At the end of January, the 2019 Exmoor Food Fest was launched at the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey. Head chef Mike Griffiths was joined in the kitchen by Tim Zekki (Duende Restaurant), Damien Wager (Edible Art Ltd), James Mason and Jaime Allen. Here is a collection of photos of the night by Faydit Photography.
Damien Wager is primarily a self taught pastry chef, who over the past 24 months has rose towards the top of the U.K. Pastry Chef rankings due to his numerous exploits.
Through his own company, Edible Art Patisserie Limited, Damien has agreed a deal to open his own on-campus patisserie at Cheshire College in early Summer 2019, a deal to launch his debut book ‘Edible Art’ in October 2019, become brand ambassador for both Forest Produce (Specialist ingredients) & HEiH Chocolate (new high-end chocolate company) and has also been invited into the Valrhona ‘Cercle V’ programme for 2019.
Damien’s social media following has no doubt had a positive effect and been a driving factor in his success, but numerous publication articles and features in top magazines, as well as being nominated for ‘Young Chef of the Year’ at the 2018 Restaurant Awards in a category brimming with talent, has certainly propelled Damien onto many chefs radars.
Most recently, Damien has happily taken the position as ‘Patisserie Development Chef’ at Kentisbury Grange and is thrilled to be given the opportunity to work alongside his friend and Head Chef, James Mason.
James Mason, Head Chef
The Coach House by Michael Caines
In 2015 James was the winner of The Young Professional South West Chef Award and we are delighted to have James Mason, aged 26 years, at The Coach House by Michael Caines as our Head Chef.
James started his career 9 years ago at Exeter College as an apprentice before he started work at Michael Caines, The Abode, Exeter. Following this, James also worked at Royal Hospital Road under Gordon Ramsey giving him more work experience, before going to France. On his return, James worked at Michelin Star Restaurant Tristan before his move to a Senior Sous Chef for the Salutation Inn at Topsham, Exeter.
James’s passion lies with training young and upcoming chefs at the start of their apprenticeships as well as his most recent achievement of three AA Rosettes.
The menus created for The Coach House by Michael Caines have been carefully designed to reflect the seasonality of fresh, local produce and if visiting North Devon it must surely be on your list of places to visit.
Raised in North Devon, Thomas is passionate about the local area and is a great advocate for the fantastic produce available in the area from both land and sea.
Now going into its 5th year of business, Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room gained it’s Michelin star in 2016, with the guide quoting – “A simple, homely restaurant set in a 19C townhouse and run by an experienced local chef. Ultra-fresh seafood is the focus, with dishes only confirmed once the day boat deliveries come in. Cooking is creative, with distinct flavours, and each dish comprises just 4 or 5 complementary ingredients”.
The restaurant itself is an intimate, cosy space with a maximum of 14 covers. The service is relaxed and unpretentious as Thomas believes that the food should be the star of the show.
Having been coined as a “seafood supremo” by Michelin, expect to see a variety of great quality, fantastic tasting fish courses on a trip to The Olive Room.
We look forward to welcoming you.
To find out more information or to book a table, simply Contact Us.
Exmoor Food Fest offer:
2 courses for £20 or 3 courses for £30
Available in February – Wednesday – Saturday lunchtimes and Tuesday – Thursday evenings (excluding the evening of 14/15/16 Feb).
Tel : +44 (0) 1271 867831
Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, 56 Fore Street, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 9DJ
About Thomas Carr
Thomas Carr prides himself on producing food of a consistently high standard, establishing a passionate, dynamic and creative dining/kitchen environment. Always experimenting with ingredients, avours and techniques to push the boundaries of food and exceed the expectations of each customer.
Thomas has always been driven by a fundamental love of cooking and food, always seeking to learn and grow as a chef.
His journey started when he was employed as head chef in 2002 at the Beachcomber Café in Woolacombe, Devon – his hometown. From here Thomas moved to the Watersmeet Hotel, again in Woolacombe, where he was Chef De Partie for 5 years between 2004 and 2009.
In March 2009 Thomas went to work under renowned chef Nathan Outlaw at his Seafood and Grill Restaurant @ The St Enodoc Hotel in Cornwall. Originally taken on by Nathan Outlaw as a Sous chef, Thomas’ potential was quickly noticed and in February 2010 he was appointed as Head Chef at the brand new ‘Restaurant Nathan Outlaw’. Under Thomas the restaurant received two Michelin stars within a year of opening, along with numerous other accolades and awards within the hospitality industry. As well as the day to day running of the restaurant, Thomas also participated in outside events linked to the restaurant and Nathan Outlaw; including a ‘pop up’ restaurant in London and several food festivals/events.
In 2013 Thomas returned to North Devon to take up a role as executive chef at The Coach House, Kentisbury Grange, allowing him another opportunity to work with a renowned chef in Michael Caines MBE. Thomas built a full team from scratch and achieved 2 AA Rosettes within 6 months of opening as well as a full entry into the 2014 Trencherman’s Guide.
In the spring of 2014 Thomas was presented with an opportunity to fulfil a lifetime dream of owning his own restaurant in the harbour town of Ilfracombe, North Devon. The mixture of a bustling, up and coming area and fresh line caught fish delivered to restaurant on an almost daily basis has made for a hugely successful start in business.
And it was at the end of September in 2016, that Thomas received a call so many chefs can only dream of. A call from the Editor of the Michelin Guide, asking him to attend the first ever live presentation of the guide on October 3rd.
Three guest chefs have now been confirmed to join head chef Mike Griffith on 29 January 2019 at the Farmers Arms for the VIP launch of the 2019 Exmoor Food Fest.
