Two days ago we marked the start of the countdown to the 2023 Exmoor Food Fest with a celebratory dinner at Knowle Manor, Timberscombe.
The stunning setting of Knowle Manor provided a beautiful backdrop to the event where 10 chefs from across the region wowed our guests with a stunning six-course-dinner. Nicola Smith from the Exmoor Distillery welcomed our guests with glasses of complimentary Northmoor Gin and Blackmoor Rum.
The Amuse Bouche, scallops with pancetta &beetroot with goats cheese and walnut, were prepared by Werner Hartholt from the Butlins Chef Academy and his students Ginny Zdanevičiūtė and Jessica Simmons.
This was followed by an autumnal confit duck tortellini in butternut squash velouté, prepared by Anita-Clare Field from La Petite Bouchée, supported by Nathan Reardon, runner-up of this year’s Exmoor Young Chef competition.
Miguel Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal and grew up in South Africa, is now head chef and general manager of Hotel Porlock Weir. He chose to serve torched mackerel fillet, peri peri dressing, marinated tomatoes and pickled cucumber as nod to his Mediterranean roots.
The main course was served by Martin Baylis, the Executive Chef for the MB Restaurant group which includes New Coast Kitchen (Croyde) and New Coast Canteen (Braunton). His dish was Middle White Pork Belly, Spiced Carrot and Ras el Hanout.
Next up came the pre-dessert, lemon mousse with lemon sherbet and white chocolate, prepared by Exmoor Young Chef Perran Clark and his mentor Carla Jones from the Michelin-Guide listed Seacliff Restaurant at the Sandy Cove Hotel on the North Devon coast.
Last but not least, guests enjoyed the dessert by Jade Shorney, head chef at the Rising Sun in West Bagborough, who served treacle tart and blackcurrant sorbet.
As always, these events would not be able with out an army of supporters and helpers. Our thanks go to Ruth Lamacraft at Knowle Manor, Julian Boys of Julian’s Commercial Laundry Minehead, and especially to Tim Young and Jane Bishop of the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey who came to our rescue in more ways than one.
We are grateful to all the chefs and their teams for their efforts, our guests who supported the dinner, and also to our young FOH & kitchen team who walked miles over the course of the evening and never stopped smiling.
The 2023 Exmoor Food Fest will kick off in style at the end of January at the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey. Throughout February we’ll have the usual great offers by participating restaurants. There will, of course, also be guest chef dinners and other special events, so keep your eyes out for updates on this website and in our newsletter.
The next foodie event on the calendar is the Exmoor Supper Club in Allerford near Porlock with Anita-Clare Field. You can book tickets here.
Below are some of the photos taken by our photographer Jessica Davies on the night. We’ll be posting more to our gallery over the next few days.