or so; baking a little less than an hour. (That said, the longer you cook them the deeper red they’ll go, and you can leave them bubbling away all afternoon quite happily.) All-in-all, then, quince are undeniably a bit of work, and it’s easy to go though life rarely touching the things – but what a shame that would be. They’re not just delicious, but have a history unmatched by other fruit. When ancient classics reference an ‘apple’ – such as the one Paris offered to Aphrodite to win Helen of Troy – they probably really mean a quince, which we’ve been eating for far longer; ditto Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden. It was probably quinces that kept the Norse gods young – and when Hercules stole ‘golden apples’, guess what? Heck, even the Owl and the Pussycat loved these things, dining happily on “mince and slices of quince.” And if it was good enough for them...
qUINCE FRUIT JELLY Make the most of this season's quince with this recipe from Chris Onions at the Old Dairy Kitchen. INGREDIENTS 800g quince 800g sloes, or other foraged berries like blackberries 700g granulated sugar (approximately, depending on your juice measurement; see below) 1 litre water 1 tbsp lemon juice METHOD 1 Give the quince a quick wash and roughly chop the large fruit. There’s no need to peel or core, as this is where the extra pectin lives. 2 Add the quince and the berries to your stock pot and pour over the water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the fruit is very soft and pulpy. 3 Carefully fill a jelly bag or muslin cloth with the pulped fruit and leave to strain overnight, with a bucket underneath to catch the juice. Don’t squeeze the bag, as this will result in a cloudy jelly. 4 In the morning, measure the juice you've collected and, for every 600ml of juice, measure out 450g of sugar. 5 Put the juice in a large pot and bring to the boil. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir to dissolve. 6 Bring the mixture up to a rapid boil, but don’t stir; this will take around 15 minutes. You are aiming to reach setting point – this can be tested with a temperature probe; we are looking for about 105C to be certain of the set. Don’t rush it! 7 Once the temperature is reached, skim off the scum and carefully pour the jelly into warm, sterilized jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dry place and use within a year. olddairykitchen.co.uk
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pub favourites like burgers and fish and chips, but done using the best quality ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible. In the restaurant our dishes are a little more special, making it the perfect place for an evening out. Which other local restaurants do you like to eat in? I went to Jack in the Green recently and the food was cooked perfectly; I couldn’t fault it. In terms of venue, though, The Pig at Combe is stunning – such a beautiful setting. What makes the local foodie scene so great? The produce. For example, Devon boasts some fantastic cattle, with breeds like the Devon Red. Also, the surroundings inspire a great food scene. At The Nightjar we’re surrounded by rolling fields, with cattle grazing nearby and blackberries growing just 500 yards away. With that around you, it’s not hard to get menu inspiration. What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? The free-range duck I get from Creedy Carver. Favourite suppliers you use for the restaurant? I love a company called New Wave Seafood; I use them for dry store ingredients and some fish. I also use Greendale Farm Shop for their butchers and fish. They have their own boats and are only two miles away, so you can’t get much fresher than that.
ALRIGhT AT ThE NIGhT
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? My Thermomix – it’s a blender, but also cooks, makes bread, and steams fish.
MEET DAVID BROWN, HEAD CHEF AT NEW AYLESBEARE PUB/RESTAURANT THE NIGHTJAR
Great to meet you, David. When did you first make your mark in the world of professional cooking? I got my first job as a commis chef at Airth Castle in Scotland when I was 17. I’d been working as a kitchen porter and was always interested in watching what the chefs were doing. They used to let me help out now and again, and eventually offered me a job. Where might we know you from? The Close Hotel in the Cotswolds, or Squid Ink in Looe. Proudest career achievement? My very first head chef job was at The Close Hotel. I’ve stayed in touch with their general manager and, when we met up recently, she said the biggest impact I’d had there was on staff training. Hearing that was the proudest moment of my career, because bringing out a passion for food in others is really important to me. How would you describe your cooking style? I don’t like putting a label on it but I guess you could call it Modern British. The two most important things to me are seasonality and quality. How have you approached The Nightjar menu? The Nightjar has a more informal pub setting downstairs and a beautiful restaurant on the upper level, so the menu reflects that. We serve
What and where was the best meal you’ve eaten? I went to The Hand and Flowers in Marlow for lunch and the food was stunning, absolutely faultless. But the most memorable meal would have to be at Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder. I had the most incredible steak tartare, seasoned to perfection – and they do everything at the table, so the whole theatre of it made the experience one I’ll never forget. Favourite cookery book? Alinea by Grant Achatz. His restaurant in Chicago is top of my list to visit before I die! Foodie heroes? I was once stood at the side of the road in my chef whites and Marco Pierre White walked past and said hello, which was amazing. I like Gordon Ramsay too, purely for his raw determination. But my true foodie heroes are the fisherman and farmers who work so hard to produce the food and, of course, the people who come out to enjoy it! Current favourite flavour combination? We’ve got a delicious venison dish on the menu at the moment with cauliflower, blue cheese and pear. We’re also serving sea bass with a satay sauce that’s really popular. Fondest foodie memories from your childhood? Going to my nan’s house at Christmas and having trifle. It’s a classic dessert, and a real comfort food. Christmas just isn’t the same without it! night-jar.co.uk
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Another month, another gin launch… not that we’re complaining. Heck, we love gin! And this one is pretty special, as the proceeds from all sales go to Hannahs – a 250-year-old charity based at Ivybridge and Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, which provides support to children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities. The charity has teamed up with Devon Distillery to craft the limited edition Hannahs Gin, of which only 140 bottles have been made. The ingredients include juniper (naturally), angelica, orris, liquorice, cardamon, coriander, grains of paradise, pink peppercorns, orange and Hannahs’ very own chuckleberries, grown at Seale-Hayne. “We wanted to produce something a bit special this year to celebrate our 250th anniversary,” says Hannahs director of social enterprise, Hannah Moon, “and we thought limited edition Hannahs Gin, which has subtle flavours from our homegrown chuckleberries, would be a bit different – and make a lovely present in time for the run up to Christmas.” Hannahs Gin is priced £32 a bottle, and you can buy it online. discoverhannahs.org
FOOD AS STANDARD
Popular independent Bristol-based bar and kitchen The Urban Standard has opened its fourth venue – a new branch in Exeter. Like its predecessors, The South Street Standard offers a stripped back, industrial chic vibe, offering brunch, lunch, small plates and Sunday roasts. The menu includes staple favourites such as The Standard’s ‘Dirty Mac ’n’ Cheese’, which has become something of an institution at the brand’s other sites. Small plates, such as harissa chicken thighs and butterbean houmus with flatbreads, are ideal for sharing, as are the meat, fish and vegetarian mezze boards. Visitors who just fancy some drinks can pop along too, as there’s a well-stocked bar and scrummy cocktail list to choose from. Also, look out for The Standard’s money-saving mid-week deals. southststandard.co.uk
A big shout out to Michael Caines and his team at Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, who were recently awarded a coveted Michelin Star in the 2018 UK Guide, less than a year since the country house hotel opened its doors. After achieving two Michelin Stars and then holding them for 18 consecutive years at Devon’s Gidleigh Park, Michael has built his reputation on a visionary style of cuisine that celebrates the seasonal bounty of Devon and the South West. “It’s such an incredible achievement for myself and the team to be awarded the Michelin Star,” he says. “To have achieved this within such a short time is an amazing testament to the quality that we are creating here on a day-to-day basis. As East Devon’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, I want to thank the entire Lympstone Manor team, who have worked with me over the past couple of years, for their support and dedication. This accolade has made the daily graft worth it.” lympstonemanor.co.uk
THE GREATEST GIFT
What do you give the person in your life who’s mad about cooking, eating out, and generally all things food and drink-related for Christmas? A Crumbs magazine subscription, that’s what! Just think how pleased they’ll be when they receive the latest copy of Crumbs direct to their door and hot off the press. The great news is that it’s super easy to sign up, too. Just head to our shiny new website and click on Subscribe (which you’ll find beneath the More tab at the top of the homepage). A year’s subscription (that’s ten issues) will set you back £30. Go on, what are you waiting for? crumbsmag.com
Totnes foodie favourite Ben’s Farm Shop (formerly Riverford Farm Shop) is opening its doors in Exeter for the first time this month. The new premises on Magdalen Road will have a traditional butcher’s counter, selling quality organic beef, lamb, chicken, mutton and venison. As you’d expect from the Riverford family, there will also be an abundance of fruit and veg fresh from the farm. The shop will also sell local farmers’ kitchen produce, like pies, pasties, soups, preserves, dips, cakes and traybakes – all handmade at Hole Farm, next to Riverford Dairy. The shop will stock produce from local Devon producers, too. The Exeter shop is the fourth in Ben Watson’s expanding farm shop empire, with other sites in Yealmpton and Staverton, as well as Totnes. bensfarmshop.co.uk
@rendezvouswinebar serving up Creedy Carver duck, roast squash, cauliflower, spiced dukkah, chorizo and caper dressing
@boho.cakes baked this delish fig, Greek yogurt and almond cake, using fresh figs from @bensfarmshops and organic Greek style yogurt from @riverford_organic
The illustrious South West Chef of the Year awards were held recently at Exeter College, with two Devon-based chefs taking home prizes. Eleanor Thuell, who studies at Exeter College and works at Rodean Restaurant in Kenton, took home the Student Chef of the Year award, while Sue Stoneman, based in Exmouth, won the Home Cook category. The competition, which aims to recognise and nurture talented chefs and cooks throughout the region, was judged by 13 of the South West’s most celebrated and award-winning chefs, including Hywel Jones and Elly Wentworth of Lucknam Park, Chris Tanner of Barbican Kitchen, Matt Mason of the Jack in the Green and Stephane Deloume of The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. Chef Michael Caines, who set up the awards back in 2004, said: “The competition started 13 years ago because I wanted to highlight the skill and commitment of chefs and cooks in this region, and the diversity and quality of produce in the South West. I was delighted to taste menus from new and upcoming chefs and home cooks as part of the competition, and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners.” southwestchef.co.uk
@astridgescatering impress with quails’ eggs canapés
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder
hittinG the sheLves CHECK OUT THE DELICIOUS NEW DEVON-MADE PRODUCE TICKLING OUR TASTEBUDS THIS MONTH…
1 GETTING OUR GOAT Dartington Dairy Goats Kefir, £4/500ml We discovered this little gem at Dartmouth Food Festival and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since. Made by warming the milk and then adding carefully selected cultures at a designated temperature, the live bio cultures are then incubated overnight to achieve the right pH and taste. Also available in a honey and cinnamon flavour, it’s gloriously creamy with a hint of sharpness. Available from farm shops and delis across Devon. dartingtondairy.com 2 HAVE A BLAST! Powderkeg 6ixes & 7evens West Coast Amber Ale, £2.50/330ml This award-winning microbrewery near Exeter has
muddled together six malts and seven hops to create this truly unique tasting 5% ABV amber ale. The malts include rye malt from Germany and ‘Chateau Special B’ from Belgium, giving the ale its fulsome body and amber colour, while the hops, all sourced from the West Coast of America, lend an edge of citrus and spice to the flavour. Stockists include Greendale Farm Shop, Darts Farm and Topsham Wines. powderkegbeer.co.uk 3 IT’S ALL GRAVY Tideford Organics Vegan Gravy with Red Miso, £2.59/600g You don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy this new gluten-free, vegan gravy from Tideford Organics, based in Totnes. Released just in time for Christmas, it’s made with carrots, onion, celery and
garlic, combined with fresh red miso and black pepper, giving it a kick of umami. We reckon it’ll taste superb poured over roast spuds. Available at Ocado and independents shops. tidefordorganics.com 4 BREAKFAST TIPPLE Elmhirst Gin and Tonic Marmalade, £4.25/225g Capitalising on the ongoing trend for gin, The Shops at Dartington have teamed up with The Proper Marmalade Company, based in Ilfracombe, to launch this spin on the nation’s favourite breakfast preserve. Elmhirst Gin, handcrafted onsite at Dartington and named after the estate’s founding family, is mixed with artisan British tonic and then infused in the marmalade. Tastes great with cheese.
