Chef and Patron Andrew Dixon talks to Tiverton Community Radio about his journey so far and why a Newcastle lad fell in love with Exmoor. He talks sustainable fishing and the Porlock Oyster Project producing GRADE A right on the sea bed which his restaurant with rooms overlooks out onto. Exmoor doesn’t get better than this. Andrew was also caught teaching some Petroc students in Tiverton the art of shucking oysters. It’s all good stuff!
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.
Tonight, award winning chefs from Exmoor will be serving up a seven course meal at the Luttrell Arms in Dunster to officially launch the 2017 Exmoor Food Fest. Olivier Certain (Clavelshay Barn), Paul and Donna Berry (The Swan), Andrew Dixon (The Cafe at Porlock Weir) and Ellis Pannell (Pyne Arms) are joining Head Chef Barrie Tucker in the kitchen for a truly outstanding menu.
From 1 February, many restaurants across the region will be offering a special Food Fest deal: customers will be able to dine out for as little as £10 for two courses, even at Michelin starred and multi-Rosette restaurants.
Have a look at our map to see all the restaurants signed up so far!
Clavelshay Barn are proud to announce a new venture – the Clavelshay Barn Cookery School run by award winning professional chefs Olivier Certain and Andrew Dixon.
This full day course will immerse you into what it takes to expertly select and prepare fish and seafood at home. Knowing the essential cooking methods and flavour profiles for fresh and fish, as well as shellfish, will help you produce appetisers, soups, and entrees.
Start Date : Tuesday 15 March 2016
Course : Fish & Shellfish
Cost : £125 per person (includes lunch and wine)
Olivier first met Andrew when they worked together in a hotel in Ashford, Kent. Andrew moved to Somerset to start Andrews on the Weir and Olivier joined him at Porlock Weir as his sous chef, where they achieved great success together for 5 years. They are delighted to be working together again to run the cookery school.
Marseille-born Olivier moved to England in 1998 following his Michelin star training in La Bonne Etape, Chateau Arnoux and Hotel Les Roches in Le Lavandou, France. In 2001 he joined Andrew Dixon at Andrews on the Weir, Porlock Weir and together they achieved 3 AA rosettes with outstanding food.
Olivier was Head Chef at Woods in Dulverton for 6 years where he achieved 2 rosettes and the accolade of Somerset Dining Pub of the Year 2008, 2010 and 2011. In 2009 in reached the finals of the South West Chef of the Year competition.
Olivier is now creating stunning dishes with French flair at Clavelshay Barn in North Petherton. His style of cooking is typical classic French but after living in England for over 18 years, he has learnt English dishes to an extremely high standard.
After training in some of the UK’s best restaurants and country house hotels, Andrew and his wife Sarah fulfilled a dream of running their own restaurant, and bought a beautiful old Manor House bed and breakfast at Porlock Weir, which opened as Andrews on the Weir.
After only 10 months of opening and at a very early stage of renovating the building, Andrews On The Weir was catapulted into the top ten percent of restaurants in the British Isles by gaining the 3 AA rosettes for food and gaining 4 out of 5 stars for accommodation. Andrew held the prestigious 3 AA rosettes rating for a further 9 years, five of those years he worked closely with Clavelshay Barn’s very own Olivier Certain.
In 2011 Andrew and Sarah changed direction of the restaurant and rebranded to The Cafe Porlock Weir to offer a less informal style of dining but offering the same quality food, and using the same quality of ingredients by sourcing the very best Exmoor and the West Country has to offer.
Andrew’s ethos about food has not waned at all and he still strives to offer some of the best food the region has to offer in the beautiful setting of the tiny waterside village of Porlock Weir.
In November of 2015 Andrew was recognised for his dedication to his craft and was awarded Best Somerset Restaurant Dining Experience at the Somerset Life Food awards.
Lunch: Fridays & Saturdays
Dinner: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
In November 1999, Andrew and his wife Sarah started Andrew’s on the Weir in Porlock Weir. In August 2000 they were awarded 4 star rating by the AA and RAC for the accommodation and 3 AA Rosettes for the food. This award catapulted Andrew’s on the Weir into the top ten pecent of restaurants in the entire British Isles. Later that year they were entered into the Good Food Guide with a rating of 6 stars out of 10, along with entries into the Michelin guide book.
Andrew and his team held the ratings until they decided to rebrand as The Cafe at Porlock Weir in July 2011.
“We decided to change direction due to the state of the economic climate and we also felt it was time for a change, but wanted to continue our business at Porlock Weir at the same time.”
Andrew has worked at some of the finest country house hotels, such as:
Gongham Hall – Kings Lynn, Norfolk (2 Rosette County House Hotel)
The Crown Hotel – Exford, Somerset (3 Star Hotel, 3 AA Rosettes)
Homewood Park Hotel – Hinton Charterhouse, near Bath (3 Star Country House Hotel, 3 AA Rosettes)
Gravetye Manor – East Grinstead, West Sussex (4 Star, Red Star, 3 AA Rosettes, Relais & Chateaux)
The Village Bistro – Gorey, Jersey CI (Michelin Star)
Longueville Manor Hotel – St Saviour, Jersey CI (5 Star Hotel, 3 AA Rosettes, Michelin Star, Relais & Chateaux listed)
Today is the first day when the Exmoor Food Fest deal is available at a number of restaurants across the Exmoor region:
The Cafe Porlock Weir
Porlock Weir Exmoor
Somerset TA24 8PB
Tel. 01643 863 300
Facebook: The Cafe at Porlock Weir
The Old Ship Aground
Minehead TA24 5HL
Tel . 01643 703516
Both be serving 2 courses for £10 and 3 courses for £15 today.
Give them a call and book your table, quoting the Exmoor Food Fest!