James Mason from Kentisbury Grange and Somerset Restaurant of the Year winner Tim Zekki from Duende restaurant in Wiveliscombe will be in charge of a course each at the launch.
Also confirmed is Damien Wager from Edible Art Patisserie Ltd…ambassador, consultant and all out magician with chocolate.
Please contact the Farmers Arms directly if you are interested in attending.
Julia Amies-Green of Fly Monkeys Ltd spent four happy weeks eating, photographing and filming her way across Exmoor during the Exmoor Food Fest 2017. If she had featured every single chef and restaurant taking part in the event, it would have been an evening filling movie. Here are now some highlights – if you are not hungry yet, you will be after watching the video!
A week ago, several award-winning chefs came together in the kitchen of the Luttrell Arms in Dunster to prepare an outstanding seven-course-meal marking the official launch of the 2017 Exmoor Food Fest.
Head chef Barrie Tucker was joined by Paul and Donna Berry (The Swan), Andrew Dixon (The Café at Porlock Weir), Olivier Certain (Clavelshay Barn) and Ellis Pannell (Pyne Arms).
Each course was perfectly matched with exclusive wines by Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, Wine Director at Enotria&Coe, who commented: “Congratulations for putting together such amazing event. It seems that everyone really enjoyed the excellent food and brilliant atmosphere.”
Nigel Way, owner of The Luttrell Arms Hotel, introduced each of the chefs as their courses were being served, said “The Guest Chef Dinner is a celebration of food and drink from across the region. We are happy to support the Exmoor Food Fest which provides a valuable platform for fine dining, and its success brings benefits not only to restaurants here in Dunster but to the economy of Exmoor.”
Elke Winzer said. “The launch of the Exmoor Food Fest 2017 at The Luttrell Arms Hotel was a great success, not least because of the untiring enthusiasm and support by the Luttrell’s team for the festival. They put together a fantastic Guest Chefs Dinner showcasing the talent and high quality local produce on Exmoor and it was a fitting start to the third Exmoor Food Fest.”
WICKED WOLF GIN
ELLIS PANNELL, THE PYNE ARMS, BARNSTAPLE
Plaistow Mill’s smoked trout with fennel toast,Westland Farm pulled pork fritters with sweet and sour apple sauce,Vulscombe goat’s cheese and Exmoor Ale onion chutney
PAUL AND DONNA BERRY, THE SWAN, BAMPTON
‘Breakfast’ Bampton butcher’s smoked streaky bacon, duck, plum and quail Scotch egg, black pudding, tomato and pancetta with haricot beans
OLIVIER CERTAIN, CLAVELSHAY BARN, NORTH PETHERTON
Pan-seared fillet of silver mullet, Jerusalem artichokes, baby gem and poultry reduction
BARRIE TUCKER, PSALTER’S RESTAURANT, AT THE LUTTRELL ARMS HOTEL
Haunch of venison with pickled mushrooms, mushroom purée, charred salsify, salt baked celeriac and chocolate sauce
BARRIE TUCKER, PSALTER’S RESTAURANT AT THE LUTTRELL ARMS HOTEL
‘Egg and Soldiers’
ANDREW DIXON, THE CAFÉ AT PORLOCK WEIR,
Apple mousse, apple jelly, nutty granola,
Somerset cider brandy ice cream, cider syrup
All photos by Clayton Jane.
EXMOOR FOOD FESTIVAL 2017 at The Café at Porlock Weir
Available Friday, Saturday Lunch
Friday, Saturday, Sunday Dinner
2 Course £10.00
3 Course £15.00
Butternut squash soup, parmesan cream, truffle oil
Fish cake, buttered spinach, warm tartar sauce
Beetroot salad, goats cheese, goats curd, baby leaves, confit tomato, onion, aged Balsamic
Steamed steak, kidney & red wine suet pudding, roasted winter vegetables, creamed potatoes
Risotto of wild mushrooms, baked artichokes, wild rocket
Roasted gurnard, braised fennel, charred courgette, Bouillabaisse juices
Coconut rice pudding, mango pureé, lemongrass sorbet
Lemon possett, orange jelly
Cropwell Bishop Stilton
Wookey Hole Cheddar
Vulsombe goats cheese
grapes, celery, chutney, biscuits
PLEASE MENTION EXMOOR FOOOD FESTIVAL WHEN BOOKING
ANY DIETARY REQUIREMENTS, 48 HOURS NOTICE IS REQUIRED
Fancy reading a bit more about Chef Andrew Dixon? Then pop over to the Somerset Cool website.
We are delighted to have teamed up with Tiverton Community Radio! Watch out for regular updates on Exmoor Food Fest events as well as interviews with chefs who take part in the event.
Here is a link to the first interview with Olivier Certain of Clavelshay Barn:
Tiverton Community Radio broadcasts from a sponsored studio at PETROC college serving the Tiverton and surrounding areas. We support and promote local events, charities, local business, education, hobbies and interests, support services, musicians and Devon artists including theatre, writers and poets, heritage and history.
We are proud to bring local food/drink producers and eateries the attention they deserve and cover live events such as Electric Nights Street Food Festival, Exeter Food and Drink Festival, Uffculme show, Tiverton Literary Festival and further afield to the Hay on Wye and How the Light gets in Festivals in Wales. We are passionate about Devon and all that there is to discover.
Not long now until the launch of this year’s Exmoor Food Fest. 7 renowned chefs* will prepare 7 exquisite courses on Thursday, 26 January 2017.
There are only a few tickets left, so if you want to go, better book soon.
*Names to be published later today!