Exclusively available at The Shops at Dartington. shopsatdartington.org 5 GOING NUTS Cliptop Kitchen Co Peanut Butter, £3.80/180g We’re obsessed with the quirky packaging on this scrummy new peanut butter from Cliptop Kitchen Co – a brand spanking new food producer based in Exeter. Currently available in Almost Smooth (creamy but textured) and Rugged (crunchy), it’s made with organic, ethicallysourced peanuts and Cornish Sea Salt. It has no nasty additives or palm oil, which means it tastes delish – particularly when spread on brown bread, with chopped banana. Available from Veg In A Box and The Deli at Dartmouth. cliptopkitchenco.co.uk
THE HOLT Pub, Restaurant & Smokehouse
Try o one of out cookeryur courses 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
UNIQUE GIFT IDEAS AT SALCOMBE BREWERY CO. Estuary View, Ledstone, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 4BL | 01548 854888 | email@example.com
M A I N S
Ask the Expert
CURiOUs cOcktaiLs WE QUIZ BARTENDER EXTRAORDINAIRE (AND CO-FOUNDER OF DOCTOR INK’S CURIOSITIES IN EXETER) PATRICK FOGARTY ABOUT THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COCKTAIL MAKING… P H OTOS M AT T AU S T I N
Hello, Patrick! Word on the street is that you’re a cocktail-making master. Tell us a bit about your background… I originally trained at Central St Martins School of Art in jewellery design and, as living in London was expensive, I started bartending to supplement my student grant. I started in London’s Mayfair bar scene at the very bottom as a bar-back, and within a few years of really hard graft had worked my way up to managing one of the country’s best cocktail bars. I was fortunate to train with some of the industry’s most pioneering bartenders, such as Dick Bradsell (famous for inventing the Espresso Martini). As well as Doctor Ink’s Curiosities in Exeter, I also have a sister bar, Bronx Bar & Cue, in Teignmouth, which I run with my wife, Dee. I also do consultancy for brands, bars and restaurants. I consult for Faucet Inns and have just created a drinks lists for Babel in Cheltenham and Kupp, a Scandinavian concept in Oxford, Southampton, London and Exeter. I am now working on a bar in Oslo to launch in December, while looking for other venues in the South West for future concepts with my business partner, Tom Cullen, a fellow chap from Teignmouth. Tell us a bit about the history of cocktail making. Which country did they originate in, and when? Mixed drinks date back to when we first started fermenting fruit and barley to alcohol. The first official cocktail book was published by an American called Professor Jerry Thomas in 1862 and called the Bar-Tender’s Guide (alternately titled How to Mix Drinks or The BonVivant’s Companion), although cocktails frequently appeared in newspapers before then. What did early cocktails contain? Most of the spirits we have today, and many more… We are only recently discovering how adept and experimental bartenders were back then, and recipes would frequently grace the front pages of The New York Times. Why the name ‘cocktail’? The modern term ‘cocktail’ finds its origins in horseracing in the 1700s, whereby in order to parade one’s horse before a race or sale, owners would place a piece of ginger in the poor beast’s nether regions to cause the horse to ‘cock’ its ‘tail’. The horse would appear lively and fetch a better price, hence something that enlivened you became a ‘cock-tail’. When did cocktails become fashionable? There are several ages of the cocktail. The Victorian era, from 1800 to 1919, is known as the golden age of cocktails, where the knowledge was vast and mixed drinks took America by storm. Cocktails became so popular that it caused suffragettes to start the temperance movement, which led to the second era of bartending, the Prohibition era, from 1920 to 1933. This decade saw the shipping, selling and production of alcohol become illegal; however, more alcohol was consumed during this decade than the previous ones and creativity bloomed. We then had the Tiki era, where tropical Polynesian cocktails such as the Mai Tai became popular. This led into the Mad Men era of the 1950s and 1960s,
S T A R T E R S
Our inspiration comes from the early cocktail books. We spend six months on each list, researching the history books, vintage cocktail books, ingredients, experimenting and, most of all, having fun with it. We look up people and events from the Victorian era and these become the inspiration for our drinks. We have just launched our third journal, titled The Curious Case Files of Calamity, Villainy and Misadventure. For this, we signed up to the British Newspaper Archive, which has every newspaper in the British Isles from 1700 to the present day. We came across the Illustrated Police News, an amazing paper with illustrations of all the big sensational news stories from 1850 to 1940. Each of our 25 new drinks are inspired by different front page stories and illustrations – from Jack the Ripper and the phrenological head of Charles Peace the burglar, to the trial of Oscar Wilde. Think QI with pictures. What are the current trends in cocktails? Sustainability is number one, but this should not be thought of as a trend; it’s how we now operate every part of our bar. At Doctor Ink’s we have never used plastic straws, but use bamboo, reed straws, paper and metal ones. The trend for gin is starting to peak a bit. Amari and bitters, along with vermouth and sherry, are in the ascendance, and low-alcohol cocktails, known as shims, are becoming more popular. How important are the ingredients when it comes to making a good cocktail? They are paramount to every drink, but not all ingredients need to be expensive. Beefeater and Tanqueray are two of the absolute best gins out there.
where American classics were rediscovered, like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and so on. We then get to what I call the ‘Dark Ages’ of the cocktail, between 1967 and 1988, where the knowledge was lost to the history books and lots of saccharine drinks, filled with sickly sweet artificial mixers and boasting smutty names and unbalanced formulas, were produced. We are now in what I consider to be the Platinum Age of craft drinks making. The list of produce used is amazing; there are opportunities to travel and experiment; and the internet means that bartending is an amazing shared community of ideas.
To create Doctor Ink’s Curiosities’ quirky cocktail lists, Patrick and his team draw inspiration from the news and scandals of the Victorian era
What makes a good bartender? Dick Bradsell taught me that a smile, speed, attentiveness and cleanliness will always bring the customer back. These are the cornerstones of all the bartending training I do.
Are there any Devon drinks producers you’d particularly recommend? Salcombe Gin is exceptional, as is Newton House Gin in Somerset, just over the border. This one, particularly, has great botanicals, and the owners are eccentric and passionate. For beer, Powderkeg Brewery in Exeter. How would you like to see the British cocktail scene evolve? The current bartending scene is amazing at the moment, and it’s great to be around at this time. Everything has been London-centric for years, and it’s great to see more and more great bars opening outside the capital. Cardiff, Bristol and Bath are exceptional at the moment, and sometimes they need to fight to be heard. I’d also like to see more sustainability in bars, and plastic straws outlawed! What is your personal cocktail of choice? I get asked this all the time and it changes depending on who I’m with, where I am, what I’ve eaten and what time it is! Chances are, if you see me on the back beach in Teignmouth in the summer on a Friday night with a coffee cup in my hand, it’s not coffee but a Negroni (equal measures sweet vermouth, London dry gin and Campari) from the Bronx Bar & Cue.
Doctor Ink’s Curiosities is renowned for its creative cocktail list. Who or what inspires you? We are feeling pretty humbled at the moment, as we were recently awarded UK’s Best Drink’s List in the Themed category at the 2017 Imbibe Drinks List of the Year awards. The standard out there is so good that to win this accolade after just 12 months is a great honour, and could not have been done without the hard work of our team.
B O O K
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MARK TAYLOR HAS CHRISTMAS IN MIND AS HE THUMBS THROUGH THIS MONTH’S LITERARY PICKS… OCTOPUS WITH SMASHED POTATOES, OLIVE OIL AND PISO SERVES 6-8
I like to make a double, triple or quadruple batch of the piso and store it in the fridge for a week. It works well as a marinade, too. INGREDIENTS
Known as Portugal’s ‘City of Light’ because of its beautiful buildings and cobbled streets illuminated by the reflections of the nearby waters, Lisbon is also one of the relatively undiscovered culinary centres of Europe. Londonbased chef Nuno Mendes was born and raised in Lisbon and this cookbook is a guide to the historic city’s bustling, modern food culture, combining dishes from restaurants, bars and homes. Mendes guides us through the streets and shoreline, from breakfast of pasteis de nata custard tarts or almond and butternut squash tarts, through to lunch of grilled sardines with roasted green pepper salad. As evening approaches, thoughts turn to rich and warming dinners of marinated pork with black olives and parsley or baked celeriac with fennel and coriander broth.
1 Rinse the octopus under cold running water. Half-fill a large pan with water and add the bay leaf, onion and garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, add the octopus, and boil for 3 minutes. Carefully remove the octopus and set it aside to rest for a few minutes. 2 Bring the same water to the boil again and repeat the process two more times. In this way you can control the cooking process and check how firm the octopus flesh is becoming. At this point, the flesh should be tender with a little resistance when you insert a knife, and the skin slightly gelatinous. 3 Turn the heat down to low. Simmer the octopus, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool. If you have time, chill it overnight, which allows the flesh to become firmer. When the octopus has cooled, cut it into 3cm-4cm pieces. 4 To make the piso, mix together the coriander, garlic and lemon zest with a generous pinch of salt and pepper until you have a paste. I like to make this in a pestle
and mortar, but you can also chop everything very finely by hand. By adding salt at this early stage, the flavour will be drawn out from the garlic. Then stir in the olive oil. I like it sharp, and I add about 2 tbsp lemon juice just before serving so it doesn’t discolour. It will keep in the fridge for a few days with an extra glug of olive oil on top. 5 To make the smashed potatoes, preheat the oven to 210C/410F/gas mark 6½. Cook the potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water until just tender but not breaking up. Remove from the pan, drain well and leave until cool enough to handle. Murro means ‘punch’ in Portuguese, and we are now going to punch the potatoes. Smash each one gently with the palm of your hand. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, bay leaves and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Put them in a large baking dish (big enough to hold the octopus too) and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. 6 Drizzle the octopus with extra-virgin olive oil and put the pieces on top of the potatoes. Increase the oven temperature to 220C/425F/gas mark 7 and cook for 10 minutes, or until the octopus has lovely crispy edges. Drizzle with the piso, take it straight to the table and let your guests help themselves.
P H OTO GRA P H Y © A NDR E W M ON TGO ME RY
Nuno Mendes Bloomsbury, £26
For the octopus: 1 octopus (about 600g), cleaned, with head, eyes and innards removed 2 bay leaves 1 white onion, quartered 2 garlic cloves For the piso: bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped ½ garlic clove, finely crushed ½ lemon (finely grated zest plus freshly squeezed juice, to taste) 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling For the smashed potatoes: 8-12 floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or similar, skin on 4 tbsp olive oil 2 bay leaves 4 garlic cloves, smashed
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES Nigel Slater Fourth Estate, £26
Through his books and newspaper column, Nigel Slater has been a part of our culinary lives for quarter of a century, and there seems to be no dip in productivity or quality. His latest book is an extended love letter to winter and although there are 100 fabulous new recipes, it’s Slater’s beautifully evocative writing about festive rituals, feasts and fables that once again sets him apart from his contemporaries. Whether it’s describing candles, buying a Christmas tree or carol singing, Slater’s perceptive descriptions are as delicious as the dishes themselves. Not that the recipes are to be ignored, with highlights including pot-roast partridge with parsnips and smoked garlic; roast pumpkin with dukkha and pomegranate; and fig, maple syrup and Marsala ice cream. A genuine Christmas cracker.
THE SUNDAY NIGHT BOOK
MADE AT HOME
This pocket-size (and therefore ideal for Christmas stockings!) book from highly regarded chef and food writer Rosie Sykes shoehorns 52 recipes into its 128 pages – one for each Sunday of the year. Sykes wants to make Sunday nights the best evenings of the week with quick, simple but delicious, uplifting recipes that banish any back-to-school feelings. The book is packed with heart-warming recipes, most of them achievable in the time it takes to run a relaxing bath. A chapter of ‘things on toast’ include Caerphilly with leeks and mustard, and there are one-pot dishes such as spiced rice and lentils. Other recipes to bookmark include ‘Remains of the Day’ dishes using leftovers from the Sunday roast – chicken harira, perhaps, or ‘epic’ bubble and squeak.
Home for Giorgio Locatelli may now be north London but a large piece of his heart is still in Lombardy, northern Italy, where he grew up, learning to cook at his uncle’s restaurant. Made at Home is a colourful collection of the food that Locatelli loves to prepare for family and friends, whether it’s in London or Italy. Although there are some wonderful meat and fish dishes in the book, this is as much a celebration of vegetables, whether they are in vibrant salads, seasonal stews or as an accompaniment. From Tuscan tomato and bread soup, and monkfish stew with tomatoes, garlic, chilli and black olives, to simple pasta and pizza dishes and Sicilian orange and chocolate cake, these are simple Italian family recipes from one of the masters.
Giorgio Locatelli Fourth Estate, £26
Rosie Sykes Quadrille, £12.99
PADSTOW FESTIVAL COOKBOOK
Barefoot Media, £12 from Padstow Tourist Information (01841 533449) The tenth Padstow Christmas Festival takes place 7-10 December, with a stellar lineup of chefs including Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and José Pizarro. All of whom appear in this anniversary edition of the event’s cookbook, which features 56 recipes from national and local chefs linked to the festival. Needless to say, fish dishes dominate the book, with recipes including pollock and cauliflower curry, and pan-fried monkfish with mussels, grain mustard and tarragon sauce. There are also seasonal meat dishes such as Mark Sargeant’s braised Angus beef with chestnuts and charred hispi cabbage, and Neil Borthwick’s roast quail with hazelnut pesto, remoulade and foie gras. Desserts like Mark Hix’s Christmas Mess and Dan Doherty’s Queen of Puddings will certainly hit the sweet spot.
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WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Fresh or dried, cranberries come into their own at Christmas. Make biccies with them on page 32
H I G H L I G H T S
Jazz up Brussels sprouts River Cottage-style Page 24
A BLOOMIN’ GOOD BLT
Swap out your lettuce for lobster! Page 30
P L U S
FESTIVE BISCUITS to bake with little elves
DREAMY DESSERT 23
Master the art of mousse making Page 33
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VeGGING OUt GET THREE OF YOUR FIVE-A-DAY WITH THIS MID-WEEK, MEAT-FREE WINTER SALAD FROM RIVER COTTAGEâ€™S HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL
ROAST SQUASH AND APPLE WITH RAW SPROUTS SERVES 3-4
INGREDIENTS 1kg squash, such as a medium butternut or acorn squash, or ½ crown prince 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil 4-5 bay leaves, roughly torn 2 sprigs of rosemary, roughly torn a small handful of sage leaves, roughly torn (optional) 1 tsp fennel seeds a pinch of dried chilli flakes 175g Brussels sprouts 2 medium eating apples 25g sunflower seeds (or other seeds of your choice) sea salt and black pepper FOR THE DRESSING 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil 2 tsp English mustard 1-2 tsp sugar 1 tbsp cider vinegar
P H OTO S : S I M O N W H E E L E R
METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds, but don’t remove the peel. Cut into slim wedges, about 2cm wide at the outside edge, and place in a large roasting tray. 3 Trickle over the oil then scatter over the herbs, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. Turn the pieces of squash over in the oil and seasonings, then place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes until tender and nicely browned in places. 4 Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. 5 Trim the sprouts and remove any damaged or dirty outer leaves then slice very thinly. Add them to the bowl of dressing and mix well, breaking up the layers of sprout a bit as you go. 6 Quarter the apples, remove the cores and cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges (again, no need to peel). Set aside. 7 When the squash is tender and starting to brown, add the apple wedges and stir them in with the squash and seasonings. Return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until the apples are tender but not broken down. Scatter the seeds over the veg and apple for the last few minutes of cooking, so they toast lightly. 8 Spoon the dressed sprouts over the hot squash and apple wedges, then serve.
Following the success of his vegetarian cookbook River Cottage Veg Every Day back in 2011, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is back with another recipe tome minus the meat, Much More Veg. This time he’s ditched the cheese, butter, eggs and cream too, creating a range of recipes that will appeal to vegans. We particularly like the sound of the blackened cauliflower with pecans and tahini, and the celeriac and seaweed miso broth. Hugh kindly shared this winter salad recipe with us, which we reckon would be fab on its own or, if you’re a meat eater, with a succulent pork chop. It’s versatile, too. If you can’t find squash, use roughly chopped carrots and parsnips. And, if you’re not a sprout fan, Hugh recommends you swap them out for shredded Savoy cabbage. “This wonderful autumnal salad, from my ever-brilliant collaborator Gill Meller, is hot and tender, spicy and aromatic, crisp and raw,” he says. “The range of textures and flavours is superbly satisfying, and it’s so easy to throw together.”
Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is published by Bloomsbury Publishing, £26; bloomsbury.com
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AFTER A NEW WAY TO SERVE LAMB? THEN LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS IMPRESSIVE DISH FROM SALCOMBEBASED CHEF ALLISTER BISHOP
Executive chef Allister Bishop has put South Sands Hotel in Salcombe on the culinary map. A stand-out destination, with a beach-facing restaurant, Allister’s menus here are stylish, simple and focused on freshly foraged food. Dishes are inspired by local ingredients from the salt-sprayed shoreline, wild woodlands and family-owned farms. Fish comes from local waters, and meat is raised and hunted regionally. “This dish couldn’t get any more local to South Sands Hotel,” explains Allister. “The close wool lamb is reared just minutes away from the hotel, the Salcombe crab is caught a stone’s throw from our beach, the wild nettles in the purée are foraged from Chillington, and the seaweed in the croquette is from the beaches of Hallsands.”
CLOSE WOOL LAMB RUMP, SALCOMBE CRAB SOUFFLÉ, MINTED PEA AND WILD NETTLE PURÉE, POTATO AND SEAWEED CROQUETTE SERVES 3-4
INGREDIENTS FOR THE LAMB 4 lamb rumps 2 tbsp pomace oil 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed 2 sprigs of wild sorrel 2 sprigs of rosemary, plus extra for cooking the rumps 100ml olive oil FOR THE PURÉE 10g shallots, very finely diced 1 tbsp olive oil 200g of fresh garden peas 2 sprigs of nettle, tops washed thoroughly 4g salt 100ml of milk 10g chopped mint FOR THE CROQUETTE 100g fresh dulse or sea lettuce 200g of Sagitta potatoes, quartered and turned into a dry mash potato 15g parsley, finely chopped 1 shallot, minced 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp rapeseed oil
150g plain flour 3 large eggs, beaten 200g panko breadcrumbs oil, for frying salt freshly ground black pepper FOR THE SOUFFLÉ 150g fresh white crab meat 300g spinach 150ml milk 33g flour 30g butter ½ tsp mustard ½ tsp ground nutmeg 53g mature Cheddar, grated 5 eggs, separated 16g Parmesan, grated 1 pinch of salt 1 pinch of pepper FOR THE SAUCE 20g shallots 50ml dry white wine 1 bay leaf 200ml chicken stock 20g butter salt pepper
METHOD LAMB 1 Marinate the lamb rumps for 24 hours in pomace oil mixed with the lightly crushed garlic cloves, sorrel and rosemary. PURÉE 1 For the pea purée, sweat the shallots in the oil until soft but not coloured. Add the garden peas, nettle, salt and milk and simmer for 8 minutes. 2 Drain off the milk into a jug and pour the peas, nettles and chopped mint into a blender. Blitz for 2 minutes until ultra smooth, adding enough of the milk to make a thickish purée. After blending, cool as quickly as possible, as the colour will begin to fade fairly quickly. CROQUETTE 1 To prepare the dulse or sea lettuce, clean the seaweeds of any grit and wash it in plenty of cold water, at least three times. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling salted water, refresh in iced water and squeeze out any excess liquid. 2 Once prepped, chop the seaweed and place into a bowl, then fold in the mash potato, shallots, lemon zest, chopped parsley and a little seasoning. 3 Divide the mixture into 4-5 pieces and gently roll into balls with your hands. Arrange across a lined baking tray and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up. 4 To coat the croquettes, place the flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another and breadcrumbs in a third. Season the flour and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. 5 Dip the chilled croquettes first in the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs, rolling to coat fully in each. Return to the fridge to chill for a few minutes. SOUFFLÉ 1 Place the white crab meat into a bowl. 2 Heat some oil in a frying pan, add the spinach, stirring it around so that it wilts. Remove and allow to drain. 3 Grease the inside of four metal rings (50mm x 35mm) with a little oil, and place onto a lightly greased baking tray. 4 Divide up the spinach into the rings and push down so that the
mixture is evenly spread across the bottom. 5 Add the flour, 115ml of milk, butter, mustard and ground nutmeg. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously. 6 Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, and then remove from the heat. 7 Add the mixture to a mixing bowl. Whisk in 37g of the grated Cheddar until it melts. 8 Using a handheld electric whisk, whisk the egg whites into hard peaks. 9 Add the egg yolks to the cheese mix and stir. Then gently mix in the crab meat, followed by the egg whites, folding in gently. 10 Divide the mixture up into the metal rings, and place in an oven set to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 12 minutes. 11 Combine the remaining grated Cheddar and Parmesan in a bowl. 12 Remove the soufflés from the oven and place the grated Cheddar and Parmesan on top. 13 Allow the soufflés to cool (you will notice they start to drop). With a sharp knife, gently go around the inside of each ring to carefully remove the soufflés. Put cling film over them, place on a baking tray, and store in the fridge until required.
14 To reheat the soufflés, place in an oven set to 165C/325F/ gas mark 3 for 4 minutes. SAUCE 1 To make the sauce, remove some fat from the lamb roasting tray (see lamb roasting instructions below) and heat in a small pan. Add the shallots and leave to sweat until soft and lightly browned, then deglaze the pan with the wine. 2 Add the bay leaf and simmer until the wine reduces and the pan is almost dry. Then, add the chicken stock and reduce by two-thirds, whisking in the butter and checking the seasoning to finish. TO ASSEMBLE 1 Preheat your oven to 180C/360F/gas mark 4. 2 Place a roasting pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Season the lamb and seal until lightly golden brown all over. Transfer to the oven and roast for 8-12 minutes. Remove, rest and then slice. 3 Arrange the reheated purée, croquette and soufflé next to the lamb, drizzle with the sauce, garnish with foraged herbs and shelled peas. South Sands Hotel, Salcombe TQ8 8LL; southsands.com
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A SHOWSTOPPING STARTER OR A TASTY MEAL IN ITS OWN RIGHT, THIS TERRINE FROM NEIL Dâ€™ALLEN AT ORESTONE MANOR TICKS ALL THE RIGHT BOXES
DUCK AND PISTACHIO TERRINE, PLUM PURÉE WITH APPLE AND TRUFFLE SALAD SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TERRINE 4 duck legs 30g rock salt 1 tbsp black peppercorns (crushed) 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped) 2 bay leaves 4 sprigs thyme (chopped) 800g duck fat (melted, to cover) 4 red plums (sliced) 100g butter (melted) 50g pistachio nuts (shelled, peeled, toasted) sugar (sprinkling of) FOR THE DRESSING 50ml brandy 100ml port 170g shallots (chopped) 4 sprigs thyme 1 clove garlic 250ml chicken stock FOR THE PURÉE 8 red plums 2 tsp port 100g butter 1 stick cinnamon FOR THE SALAD 1 green apple (diced) micro herbs white truffle shavings FOR THE GARNISH brioche (toasted) sugared pistachio nuts wild garlic flowers
Awarded two AA rosettes for fine dining and numerous gold Taste of the West awards, Orestone Manor is a charming country house hotel situated in the coastal village of Maidencombe. While perhaps not as well-known as some of Devon’s other foodie retreats, it’s been quietly building a buzz over the past year for its Modern European cuisine and use of seasonal ingredients. Heading up the kitchen is the hotel’s owner Neil D’Allen, who has kindly shared this impressive duck terrine recipe from Orestone Manor’s autumn menu. If you fancy giving it a whirl at home, Neil informs us that it tastes even better when served with a glass of French Château du Grand Caumont Corbières Cuvée Tradition. Orestone Manor, Maidencombe TQ1 4SX; orestonemanor.com
METHOD DUCK 1 Combine the salt, pepper, garlic, bay and thyme and rub over the duck legs. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours. 2 Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 3. 3 Rinse the legs then pat dry. Place them in a roasting tray, cover with the duck fat and bring up to 85C. Transfer to the oven and cook uncovered for 2½ hours. 4 Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the cooking fat. When cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and shred. DRESSING 1 Combine all ingredients in a pan and bring up to the boil. Simmer to reduce by two thirds and leave to cool. 2 Strain the mixture and pour the dressing over the shredded duck meat. TERRINE 1 Blanch the plum slices quickly in boiling water, then dip them in melted butter. 2 Cover the bottom of a loaf tin lined with cling film with a layer of plums. Add half the duck meat and press down, until about 3cm thick.
3 Scatter the toasted pistachio nuts on top and cover with the remaining duck meat, pressing down firmly, to a maximum depth of 7cm. 4 Press with a weight in the fridge until cool. PURÉE 1 Cook all the ingredients over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to crush the plums, until they become very tender. Carefully remove the stones and blitz in a food processor. Pass through a chinois using a spoon to press the flesh through. 2 Adjust sweetness level, if needed. It should be slightly tart in flavour. SALAD 1 Carefully combine the apple, white truffle Chef’s Tip and micro herbs just prior to serving. Buy ready confit TO ASSEMBLE duck legs to save 1 Remove the terrine from the mould. Cut into time. And, if you’re slices, sprinkle with sugar and caramelise the not keen on plum, plum top with a blowtorch. you can use apple 2 Arrange with the fruit purée, then add the in the terrine and apple and truffle salad (as pictured opposite). the purée. Finish with sugared pistachio nuts and serve with toasted brioche.
4 lobster tails 2 loaves of ciabatta or focaccia salt and pepper Hollandaise sauce [see below] FOR THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE 250g Trewithen Dairy salted butter 5 egg yolks 1 clove of garlic ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp lemon juice drop of Tabasco sauce (optional)
WE LOVE A POSH SARNIE, SO THIS BLT WITH LOBSTER FROM TREWITHEN DAIRY HAS REALLY GOT US SALIVATING… Perfect as a Christmas starter or Boxing Day brunch, this extra special surf ’n’ turf dish is a real crowd pleaser. It’s a luxurious twist on a classic BLT sandwich, with fresh lobster replacing the lettuce and finished with a generous dollop of buttery homemade Hollandaise sauce. The recipe comes from founder of the Posh Pasty Company, and presenter of ITV’s The Hungry Sailors, James Strawbridge. James is also the developmental chef for Trewithen Dairy, a family-run Cornish dairy that’s committed to quality. He says: “Lots of people buy Hollandaise from the supermarket, but this recipe is simple. It takes just a few moments to prepare and gives a rich, buttery sauce that is perfect for lobster, fish, eggs Benedict or with steamed artichoke. The melted butter is kept fresh by a hint of lemon and sharp Dijon, whilst the egg yolks give it a velvety texture.”
SERVES 6 (OR 8 AS A STARTER)
P H OTO S : M I K E S E A R L E
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BLT 1 tbsp dried seaweed 100g Trewithen Dairy unsalted butter 150g smoked streaky bacon 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped shavings of fennel bulb 100g heritage tomatoes 100g samphire 2 limes 1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
METHOD BLT 1 Start by making a simple seaweed butter by melting the butter over a low heat with the seaweed. 2 Next, cook off your bacon rashers and chop into shards once crispy. 3 For the hot samphire salad, heat a knob of butter in a pan and sauté the fennel and chilli for 3-4 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes and samphire. Cook for a further few minutes and then finish with the juice of one lime and fresh coriander. 4 Take your butterfly lobster tails and oven bake or grill on a BBQ for 6-8 minutes, basting in seaweed butter with a brush. Once cooked, remove from the shell, carve and serve on toasted ciabatta topped with the hot samphire salad, a dollop of warm Hollandaise and a wedge of lime on the side. HOLLANDAISE SAUCE 1 Gently melt the diced butter in a pan (retaining the butter foil packaging for step 4) and remove from the heat. 2 Blitz the egg yolks, crushed garlic and Dijon in a food processor until smooth, and then gradually pour in the melted butter whilst the processor is blending. 3 Keep adding until smooth and silky and then finish with lemon and a few drops of Tabasco. 4 Keep in a warm place in a jug covered with the butter foil to seal from the open air and to prevent a skin from forming. 5 If you need to slacken the texture before serving, stir in a tablespoon of hot water. Trewithen Dairy, Lostwithiel, Cornwall PL22 0LW; trewithendairy.co.uk
C H E F !
Watch a video of James rustling up his delish Hollandaise at trewithendairy.co.uk/recipes
DEVON-BASED BLOGGER MOLLY FORBES SHARES THIS YUMMY BISCUIT RECIPE TO ENCOURAGE MORE KIDS INTO THE KITCHEN THIS CHRISTMAS…
Mother's Always Right is a parenting blog about the ups and downs of modern family life, written by Molly Forbes. Molly, who lives in Devon, is on a mission to get kids eating more healthily, so she’s teamed up with children’s food brand Organix to create this Christmas biscuit recipe. She says: “Baking is definitely a big part of the build-up to Christmas in our house. Last year, we made these Organix Christmas cranberry and orange biscuits. You can make them in any shape you like, but my girls love using our star and Christmas tree cookie shape cutters. “The biscuits make delicious Christmas gifts, as you can pop them in a recycled jar or pretty tin with some tissue paper and ribbon. They also double up as tree decorations – just make little holes in the top of the biscuits before you bake them, thread with ribbon, tie with a knot and hang on the tree.”
CRANBERRY AND ORANGE BISCUITS MAKES 25 BISCUITS
INGREDIENTS 200g plain flour (half the flour can be replaced with ground almonds, if desired) ½ tsp baking powder 60g unsalted cold butter zest of one orange 50g dried cranberries 60ml orange juice desiccated coconut coconut oil or maple syrup
METHOD 1 Preheat oven to 180C/360F/gas mark 4. 2 In a large bowl, mix the baking powder into the flour, then rub in the butter with your fingertips, or pulse together in a food processor. 3 Add in the orange zest and cranberries, and combine thoroughly (for a better distribution of the cranberries, chop them up a little smaller). Add the orange juice a little at a time and mix in to create a dough which should be smooth but not sticky. Add a little extra juice or flour to correct, as needed. 4 Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, then cut out Christmas shapes with cutters of your choice. You can also add a hole, using a straw, so that the biscuits can be hung from the tree. 5 Use a palette knife to carefully lift the biscuit shapes off the worktop and onto a lined baking sheet. Re-roll the leftover dough and cut out more shapes. Let your little ones choose their favourite shapes, and have a go at cutting out their own. 6 Bake for around 10-15 minutes, or until just golden – keep a watchful eye, as they can burn very quickly. Transfer to a cooling rack and wait as long as you can before nibbling! 7 You can add a little decoration to the top of the biscuits if you like. Simply spread the top of each biscuit with a little maple syrup or coconut oil, then press sticky side down into a pile of desiccated coconut for a fantastic ‘snowy’ topping!
For more family-friendly recipes, visit organix.com/recipes. To follow Molly’s parenting blog, visit mothersalwaysright.com
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dARK ANd LIGhT THE GREEDY GOOSE’S BEN PALMER SHOWS US HOW TO CREATE A RICH, FRUITY AND ELEGANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE…
Owner and chef at The Greedy Goose in Plymouth, and head of the kitchen at Glazebrook House Hotel in South Brent, Ben Palmer certainly knows his stuff when it comes to creating the perfect after dinner dessert. So we were thrilled when he shared the recipe for this scrummy chocolate mousse with Crumbs. He says: “The idea for this particular dessert came from Garett, my pastry chef at The Greedy Goose. I told him I wanted something rich and chocolatey, which looks stunning yet isn’t too heavy at the end of a meal. This is what we came up with, and it tastes delicious, particularly when served with a sweet Black Muscat.”
MANJARI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE SERVES 8
INGREDIENTS 200g Manjari chocolate (or a rich fruity dark chocolate of your choice) 6 egg yolks 76g caster sugar 75ml espresso (if you'd like a plain chocolate, simply replace this with water) 350g double cream METHOD 1 Line your moulds (two bread tins work nicely) with three layers of cling film, or you can use eight individual bowls or portion size moulds. 2 First, whisk the double cream to a three-quarters whipped stage (this is just before the cream will hold a shape, but it still has a lot of body). Then, store the cream in the fridge or a cool place. 3 Take the egg yolks and then whisk in half the sugar until you’ve
created a sabayon. (If you have a KitchenAid, use the whisk attachment for this.) 4 Gently melt your chocolate over a boiling pan of water and, once melted, leave it in a warm place for later use. 5 In another pan, boil the espresso and remaining sugar to 105C. Once boiled, and your egg yolks have reached sabayon, slowly add the espresso syrup to the sabayon. 6 Mix on a slow speed and then, once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to create a pâté à bombe (the base of the mousse). Then add the melted chocolate to the mix. Mix this in at a slow speed to prevent splashback. 7 Now the chocolate is incorporated into the mix, slowly add the pre-whipped double cream to the mix and combine. 8 Once the cream has combined, evenly pour the mixture into the moulds, or use a piping bag if needed. 9 Set in the fridge for 2-3 hours and portion up as required. The Greedy Goose, Plymouth PL1 2AE; thegreedygoose.co.uk
Choose your weapons I love a hand blender. They’re smaller and cheaper than the jug versions, and dead handy: just stick it in a pan and go. And I agree! Because there’s no jug, they save on waste and washing up too. The problem is choosing between them, since there are so many on the market, at all different price points and power levels. You might want to check out how noisy the one you’ve got your eye on is, too: nobody likes an electric hand-held item that your neighbours can hear you using through the walls, after all…
a futuristic 1950s-style. Snappily titled HFB02, it offers especially smooth, even blending, achieved through what they call a ‘Flow Blend’ system. Yeah, right. I’m not a hundred percent sure I understand it myself, but somehow the shape of the various blades – like the S-shaped one for dicing tough veggies, or the plastic potato masher for creaming spuds at low speeds – work in unison with the dome to be super-efficient, or something. (Look, it just works, okay?) The motor’s a reasonably powerful 700W effort – not class-leading, but up there – with adjustable speed control and even a so-called turbo function, which we imagine to be like the turbo boost on KITT in Knight Rider. There’s a ton of accessories, too: like a whisk for beating eggs, and a 1.4 litre jug.
Indeed not! If you’re investing in a posh blender, there are probably two main ranges you’re looking at: KitchenAid and Smeg, as seen here. There seems to be a bit of a war going on between them at the moment, both keen to colonise every corner of your kitchen. They’re basically the same, though, aren’t they? Both make high end kit, both have a retro vibe, both have rarely met a bright colour or a pastel tone they don’t like... The question may be, which aesthetic do you prefer? This latest offering from Smeg – the Italian luxury appliance giant with the schoolboy-tickling name – is certainly handsome, in
But what about the most important thing (the colours, obvs)? Of course! It comes in black or red for the bold, or a more subtle cream or pastel blue. All are designed to match the rest of the Smeg kit you’ve doubtless got, like their toasters, coffee machines, juicers and kettles.
So is it better than KitchenAid’s? Well, KitchenAid’s version is perhaps slightly more aggressive looking, like the world’s most powerful electric toothbrush. And it comes in a red that’s all-but-identical too. But really, does it even matter? You’ve probably already decided which team you’re on…
WHO HATES WASHING UP? EVERYONE, OF COURSE. TIME TO INVEST IN A TOP-NOTCH HAND BLENDER, SAYS MATT BIELBY, AND START WHIPPING UP A STORM
THIS MONTH • STAR SEARCHING • WILD RABBITS
The Smeg HFB02 hand blender costs £119.95, and is available at branches of Currys. For more, smeguk.com
• FARM FEASTING
A treat for festive foodies, bespoke hampers, Christmas pre-ordering and party nibbles available. Hereâ€™s to a cracking Christmas! Fabulous food and drink made in house and by local artisan producers. Itâ€™s Devon and Dorset on a plate!
44 High Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6LQ T 01395 44 31 82 E firstname.lastname@example.org
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exmOOR feast WRAPPED UP WARM IN OUR WINTER WOOLLIES, WE PILED INTO THE CAR AND DROVE TO THE WILDS OF EXMOOR FOR AN EVENING OF RUSTIC DINING
WORDS BY MELISSA STEWART PHOTOS BY JOHNNIE WALKER
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id you know that Exmoor National Park was Europe’s first official dark sky reserve, thanks to its gloriously unpolluted and darkly black skies? Nope, that factoid passed us by too. Until, that is, we were invited by North Devon caterers and pop-up event specialists, Seadog, for an evening of feasting and stargazing at the National Trust’s Kipscombe Farm. The event was part of Exmoor’s Dark Skies Festival, and was one of a series of pop-up events that Seadog have held this year in partnership with the trust. “The partnership came about through Twitter,” explains Beth Newsome, who runs Seadog alongside her business partner, Jim Coslett. “We did a series of spring-ups last year in a few village halls in the North Devon area, and people tweeted us to tell us how much they enjoyed it. Rob Joules, who heads up the National Trust in North Devon, then got in touch, saying it sounded interesting and exciting and asked if we’d like to collaborate. We’ve since done a couple of events at Watersmeet in Lynmouth, and this is our first at Kipscombe.” Sadly, on the night of the event there wasn’t a star in sight. Despite a week of crisp autumn nights leading up to it, Mother Nature decided to be cruel and cover the sky with dense fog. As well as obscuring the night skies, the murky fog also made it impossible on arrival to take in the breathtaking views from the farm across the Bristol Channel to Wales. Still, like the good Brits we are, we soldiered on; after all, the thing we were most excited about was the food. After a bumpy drive down the farm track, we parked up and were greeted with a roaring fire and a warm mug of mulled cider. Very much welcomed, as a chilly gale began to sweep along the rugged coastline and the rain began to fall. Even though we’d been told to wrap up warm, we were thankful that inside was much cosier than outside. The Seadog team had taken over one of the farm’s barns, with one half dedicated to their mobile kitchen, and the other beautifully decked out like a rustic, Medieval banquet room. Fairy lights, candles and tables adorned with crisp autumn apples, pumpkins, mistletoe and ivy gave the venue an autumnal glow. Originally pitched as a game and seafood supper, the menu changed before the event when Seadog very handily got their mitts on half a lamb, fresh from the farm. Yes, this was field to fork dining at its very best. “We came to visit Kipscombe in spring, and were really inspired by the landscape,” says Beth. “At all of our events we like to keep the food as seasonal and as local as possible. When the chance came up to use a lamb from the farm it made perfect sense, so we changed the menu up a bit to include it.” After a brief welcome from Beth and a representative from the National Trust, the feasting began. One of the joys of supper club dining is the opportunity to meet and talk with people from far and wide. The communal experience of eating together and sharing conversation (along with oohs and aahs as each course is served) has got to be one of life’s simplest, yet most satisfying, pleasures. Never more so than when sipping on a bottle of BYO red wine and wearing a winter coat and woolly hat. There’s definitely something to be said for strength (and warmth) in numbers.
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We started with a mix of starters, individually portioned and served on slate. The showpiece was a spiced wild rabbit croquette served with preserved lime. Thick, creamy béchamel sauce enveloping leeks and strands of rabbit dunked in hot oil made for a very naughty, but oh so nice, treat. “We always do a deep-fried nibble, it’s a bit of a signature for us – something really unctuous,” explains Beth. “I poached a whole wild rabbit, let the meat cool, shredded it down and then sautéd off some leeks and made it like a Spanish croqueta. The lime pickle was added on the side to cut through the richness of it.” A beetroot and cider-cured fish toast, with roasted beetroot and crème fraiche, and a celeriac and apple salad with spiced walnut brittle, completed the first course. The bright green of the lime preserve and the punchy purple of the beetroot gave the plate a festive feel befitting the harvest theme. The main event for meat eaters was the Exmoor lamb, slow cooked with seasonal root veg and nettle dumplings. A perfect winter warmer for this cold, blustery evening. Also, we reckon, ideal supper club fodder. If we were cooking a feast in a cold barn, serving up a slow cooked casserole to the masses is much more convenient than fiddling around plating up individual cuts of meat. The vegetarians at the table had the most impressively presented dish of the night: whole roasted winter squashes, of various colours, sourced from Gandies Farm in Braunton, which were stuffed with Exmoor sheep’s cheese, pearl barley, cobnuts and pomegranate. If there was one plate that represented the autumn harvest, this was it. Sides for both mains came in the form of a crisy puy lentil, roasted red onion and apple salad, and local cavalo nero with pomegranate. We must give props to the gorgeous wooden bowls these were served in, which had been hand-lathed and loaned from Paul Southcroft, an expert wood worker and volunteer with the National Trust. Bellies expanding, we then paused for a brief talk and Q&A from Rick Dooley of the North Devon Astronomical Society. The original plan had been to get everyone outdoors around the campfire to gaze up at the Plough and the Great Bear. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, we could barely see the portaloo never mind the night sky, so we had to make do with an old school Power Point presentation. Having not studied astronomy since high school, some 20 years ago, we’ve got to say it was pretty mind-blowing stuff – and we’ll definitely be heading back to Exmoor the next clear, starry night we can to see the stars in all their glory. With the temperature dropping, we very much welcomed the final course of the night, a sticky toffee pear pudding with vanilla custard. All that was missing was a warming cup of coffee before we headed off on our merry way. So, what next for Seadog? More events, certainly – including a stint at this year’s Bath Christmas Market – plus finalising next year’s diary of National Trust events. But first, Beth and Jim are heading abroad for some winter sun and to recharge the batteries. “I’m heading to Japan for a few weeks, while Jim is going to Thailand with his family. I’m sure we’ll both come back with plenty of inspiration for next year’s menus,” says Beth. If tonight’s experience is anything to go by, we look forward to it. For the latest Seadog events, head to seadogfoods.co.uk
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So, think cider’s just for summer, eh? Here’s where we introduce you to your new fave winter tipple...
he harvest is in full swing now. People always want to know the names of our cider apples and we can see why – there are so many different varieties. Dabinett, D abinett, Tom Putt, Brown’s Apple, Tremlett’s Bitter, Hangy Down, Slack Ma Girdle, Fair Maid of Devon, Ellis Bitter – you name them, we pick them! We can’t see the ground for moment, both in the these apples at the moment orchards and the yard. Which is great news – this suggests it’s going to be a really good harvest this year, with nice juicy apples, and lots of them. Not only are we picking them ourselves, but we’re getting them in thick and fast from surrounding old orchards too, meaning lots of cider is promised for this coming year. But you needn’t wait until summer to slurp on a good apple-based brew – this is a drink to be enjoyed all year round. During these chillier months, try our Mulled and Spicy Ashridge Artisan Cider. This warming, spicy, mulled cider will hit the spot on a cold winter’s night. To make it, we’ve added festive spices (cloves, cinnamon, star anise and ginger) to our Devon Gold Cider, with the result being a fruity, comforting and very drinkable tipple. Heat gently and serve straight away by a log fire with the back door closed and your feet up.
ashridgecider.co.uk; @AshridgeCider; 01364 654749
You’ll receive a warm community welcome in this newly-built contemporary-style pub with traditional values, located in the heart of the picturesque village of Aylesbeare. Head Chef, David Brown celebrates seasonal and quality local produce, creating delicious, freshly cooked food and a special festive menu for Christmas
www.night-jar.co.uk / email@example.com T: 01395 232277 / M: 07872 637 587
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M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Donâ€™t be scared of the turkey carcass! It makes for a mighty fine soup stock
H I G H L I G H T S
Gift ideas for foodies Page 46
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
Making the most of Christmas leftovers Page 53
THE PERFECT STOCKING FILLER www.waterhousefayre.co.uk
KINGSBRIDGE Farmers and Local Producers Market
Christmas Markets 2nd, 16th and 23rd December
Lovely hand made gifts and local food. Something for everyone
1st and 3rd Saturday of every month 9am until 1pm on the Quay, TQ6 9SE Stall holder and visitor enquiries telephone Jennie 07932 407819
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eyond the dishes that are gently placed down on tables before them, the general public at large is blissfully unaware of the operational nature of a restaurant. But, like any other business, a restaurant relies on keeping their team of staff motivated and performing. But there is growing concern of a skills shortage in the industry when it comes to finding enough skilled staff to supply demand. Jack Munns is one half of the management team of Chefshare (along with Phillip Heydon) and used to be a head chef himself. With firsthand experience of the difficulty of finding the right talent, Jack says that he found that most of the agencies around “were more concerned on getting a sale than placing the right chef into the right job”. As a result of this approach, Jack and Phil set up Chefshare more than 2 years ago and since then it has grown from strength to strength in providing the right staff for the right role. The key to its success, they say, is in their industry knowledge, allowing them to make better suited placements, and use the “advantage of working first hand with relief chefs” to make sure placements are suited and successful.
Jack says, “The benefits of using chefshare are simple – we take the hassle and 'waste of time' out of recruiting your staff. Being chefs ourselves we have a professional understanding of the trade and this allows us to fit the right chef to the right job. We pre-interview all of our chefs before sending them to our clients for a final interview, to ensure the candidates are right for the position. As a result of this our full time recruitment success rate is extremely high. “Recruiting for a chef yourself can get very expensive, with no guarantee of finding what you are looking for. However, by instructing Chefshare to do the recruitment for you, you only make a one off payment on the acceptance of a chef. We also offer relief chefs on a very competitive hourly rate to fill in until you find what you are looking for.” Jack and Phil still put on their whites and help out from time to time, which gives them the opportunity to work first-hand with their relief chefs and allowing them to monitor their ability and place them accordingly. Chefshare For more information on services, please visit chefshare.co.uk or call 01803 659529
THE GIFT LIST 4
LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESSIE FOR THE FOODIES IN YOUR LIFE? KEEP IT LOCAL WITH THESE DEVON-SOURCED TREATS…
FOR CUPPA COVETERS 1 COFFEE FACTORY GIFT SUBSCRIPTION Now here’s a clever thing… freshly roasted coffee delivered direct to your door. The Coffee Factory, located on the Devon/Dorset border, give you the chance to gift your coffee-loving friends and family with their favourite grinds on a regular basis. From £23.10; thecoffeefactory.co.uk 2 JOHN HANNA ROBIN TEA CADDY We’re a sucker for festive tins in the kitchen at Christmas. Pre-filled with English Breakfast tea bags, this tin caddy is illustrated with a charmingly festive Country Fair magazine cover from the 1950s. £5.99; lakeland.co.uk 3 PERKINS & MORLEY COASTERS Devon-based design duo, Jill Perkins and Jan Morley, take their inspiration from the county’s bountiful countryside and stunning coastline, to create unique home and giftware. We adore their Animal Ink coasters, featuring otters, stags, deer, badgers and more. £3.50; shop.perkinsandmorley.com
4 EMMA BRIDGEWATER CHRISTMAS CAROL MUGS Nothing quite gets us in the festive spirit more than a rendition of the classic Christmas carols. Gift the vocally blessed tea and coffee lovers in your life with these cute Emma Bridgewater mugs from Daisy Park, South Molton. £39.95; daisypark.co.uk 5 WILLIAM MORRIS ECOFFEE CUP Coffee shops across Devon are encouraging customers to do their bit for the environment by ditching single use cups in favour of reusable ones. Brighten up someone’s day with this cheery William Morris number, available from Twit Twoo in Brixham. £11.95; facebook.com/twittwooshop
FOR HOME COOKS 6 COOKING CLASSES AT THE HOLT Stuck for something to buy the foodie in your life who has everything? Why not gift them an experience day, like a bread making, smoking and curing, or a cookery skills and tapas course at The Holt in Honiton? Each
course is taught in a small group, ensuring you learn plenty of skills. From £30; theholt-honiton.com 7 ROSIE BREWER WOOD BOARD Serving up food on rustic sharing platters is all the rage, and we reckon these handmade wooden chopping boards from Devon-based kitchenware designer Rosie Brewer are pretty special. Available to buy online from House of Juniper. From £12.95; homeofjuniper.co.uk 8 WONKI WARE CERAMICS South African ceramics brand Wonki Ware gives people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to become skilled potters. Sold in Devon at Darts Farm, every piece is handcrafted and features a distinctive print. From £12.99; dartsfarm.co.uk 9 SNOWBERRIES TABLECLOTH Yes, it may end up splattered with cranberry sauce and errant splashes of gravy, but we reckon a Christmas table isn’t complete without a festive tablecloth. This cute printed number from Dupere Design in Modbury is ideal. £24; duperedesign.com
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FOR SWEET TOOTHS 10 CHOCOCO ADVENT SELECTION BOX Count down the days until Christmas with this scrumptious advent box, which includes 25 handmade, luxurious chocolates from Dorset-based, artisan chocolatier Chococo. Delivered the last week of November, fresh in time for the start of December. Available from Chococo Chocolate House in Exeter. £21.95; chococo.co.uk 11 WILLIE’S CACAO PRALINE TRUFFLES Beautifully packaged, these decadent praline truffles made by Willie’s Cacao make the ultimate Christmas stocking filler. They’re made with the finest single estate dark chocolate and a pinch of Cornish sea salt. Pick ’em up at Darts Farm. £9.99; dartsfarm.co.uk 12 FRANDIE MACARON’S GLOOP! If you’re looking for a gift under a tenner, then these luxury sweet sauces from Frandie Macaron are just the ticket. Drizzle, dip, spread or bake with them, they’re deliciously rich and moreish. £3.95; frandiemacaron.co.uk
13 LYME BAY WINERY CHRISTMAS PUDDING WINE Mulled wine is all well and good, but it does tend to get a bit tiresome after your third Christmas drinks soirée. Gift friends and family with something different this festive season with this glorious new Christmas Pudding Wine. £8.49; lymebaywinery.co.uk 14 BUTTERMILK MINCE PIE FUDGE Cornish-based Buttermilk have won countless awards for their crumbly fudges. We reckon this mince pie flavoured fudge makes an ideal stocking filler or gift for a dinner party host or hostess. Available to buy in Devon from Lifton Farm Shop. £3.99; liftonfarmshop.co.uk 15 FIGGY’S PUDDINGS We reckon nothing beats a good old fashioned Christmas pud on Christmas Day, and this traditional recipe from husband and wife team Richard and Joanne Evans, from Kenn near Exeter, is right up our street. It contains Somerset Cider Brandy and Port Stout from Hanlons Brewery in Devon. From £11.95; figgys.co.uk
FOR CHEESE FIENDS 16 OTTER VALE CHEESE SELECTION PACK Cheese lovers will be forever grateful if you gift them with this yummy assortment of chutneys and jellies from Otter Vale. The box even includes handy cheese-pairing tips. Result! £10.99; otter-vale.co.uk 17 COPPER FONDUE SET Fondue is the ultimate shared dining experience, particularly on a cold winter’s night next to a roaring open fire. Pretend you’re in the Swiss Alps with this copper fondue set from John Lewis. £85; johnlewis.com 18 OSKO CHEESE AND BUTTER KNIVES Give cheese boards a touch of glamour with these gold handle cheese and butter knives, presented in a stylish box to make the perfect present. £29.95; nkuku.com 19 J.B. PRESERVES This small Devon-based company offers a huge range of delightful chutneys and jellies to eat on Boxing Day, Christmas Day
26 20 24
and every day in between. A jar makes a delightful stocking filler for cheese fans. From £2.90; jbpreserves.co.uk
FOR MEAT EATERS 20 GOOD GAME HAMPER Meat fiends will certainly appreciate a box of goodies from Topsham-based Good Game. Each hamper contains a selection of charcuterie and they’re available at Cathedral Green Christmas Market, the Pig and Pallet or online. From £30; good-game.co.uk 21 ROSS & ROSS HOME CURING KIT If you know someone who’s mad for bacon, then this home curing kit is ideal. Containing everything you need to make your own sweet and smoky cured bacon, all you need to add is the pork. Available from Darts Farm. £21; dartsfarm.co.uk
FOR HEAT SEEKERS 22 SOUTH DEVON CHILLI FARM GIFT SET Whether you like your chilli mild or extra hot, this package of goodies from South Devon Chilli Farm offers something for everyone
with a taste for those fiery little peppers. A unique gift for any foodie. £20.60; sdcf.co.uk 23 BOOM KITCHEN BOOM BOX Not only do these curry kits made in North Devon help you make a banging homemade curry, they also look pretty darn cool, too. Includes all the spices you need for a korma, a tikka masala, a bhuna and hot naga curry. £14; boomkitchen.co.uk
measure and corkscrew. Available from Rise & Shine Living, South Molton. £25; riseandshineliving.co.uk 26 DARTINGTON CRYSTAL BARRA TUMBLERS Dartington Crystal in Torrington is worldrenowned for its handcrafted crystal and glassware. Treat someone special to this tumbler set, each finished in a contrasting colour and style of cut. £160; dartington.co.uk
FOR MIXOLOGY MASTERS
FOR GIN LOVERS
24 FEVER TREE: THE ART OF MIXING Wannabe bartenders will lap up this book of cocktails from soft drink masters Fever Tree. The book also explores the origins of key ingredients, including quinine, lemons and elderflower, and the impact different herbs have on taste. Available at Darts Farm. £15; dartsfarm.co.uk 25 GENTLEMEN’S HARDWARE COCKTAIL MULTI-TOOL This is the ultimate mixologist’s gadget, combining 9-in-1 stainless steel tools including a muddler, bottle opener, knife, zester, stirrer, strainer, channel knife, single
27 GINTUITION GIFT SET Those clever peeps at Dartington Crystal have come up with the ultimate gift for gin lovers. The Gintuition glass set features a classic highball, an on-trend copa stem and a classic martini, plus gin mixing tips and cocktail recipes. £25; dartington.co.uk 28 SALCOMBE GIN SCHOOL VOUCHER Multi-award-winning Salcombe Gin have got the ideal gift for gin fans – the chance for them to develop and still their very own bottle of gin onsite at their distillery. Take your pick from a range of botanicals or bring your own to experiment with. £100 for one, or £150 for two; salcombegin.com
M A I N S
31 38 29 ELMHIRST GIN GIFT SET Elmhirst Gin is made in small batches exclusively for The Shops at Dartington. Named after the founders of the Dartington Hall Estate, it subtly blends botanicals including orange and a touch of nutmeg. The gift set includes two Devon-made copa glasses. £50; shopsatdartington.co.uk
FOR BEER BUDDIES 30 BEER LOVERS’ HAMPER If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s partial to a bottle or two of craft ale or beer, then this selection introduces some of Devon's finest beer and ales, along with a glass handmade in Devon. £30; shopsatdartington.co.uk 31 SALCOMBE BREWERY BEER SET Salcombe Brewery 500ml bottled ales make a great Christmas gift. Devon Amber, Seahorse, Shingle Bay and Lifesaver offer a variety of hoppy, spicy and citrus flavours for all ale lovers. £12; salcombebrewery.com
FOR FABULOUS FOODIES 32 TEATIME CHRISTMAS BASKET Visitors to Devon go out of their way to find a
delicious clotted cream tea, so what better gift for loved ones than a Devonshire Cream Tea sent direct to their door? This gift basket from Purely Devon Hampers has all the treats you need. £29.99; purelydevonhampers.co.uk 33 SHARPHAM ‘TASTE OF THE WEST’ HAMPER For those who like their cheese and wine, this hamper from Sharpham is just the job. It includes two Taste of the West award winners: Sharpham Cremet (Champion Cheese and Supreme Champion) and Sharpham Barrel Fermented 2014 (Champion Wine, Spirits and Liqueurs). From £30; sharpham.com 34 THE SHOPS AT DARTINGTON BESPOKE HAMPER Here’s a clever idea: a hamper of goodies created to suit the recipient’s specific tastes. All you need to do is contact The Shops at Dartington with some idea of the types of produce you’d like to include and they do the rest, choosing from a range of West Country offerings. From £25; shopsatdartington.co.uk 35 TRILL FARM WINTER BOX This artisan gift box makes the ultimate pressie for someone hoping for a cosy, restorative
winter at home. It contains non-food items, like handmade soap and a scented candle, as well as foodie gifts like winter tea, chocolate covered plums and homemade preserves. £160; trillfarm.co.uk 36 THE CHEESE LARDER HAMPER This South Molton deli offers a range of delectable gift boxes. Indulge loved ones with a selection of Christmas cheeses, nibbles, shortbread, chutney, fudge, and some rather cute pottery mice! £36.99 (plus £8.99 shipping); thecheeselarder.co.uk 37 WATERHOUSE FAYRE GIFT PACKS This award-winning preserve maker is based in the heart of Devon and offer a range of festive gift packs. The Christmas selection contains a Boxing Day chutney for leftover cold cuts, a Christmas jam and a whisky marmalade. From £8.50; waterhousefayre.co.uk
FOR DOTING DOGS 38 FORTHGLADE CHRISTMAS TREATS Four-legged friends don’t have to miss out at Christmas with these Devon-made limited edition Cranberry and Parsnip Christmas Treats. £2.99; forthglade.com
Village Inn BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER | STEAK NIGHT THURSDAYS FISH NIGHT FRIDAYS | NEW CHEF NOW STARTED
Youngaton Road, Westward Ho!, Devon EX39 1HU
01237 477331 | villageinndevon.co.uk
Molland, South Molton, EX36 3NW
CHRISTMAS EVE Open all day 12–11pm Food served 12–2.30pm and 6-8.30pm
CHRISTMAS DAY Open 12–4pm Food served 12–2.30, must be booked only 4 Course meal for £35 per person. BOXING DAY Open all day 12–7pm Food served 12–4.30pm
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY With live music and a free buffet, free entry • CAMPSITE NEXT TO THE PUB • For further information:
blackcockmolland.co.uk | 01769 550297
The Rock Inn serve cracking Sunday roasts. Top tip: ask for the venison!
north devon BARNSTAPLE
KEY: 1. The Village Inn Westward Ho! 2. The Pig & Pallet Topsham 3. The Rock Inn Georgeham 4. The Fisherman's Arms Plymouth 5. Chichester Arms Mortehoe 6. The Grove Inn King's Nympton 7. London Inn Shaldon 8. The Bronx Bar & ’Cue Teignmouth 9. The Village Restaurant Plymouth 10. The ClayCutters Arms Chudleigh Knighton 11. The Journey’s End Inn Ringmore 12. Crown & Anchor Plymouth 13. Jolly Jacks Plymouth 14. Perrylicious Teignmouth 15. The Anchor Inn Cockwood, Nr Starcross 16. Mount Pleasant Inn Dawlish Warren 17. The Blackcock Inn Molland
Mount Pleasant Inn Dawlish Warren, Devon EX7 0NA Tel: 01626 863151 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.mountpleasantinn.com Fantastic views of the river Exe estuary and the bay. Three function rooms all with views.
Great destination for lunch or dinner with our extensive menu and Sunday roast.
The Anch� Inn
Famous for its seafood, particularly the mussels. Beautiful setting overlooking Cockwood harbour. Extensive wine cellar, exciting cocktails and great choice of real ales. Sunday lunch not to be missed. Cockwood, Nr Starcross, Devon EX6 8RA Tel: 01626 890203 email: email@example.com www.anchorinncockwood.com
14 We are an independent
friendly coffee and cake rooms passionate about quality, local and fresh ingredients. • Full menu available with breakfasts, snacks and lunches • Vegan menu, cakes and scones • Gluten free menu, cakes and scones • Cream teas and high teas • Custom-made celebration, birthday and novelty cakes • Regular vegan and gluten free workshops • Dog friendly • Child friendly 2 Bank Street, Teignmouth, TQ14 8AL www.perryliciouscoffeeandcakerooms.co.uk
Waterfront Bar & Bistro – Plymouth’s Secret Gem Sally & Sue and their team have the warmest welcome in the west and can’t wait to meet you!
• Land and sea - the freshest & best local food
• Coffee to die for, fab espresso • Al Fresco Dining machine • Lazy Sundays with • Great marine location with • Wonderful ambience, stylish, amazing roasts terrace dining casual, relaxing & fun • The perfect meeting place • Real ales, wines & Champagne • Regular live music & jazz & venue - social or business
www.jollyjacks.co.uk Tel: 01752 500 008 Mayﬂower Marina | Richmond Walk | Plymouth PL1 4LS @ JollyJackBistro
The Fisherman’s Arms
CHICHESTER ARMS – MORTEHOE
Good food, drink and hospitality
THE COUNTRY PUB, HIDDEN IN THE MIDDLE OF BRITAIN’S OCEAN CITY
A real taste of Devon ® Since 2003
Kings Nympton North Devon EX37 9ST 01769 580 406 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mortehoe, Woolacombe EX34 7DU Tel: 01271 870411 Email: email@example.com www.chichesterarmsmortehoe.co.uk
31 Lambhay Street, The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2NN Tel: 01752 268243 | ﬁshermansarms.co.uk
thegroveinn.co.uk The Grove Inn (official)
mid devon The Blackcock Inn has a kids’ playground outside – a great spot for families.
exeter 2 15 16
14 8 7
EXMOUTH Enjoy a winter walk on Teignmouth beach and then a cocktail at Bronx Bar & ’Cue.
Opening Times: Mon - Sun 11.30am -10.15pm
4 9 PLYMOUTH 12
south devon 11
devon The Village Restaurant, based on the historic Barbican, started life over 27 years ago and is one of Plymouth’s oldest seafood restaurants. It has established a well deserved reputation for serving the ﬁnest ﬁsh and seafood dishes, as well as local meat, poultry and game with a Grecian twist.
33 Southside Street The Barbican Plymouth PL1 2LE
Jolly Jacks recently won Best Restaurant at the Plymouth City & Waterfront Awards.
CROWN & ANCHOR Bar and restaurant in the heart of The Barbican with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere! 10 The Barbican, Plymouth Tel: 01752 224572
10 T H E C L AYC U T T E R S A R MS Chudleigh Knighton, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 0EY Tel: 01626 853345 | Email: Info@theclaycutters.co.uk
w ww.t hec l ayc ut t ers .c o.uk
Trencherman’s Pub of the Year 2016
THE JUBILEE INN 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.
West Anstey, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3PH
Tel. 01398 341401
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thejubileeinn.co.uk BOOK NOW TO SECURE OUR EXQUISITE CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR DINING & ACCOMMODATION OFFERS, the Christmas party menu is available 15 November to 30 December 2017 (£19.95 for 2 courses/£25 for 3 courses) Recently voted Number 6 in The Sunday Times Britain’s 50 Best Value Hotels, Sam and Claire welcome you to our beautifully refurbished home, to stay and dine with us in country comfort. Showcasing exquisite and flavoursome dining, with a classic French twist, we are proud to announce our team has just been awarded 2 TASTE OF THE WEST, GOLD AWARDS for ‘DINING PUB’ and ‘RESTAURANT’, and a SILVER AWARD for our luxurious B&B. Telephone bookings advisable as we are unable to guarantee availability without reservation. See our website for details of all special offers and upcoming events, and contact us direct for best room rates. JubileeDining
Booking essential – DINING TUESDAY TO SUNDAYS – See website for further details
T. 01398 332248 E. email@example.com www.theswan.co Bampton | Tiverton | Devon | EX16 9NG
9 ways with CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERs
TURKEY WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, CHRISTMAS PUDS, CHEESE BOARDS, TRIFLE… YES, CHRISTMAS REALLY IS A FOOD LOVER’S DREAM. BUT WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE LEFTOVERS? HERE, DEVON CHEFS AND PRODUCERS SHARE THEIR SECRET WAYS OF AVOIDING FESTIVE FOOD WASTE…
Chris Tanner, chef and co-owner of Barbican Kitchen in Plymouth, says: “Leftover turkey has quite a few uses, and not just in sandwiches! Try using it as part of a delicate miso broth with noodles and pak choi, finished with a few sesame seeds – a great healthy alternative after the festive season. “Also, crumbling leftover stuffing into a little tomato passata, along with some fresh basil, is the perfect accompaniment to pasta. Don’t forget to finish with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano. “If you have some Christmas pudding going spare, cut a few figs into quarters and place in an oven-proof dish with some crumbles of pud. Drizzle with a little honey and brandy, along with a sprinkle of chopped almonds and pecans, before baking at 180C. To really indulge, pour over some double cream – it is Christmas, after all!”
Gill Meller, executive head chef at River Cottage, says: “At some point between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, I’ll always make the last of the roast ham into a big hearty gratin, which we will usually tuck into after a big wintery walk. I make a rich white sauce with the ham stock, cream, mustard and parsley, into which I add softened leeks and all the leftover roast ham. This all gets piled into a baking dish and topped with some breadcrumbs and a generous grating of any Christmas cheeses we still have sitting around. It’s delicious with a simple salad and good bread.”
Anna Bury, sales and marketing director and part of the Eversfield Organic founding family, says: “We always boil up our turkey bones. It means a little extra effort after dinner on Christmas Day, but we make a rich broth in the pressure cooker. It’s amazing with any leftover turkey meat and a hunk of sourdough bread to dunk in it. “The rest of the trimmings go into a massive bubble and squeak, which we fry up in a big skillet. Served up with loads of cranberry sauce and our organic honey roast ham, you really can't beat it. If the leftover pigs in blankets have made it this far they are a great addition, brushed with sweet mustard and warmed up in the oven.”
"WE ALWAYS BOIL UP OUR TURKEY BONES. IT MEANS A LITTLE EXTRA EFFORT AFTER DINNER ON CHRISTMAS DAY, BUT WE MAKE A RICH BROTH IN THE PRESSURE COOKER"
Riverford Field Kitchen chef, Bob Andrew, says: “Leftover roasted roots can form the backbone of a robust winter salad. Parsnips, carrots or beetroot work especially well. Start with a good mix of bitter, peppery and mild salad leaves as a base. Toasted nuts, seeds or croutons will give a crunch to proceedings. Cooked and cooled pulses and grains, such as puy lentils, spelt, farro, and chickpeas, will lend a bit of bite as well as bulk. Crumble in some cheese and something sweet like sliced apple or dried fruit. Make the dressing sharp and punchy. Some of our favourite combinations are beetroot, apple, hazelnut and blue cheese; carrot, chickpeas and mint with tahini dressing; and parsnip, lentils, date and chestnut. “There always seems to be an excess of braised red cabbage. Although it can be easily reheated, consider a second life as a cold condiment. The spicing has much in common with most respectable chutneys. Try adding a dash of red wine vinegar to give it a pickled edge and serve it alongside leftover cold cuts, or tuck a little into a roast beef or ham sarnie. A wee dab in a cheese toastie works too, provided the cheese is strong and sharp. “Soups, stews and broths are ideal vehicles for using a selection of scraps. The most obvious is a simple bowl of miso soup. It has a deeply savoury flavour and tastes hugely restorative. A few shreds of leftover turkey and a handful of greens is all you need to counter the excesses of the previous day. Add some noodles and a bit of stock and it starts to become a ramen bowl and will welcome a bit of chilli and maybe a soft boiled egg. A Malaysian laksa or Thai curry would work well, too. Most things will complement the key notes of coconut, lemongrass, lime and chilli, but I’d avoid red cabbage, beetroot or anything that has heavy Christmas spicing.”
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Mark Kersey, chef at Oddfellows in Exeter, says: “We make a lovely roasted turkey soup by picking away any meat still on the carcass, then making a stock by roasting the carcass off with some vegetables. Then tip it into a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for four hours, skimming the stock as you go, then passing through a fine sieve. “Next, begin a simple roux in a pan by melting some butter and adding flour a bit at a time, then slowly add your turkey stock to make a velouté. Cook for about 15 minutes and season, add the turkey meat and any leftover stuffing, then finish with a little cranberry sauce and some croutons. Happy days.”
Kirk Gosden, Rockfish head chef, says: “If you have some turkey left, a turkey BLT on granary is one of my favourites – crispy bacon, thinly sliced turkey, tomatoes and finely sliced lettuce with fresh homemade mayonnaise. The vegetable and stuffing leftovers makes for a splendid bubble and squeak for breakfast the next day. I have even eaten this with Christmas pudding in the mix, which was unusually great with leftover baked ham and fried eggs. Turkey a la King was what we used to make after Christmas at the first hotel I worked in, which I loved. Simply sauté onions, garlic, yellow and red bell peppers with turkey velouté and fresh chopped parsley, and serve over steamed rice.
Mitch Tonks, Rockfish and Seahorse restaurant chef proprietor and food writer, says: “I make my mum’s turkey stew every year, it was the highlight at Christmas. Cook the leftover turkey carcass in a pressure cooker with a tablespoon of chicken Bovril. Then strip the meat from the bones and simmer with some leeks, carrots, onions and a handful of small noodles. Season with loads of black pepper and enjoy the comforting experience!”
Treby Arms chef Luke Fearon says: “Leftover chocolate (would you believe it!) is a big one in my house. I make lots of choc chip cookie dough for the freezer and a rich hot chocolate mix for the shelf. Then you are never 15 minutes away from the perfect winter pick me up! “For the choc chip cookie dough, I cream 100g butter and 125g sugar and then add in an egg, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 200g self-raising flour, a pinch of salt and the leftover chocolate broken into chunks. Roll in cling film to form a sausage shape and freeze. When you want cookies, just slice 1cm discs from the frozen dough. Remove the cling film and arrange the dough on a baking tray to allow room for spreading. Cook at 170C until golden brown but still gooey. Enjoy!” Joshua Ackland, head chef at Glazebrook House Hotel, says: “As kids, we used to make ice cream sundaes with the leftover Christmas pudding, mince pieces, tins of chocolate, trifle, clotted cream ice cream and custard. Sometimes, if lucky, a splash of Bailey’s, too! I liked to think of it as a pick ’n’ mix dessert sundae.”
"WE MAKE A LOVELY ROASTED TURKEY SOUP BY PICKING AWAY ANY TURKEY MEAT STILL ON THE CARCASS"
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PUTTING THE ‘MERRY’ INTO CHRISTMAS MULLING OVER TRADITION
IT ISN’T TRULY CHRISTMAS UNTIL YOU’VE INDULGED IN YOUR FIRST STEAMING CUP OF MULLED WINE OR CIDER, BUT HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE HISTORY BEHIND SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE YULETIDE DRINKS? FOOD WRITER AND BLOGGER GABY DYSON EXPLAINS ALL
For decades, mulled wine has been brightening our Decembers and facilitating conversation with our in-laws. But it may surprise you to learn that this decidedly festive drink predates Christmas altogether. The Ancient Greeks adored their wine. So much so, they sought to rescue failed harvests by heating up their subpar vintages and adding ample spices. It was thought that by doing so, they could mask spoiled flavours and improve weak wines. The resulting drink was named ‘hippocras,’ after the father of medicine, Hippocrates. Given their penchant for appropriation, the Romans later created their own variation of spiced wine, named Conditum Paradoxum. The practice of ‘mulling’ wine proved to be highly popular during winter months and the tradition spread throughout Rome’s extensive empire. In England, mulled wine really took off during the Middle Ages, when it was believed that adding spices to our dreadful homegrown wines would improve the taste, as well as one’s health. The first documented usage of the term ‘mull’ was in 1618, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that the drink gained its festive associations. In his classic A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens included a passage in which he referred to Smoking Bishop – a popular mulled wine – and henceforth the drink became an essential element in Yuletide celebrations. Today, you needn’t mull your own wine in order to get merry at Christmas. Devon wineries like Lyme Bay do all the hard work for you by selling premade bottles of the stuff straight off the shelf. All you need to do is heat it up and add your own fruit slices, should you wish.
Lyme Bay Winery Mulled Wine, £8.49/75cl bottle; available from independent retailers across Devon; lymebaywinery.co.uk
WASSAIL’S THE WORD There’s a chance you’ve already heard of the traditional wassail. But for those unfamiliar with this unusual sounding drink, imagine a sort of strong mulled cider. The word ‘wassail’ originates from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which roughly translates as ‘good health’. The beverage itself was traditionally drunk as part of Apple Wassailing – a drinking ritual that was popular throughout the West Country during the Middle Ages, intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year.
Much like modern day carollers, on Twelfth Night wassailers would grab their communal ‘wassail bowl’ and do one of two things: either go from door to door, offering a cup of wassail in exchange for gifts; or visit the orchard, where they would sing to the trees and pour wassail onto their roots. Many of the most famous wassailing ceremonies took place throughout Devon, particularly in the East Devon town of Whimple, and paved the way for many of the seasonal activities we enjoy today. Wassail itself has undergone many transformations over the years, having slowly become more and more affiliated with Christmas. Early versions of the drink included warmed mead, into which roasted crab apples were dropped. It was also recorded as a hard cider, containing eggs, sugar-roasted apples, brandy, and sweet spices. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find many differences between wassail and a strong mulled cider. However, one consistent feature is the presence of a large communal ‘wassailing bowl’, from which the apple punch is shared. So, don’t be shy when it comes to passing around the cider this Christmas – sharing is caring, after all!
Ashridge Mulled Cider, £4/75cl bottle; available at Mole Valley Farmers, Ben’s Farm Shop, Chandos Deli, Darts Farm and The Happy Apple in Totnes; ashridgecider.co.uk
PH OTOG RA P HS : GA BY DYS O N, J OA N NA S TA N I E WI CZ
DON’T NOG IT TILL YOU’VE TRIED IT! Eggnog is the festive equivalent of Marmite: you either love it or you hate it. This potent combo of cream and spiked egg yolks has been dividing opinion for almost a millennia and most culinary historians believe that it is derived from an early Medieval drink called ‘posset’. Posset was a hot, milky ale that was all the rage with 13th century monks. It was frequently consumed with figs and eggs, until the wealthy upper-classes caught on and started spiking it with sherry. The drink we know today hasn’t changed too much and – as far as we know, as opinions differ – the etymology of eggnog comes from the use of eggs (obviously) and the word ‘noggin’, in reference to a small wooden mug. We can thank our friends across the pond for the drink’s festive connotations. During the 18th century eggnog was gaining widespread popularity among American colonists, whose easy access to cows and chickens meant they had all the necessary ingredients at their fingertips. Since sherry was hard to come by, they began to whip up their eggnog with inexpensive whiskies and, eventually, rum, which was traded from the nearby Caribbean. By the turn of the 19th century the drink had developed from a warming wintertime tipple into a full-on Christmastime treat in most households. The Americans loved eggnog so much that it even caused The Eggnog Riot in 1826, which took place on Christmas Eve in a New York Military Academy, where the consumption of alcohol was prohibited. A particularly potent strain of eggnog was served up, and let’s just say that the results were precisely what you’d expect... The chaos led to the expulsion of 19 cadets.
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book Laydilay Organic Eggs, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0NS; laydilay.co.uk LittlePod, Farringdon, Exeter EX5 2HY; littlepod.co.uk Dead Man’s Fingers, The Rum & Crab Shack, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LG; rumandcrabshack.com Devon Distillery, Torbryan, Newton Abbot TQ12 5UP; devondistillery.com
ULTIMATE DEVONSHIRE EGGNOG SERVES 8
Now, we’re not ones for alcohol-induced riots, but we are partial to a good old Christmas tipple or two, and thankfully making your own eggnog isn’t as labour intensive as it may seem. Why not whip up this Devon-centric version created by Devon-based food stylist and photographer Joanna Staniewicz? INGREDIENTS
700ml whole milk 240ml double cream 5 Laydilay organic eggs, separated 130g granulated sugar 1 tsp grated nutmeg 1 tsp LittlePod vanilla paste 3 cinnamon sticks 175ml Dead Man’s Fingers Rum or Dappa from Devon Distillery METHOD
1 Combine the milk, cream, vanilla paste, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan. Over a medium heat, bring the mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to steep. 2 Beat together the egg yolks and sugar, then gently whisk in the milk mixture (once cool). Continue to combine the ingredients until smooth. 3 Add your liquor of choice and stir. 4 Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. 5 Before you serve up, beat the egg whites into soft peaks and fold in the eggnog until combined. 6 Garnish with nutmeg or grated chocolate and serve.
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”
Licensed and approved for Civil Ceremonies
Boveys Down Farm, Farway, Honiton EX24 6JD Telephone: 01404 871436 www.sweetlandscountryfare.co.uk www.boveysdownfarm.co.uk
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NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
H I G H L I G H T S
IN A RIGHT PICKLE
Trialling Pickle Shack’s experimental menu Page 60
GREAT EXPECTATIONS Eating and eccentricity at The Giant Club Page 62
THE RACE IS ON John Burton-Race at The Grosvenor Torquay Page 64
PH OTO: M AT T AU S T I N
We’re transfixed by the colour of this slow cooked octopus in red cabbage brine from Pickle Shack
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PICKLE SHACK TEST KITCHEN THE GUYS AT PICKLE SHACK PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF MODERN DINING WITH THEIR THEATRICAL AND INNOVATIVE SUPPER CLUB EVENTS, AS GABY DYSON FINDS OUT…
n many ways, dining at the Pickle Shack Test Kitchen is a lot like exploring Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. It’s not very often you get the opportunity to eat pheasant noodles straight out of a syringe, or munch on freeze-dried ants as part of dessert. But you don’t need a golden ticket for the chance to sample dishes that push the culinary boundaries – you just need an open mind and an empty stomach.
The Test Kitchen is a unique pop-up event designed to give Michelin-trained chefs, Josh McDonald-Johnson and Darren Jory, the opportunity to trial their innovative new ideas on a willing audience of diners. Set against the rustic backdrop of the Boatyard Bakery – on Exeter’s historic quayside – the event took the form of a whopping fifteen-course mystery menu. In true secret menu style, we were instructed to arrive for a 7.30pm start, bring our own
booze and get ready to “challenge our existing foodie conceptions”. Our evening got off to a great start, as everyone took their seats at a communal table and got to know one another as we nibbled on our first course of cockle popcorn. These were delicious, lightly fried cockles, served in nostalgic little paper cones and spritzed with a fermented green elderberry spray. They were shortly followed by a freshly baked roll of Emma’s
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P H OTO S : M AT T A U S T I N
Bread, alongside lashings of chicken fat butter. The atmosphere was nothing short of jovial and the open plan kitchen allowed us to watch on as the Pickle Shack team worked their magic throughout the meal. Courses three to five arrived in quick succession and set the tone for what was to come. A savoury ice-cream sandwich, containing the flavours of sesame and horseradish, was unlike anything we’ve experienced before, and left many of my fellow diners sat in stunned silence as they tried to wrap their heads around the novel concept. This was followed by a stunning dish entitled ‘potato air’ and a light seaweed cracker topped with heart and liver. So far, so good. The six courses that followed were akin to mains and demonstrated considerable technical skill from chefs Josh and Darren. Among the standout dishes of the evening was ‘pigeon, clay, moss’: tender pigeon, wrapped in bacon and cooked in a clay egg, before being charmingly presented on a makeshift straw bird’s nest. There was also an outstanding pheasant noodle dish – a teacup filled with rich, silky consommé to which diners added their own noodles via an accompanying syringe and stirred in crispy bacon and Cheddar crumbs. Star among the four dessert courses was ‘Prohibition’. This was a fun, interactive dish that began with a mason jar of ‘giggle juice’ – otherwise known as Apple Pie Moonshine from the Fat Pig Distillery in Exeter. Diners were given a riddle to solve, while terracotta
pots of dry ice added a theatrical flourish to proceedings. When the giggle juice finally wore off, we managed to crack the code and redeem our delectable prize. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been dreading the final course of the night, entitled ‘sea buckthorn and ants’. But it turns out that edible insects aren’t too shabby, after all. While a spoonful of ants was a bit of a shock to the system (one diner described the experience as being similar to “popping their tongue on a battery”!), I think that Pickle Shack might just be onto
something with this new age ingredient… Indeed, Pickle Shack is proving to be a real pioneer within Devon’s foodie scene. I can’t help but admire the techniques and flavours coming out of the kitchens here, and if your interest has been piqued by these unusual test dishes, you’d be wise to get your hands on tickets to one of their upcoming events. Trust me, you won’t go home disappointed. For details of forthcoming Pickle Shack events, visit pickleshack.co.uk
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THE GIANT CLUB IF YOU’RE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A DINING VENUE WITH A DIFFERENCE, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS ECCENTRIC EATERY, RECKONS MELISSA STEWART
hen you first walk into The Giant Club in Axminster, you know straight away that this is no ordinary restaurant. The décor is whacky, to say the least. Think the attic of a mad aunt, or an episode of American Horror Story. Walls are adorned with a range of crazy curios, including mannequin heads behind bars, sloping shelves and a sculpture of a man coming through the wall. The venue is almost completely lit by candlelight, with a neon sign over the bar creating a surreal ambience (and making review photography
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extremely challenging!). There’s also a replica mural of Dorset’s famous Cerne Giant, from which the venue takes its name. The Giant Club is certainly quirky, a little grotesque even, but don’t let that put you off. This is a real hidden gem of a place. The restaurant is the brainchild of a River Cottage alumni, Gideon Hitchen, who juggles the venue alongside his popular catering business. Open only on Friday and Saturday nights, and seating just 30 people, booking in advance is essential. As Gideon does all the meal prep and cooking himself, guests eat from the same six-course menu, priced at a very reasonable £30, with veggie alternatives available on request. The menu varies from week to week, depending on what’s in season and what Gideon happens to be inspired by. Guests are invited to kick off proceedings with an aperitif cocktail. There are six to choose from, and we plump for an ‘Aviation’ – gin, maraschino, crème de violette and lemon. This offers a delightful floral bouquet, punctuated by a sharp citrus after note, ahead of our first course. We start with a light, fluffy bao filled with delicate goat meat, which melts in the mouth and is exquisite when smothered in a hoisin-style dipping sauce. Goat meat is definitely having a moment, popping up at restaurant tables across Devon. It’s versatile and full of flavour, and not in the least bit stringy if cooked properly, like this. Next up is a bed of kelp, topped with cold smoked mackerel and bone crisp. While the fish skeleton may have been off-putting for some, the taste and contrast of different textures on the plate more than make up for it.
So far, the menu has been Asian inspired, but the next course offers something completely different: bread and butter and bass. This dish got my dining companion gasping, and for all the right reasons. Think a juicy, succulent fillet of bass, glazed in a rich, emulsified butter. The sauce was so smooth and caramel-like in consistency that it was almost like eating a pudding. It was rich, decadent and devilishly moreish. This is followed by pork in a sage butter, served with cauliflower cheese. This was perhaps the weakest dish on the menu. The pork was tasty but not mind-blowing, and the cauliflower cheese well-cooked and the sauce of a good consistency, but overall it lacked the punch and innovative flair of the dishes that had gone before. Things livened up afterwards when we were introduced to the ‘Masterpiece’, an amusing retro decanter where the spout was a young man’s pee-pee. This certainly caused guffaws of laughter throughout the restaurant – no surprise there – and makes for a timely conversation starter if table chat is starting to wane. The Masterpiece served us up a tot of mystery
liquor to enjoy alongside a palate-cleansing quince sorbet. With a tendency to shy away from tiramisu on a menu, we have to admit we weren’t really looking forward to the final course – a plum and dandelion tiramisu. But, we’ve got to say we were seriously surprised – and in a good way. The tiramisu was creamy, fluffy and not too dense, while the pièce de résistance was the baked plum – sweet, sticky and tangy on the tongue. The Giant Club is certainly unique, and makes a refreshing change from the usual pub or formal restaurant dining experience. The venue, while certainly not decorated to everyone’s taste, is sure to ignite conversation and the £30 price tag for the full menu is outstanding for food of such high quality. Speaking to Gideon after the meal, he hints that he’s on the lookout for larger premises near Exeter, so we recommend you book a table here pronto and enjoy its eccentric charms before it disappears elsewhere. The Giant Club, Axminster EX13 5AU; giantclub.co.uk
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THE GROSVENOR HOTEL TORQUAY HAS THE APPOINTMENT OF A CELEBRITY CHEF HELPED THIS HOTEL SHAKE OFF ITS FAWLTY TOWERS REPUTATION? MELISSA STEWART FINDS OUT
ust under a year ago, Michelinstar chef John Burton-Race arrived in the kitchen of The Grosvenor Hotel Torquay. His mission: to make the hotel a foodie destination for tourists. It was quite the challenge, particularly as the hotel has a less-than-flattering history. Remember
Channel 4’s The Hotel, depicting a real-life Fawlty Towers? Yup, this is the place. Thankfully, the TV show’s cringeworthy customer service and embarrassing party nights are now a thing of the past, the hotel having undergone a refurbishment under its latest owners, The Richardson Group.
We book in for a night’s dinner, bed and breakfast, so that we can take advantage of the full JBR experience. To be clear, this is still very much a Victorian seaside hotel in the traditional English style. It’s big and noisy at times (regularly hosting weddings and events); not rustic, boutique, or any of the other things you might desire from a ‘modern’ hotel experience. However, there’s something quaintly charming about its lack of pretence and pomp. It is what it is, and doesn’t apologise for it. When we arrive, we almost feel like we’re arriving on the set of an Agatha Christie movie. The one thing that cannot be faulted is the level of care and attention to detail that the service staff provide. They’re warm and friendly, without being overbearing, and really do go out of their way to ensure our experience is a good one.
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So, on to the food… Guests can choose from a six-course tasting menu for £55, edging up to £95 with wine pairings. Or, you can opt to dine from the dinner menu, with starters averaging at £13 and mains around the £25 mark. We adopt a ‘When in Torquay…’ attitude and go the whole hog with the tasting menu and wine. We start proceedings with a seasonal vegetable terrine with goat curd. It’s one of those dishes where the taste immediately evokes a picture in your mind, the root veg conjuring the image of an autumnal English landscape. This is followed by a seafood dish of oysters and prawns, beautifully presented with a watercress purée, Champagne sabayon, Chinese mushrooms and oscietra caviar. Fresh, clean and perfectly accompanied by a crisp Sardinian Vermentino di Sardegna. We have a surprise taste of the tropics in the next course of foie gras, pineapple and pecan crumb. Admittedly, any dish with pineapple will forever remind us of the 1980s (pineapple upside-down cake being a particular childhood favourite), but the fabulous fusion of these flavours cannot be denied, the silky-smooth foie gras offset by the citrus acidity of the juicy pineapple. For the fish course, we head to the East with a roasted Cornish turbot in curry sauce, with pak choi, seaweed and lemon purée. The turbot is subtle in flavour, robust in texture, and thankfully not overwhelmed by the mild curry sauce. It goes down particularly well with a glass of 2010 Chateau Thenac, which zings like a freshly-cut meadow. Beef is up next and does not disappoint. Served with onions, cepe purée, wild mushrooms, foie gras and a red wine sauce, it’s tender, rich and ticks all the right boxes. We enjoy it with a very pleasing glass of fruity 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bois de Pied Redal. By this point, having consumed rather a lot, we feel that dessert is perhaps one indulgence too far. However, we gamely soldier on. First up is a toffee pudding cake, walnut chutney and Granny Smith ice cream, the sharp, acidic ice cream providing a welcome respite from all the rich sweetness. We end with an exquisite dish of chocolate with peanuts and popcorn ice cream. While an absolute chocolate lover’s dream, it’s sadly one dish too many for our bulging stomachs. After only a few mouthfuls we admit defeat, only just
managing to finish our delightfully intense Pedro Ximenez sherry. Bellies full, we drag ourselves back upstairs to crash out on our delightfully firm mattress. Our verdict: this is a place that foodies need on their go-to destination list. John Burton-Race still very much holds his own among the crop of South West chefs. Yes, the restaurant is housed in an old-school seaside hotel, which is a little shabby in places, but don’t let that dissuade you – the culinary experience is worth visiting for. The Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay TQ2 5HG; grosvenorhoteltorquay.co.uk
L I T T L E
B L A C K
B O O K
CHEF CHRIS RUNS THE BARBICAN KITCHEN IN PLYMOUTH WITH HIS BROTHER JAMES. HERE HE SHARES SOME OF HIS FAVOURITE FOODIE HANGOUTS…
Breakfast? Rock Salt Cafe & Brasserie in Plymouth. The breakfast is top notch and available for most of the day. Best brew? You can’t beat Yorkshire Tea. Favourite grocery shop? Ben’s Farm Shop in Totnes always stocks local, high quality produce, as well as the more unusual and harder to find ingredients. Best wine merchant? Okay, so it’s not in Devon, but we’ve been working with St Austell Brewery for the last 18 years, and they currently supply most of the wines at Barbican Kitchen. Sunday lunch? The Turtley Corn Mill in the South Hams. Its amazing location makes it the perfect place to eat a hearty roast.
Food on the go? Running two restaurants makes it difficult for me to ever find time to grab food on the go! One to watch? Our new Barbican Kitchen apprentice, Callum – the next generation of food talent! Comfort food? Marmite on toast. With the family? The Seahorse on the banks of the River Dart in Dartmouth. The relaxed atmosphere, as well as its world-leading fish, makes it a perfect location for all the family. Best curry? Atul Kochar’s Benares Restaurant in London. Its unique take on Indian cuisine means you will never look at curry in quite the same way after dining there.
Cheeky cocktail? The Refectory Bar, housed in the world-famous Plymouth Gin Distillery. Ideal for cocktails with a kick!
Best atmosphere? I may be biased, but the Kentish Hare [which Chris also runs] has a buzzing atmosphere, and it is perfect for those looking to eat high quality food in a relaxed setting.
Posh nosh? It must be Michael Caine’s new venture, Lympstone Manor in Exmouth. Fantastic food and service make it hard to beat.
Top street food? Borough Market in London is one of a kind. It would be fantastic to see something similar brought to Devon.
With friends? Set in one of the most beautiful locations, and with 17 acres of stunning scenery, The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells makes for a truly special dining experience.
Pre-theatre feed? Barbican Kitchen, of course! The brasserie is located so close to Plymouth Theatre Royal that many of our diners choose to pop in for a pre-show feast.
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book... Rock Salt Cafe & Brasserie, Plymouth PL1 3PE; rocksaltcafe.co.uk Ben’s Farm Shop, Totnes TQ9 5RY; bensfarmshop.co.uk St Austell Brewery, St Austell PL25 4BY; staustellbrewery.co.uk Turtley Corn Mill, Avonwick TQ10 9ES; turtleycornmill.com The Refectory Bar, Plymouth PL1 2LQ; therefectorybar.co.uk Lympstone Manor, Exmouth EX8 3NZ; lympstonemanor.co.uk The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JH; the-beacon.co.uk The Seahorse, Dartmouth TQ6 9BH; seahorserestaurant.co.uk Benares, Mayfair W1J 6BS; benaresrestaurant.com Kentish Hare, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0XB; thekentishhare.com Borough Market, London SE1 1TL; boroughmarket.org.uk Barbican Kitchen, Plymouth PL1 2LQ; barbicankitchen.com
In-Toto Kitchens 3 The Venture Centre, Yeoford Way, Matford Park, Exeter EX2 8LP Phone 01392 824888
FUNCTION. ELEGANCE. HARMONY.