Get ready for the 2023 Exmoor Food Fest

Exciting news: We are starting the countdown to the 2023 Exmoor Food Fest on 12 October with a magnificent six-course-dinner at the beautiful Knowle Manor. The line-up of award-winning chefs is amazing, and we can guarantee that our guests are in for a treat.

If you are on our mailing list you will have first grabs for the limited amount of tickets which will go on sale later in August. Watch out for an email early next week where you can register your interest – we’ll be contacting you on a first come, first serve basis.

At the beginning of next we will reveal the names of all the chefs and what courses they will do to our subscribers. The public announcement here on the website and in the media will follow later. If this isn’t another good reason to be on our mailing list!

Let me tell you that much already: We will be dining at the beautiful Palm House of Knowle Manor, an impressive listed Manor House with extensive landscaped grounds, on the edge of Timberscombe. Set in 120 acres the property offers views across the lakes & trees to the forests and moors beyond. The River Avill quietly meanders through the grounds on its way to the medieval village of Dunster Herons, kingfishers and barn owls are regularly sighted in the grounds.

2023 Exmoor Food Fest: Salt Media becomes Media Partner

We are delighted to be partnering again with Salt Media at the forthcoming 2023 Exmoor Food Fest.

Here is what Nick Cooper, Director of Salt Media, said:

Salt media is a Westcountry-based creative agency. With clever thinking, crisp copy and stunning design we help food, hospitality and membership brands tell their story, so we’re delighted to be partnering with Exmoor Food fest. As well as working for some brilliant clients we have our own portfolio of publishing brands: Food Magazine, The Indy Coffee Guides and the Trencherman’s Guide.

Pop over to their website and check out what they can do for you.

Exmoor Supper Club launches in July

The first Exmoor Supper Club will take place on 15 July 2022 when Anita-Clare Field, Chef/Patron of La Petite Bouchée in Witheridge, Devon, and her team come to cook a five-course Mediterranean feast in Allerford, Somerset.

La Petite Bouchée has been a firm favourite with Exmoor Food Fest diners over the past years, and now the popular restaurant with a zero-waste policy is hosting a pop-up dinner at the recently refurbished Allerford Community Hall which has the most stunning views across Porlock Vale towards Hurlstone Point and the sea. The sunsets tend to be spectacular!

Tickets are limited to 30 diners who will be greeted with a welcome drink at arrival.


The menu:

Welcome Drink

Mezze ( A selection of sharing Tapas plates) 

( Baba Ganoush, Turkish Salad, Hummus with Parsley, Za’atar bread, Pickled cauliflower, Red cabbage salad, Falafel, Pickled Chilli, Tahini Garlic Sauce)  

Amuse

Salads 

Tomato salad ( with cumin and mint ) 

Fattoush Salad  ( with lemon and flatbread croutons ) 

Tabouleh 

Tanoreen Salad ( with pomegranate and walnut) 

Mains

Slow cooked Moroccan – Spiced Lamb on a bed of Jewelled Couscous 

Vegetable Tagine with Jewelled CousCous

( Both dishes served with Garlic sauce and Harissa Sauce and flatbreads ) 

Desserts

Baked Figs with honey and pistachio 

A selection of Baklava 

£70.00 per person.

15 July 2022, Allerford Community Hall, Hare Park, TA24 8HL
7pm for 7.30pm

You will be able to buy drinks from our well-stocked bar.


Here are some images from La Petite Bouchée:

PS: Fancy learning how to cook Bouillabaisse from Anita-Clare Field? Join us for our online cook-along on 21 June 2022.
Find out more here…

Join us at the Exmoor Fair in Allerford

Join us at the first Exmoor Fair at Allerford Village Hall & Grounds!

Sunday, 22 May 2022
10 am till 4pm
Food * Arts * Crafts * Wellness

We’ve been planning a Taste Exmoor event in Porlock Vale for the past 2 years, but Covid thought otherwise. This year we are back – we had to scale down to 1 day (rather than 3), but we’re going to add arts, crafts and wellness into the mix.

There is limited space for tables indoors, but lots of space for marquees on the grounds. 

Looking forward to having you on board!

If you are offering

  • Hot Food
  • Food & drink products
  • Arts
  • Crafts
  • Wellbeing (Yoga etc)

then we’d love to hear from you.

Sign up here or send us an email.

Allerford Village Hall is located off the A39 between Minehead and Porlock on the National Trust Holnicote Estate (TA24 8HL)

The 2022 Exmoor Food Fest has officially ended

Last Saturday, The Farmers Arms in Combe Florey hosted the grand finale of this year’s Exmoor Food Fest: Six chefs prepared six courses which were served with a great wine flight.

Head chef Ben Routley and his team were joined by Chris Chatfield (Complete Events) and Chris Gillard (Dart Fresh). Miguel Tenreiro from the Porlock Weir Hotel prepared the last course, but wasn’t able to attend due to Covid.

Guests were greeted with a drink on arrival sponsored by Exmoor Distillery – the choice was a range of gins, rum or vodka over ice.

And here is the menu:

Asian Infused Pork Belly Canapé
By the team of the Farmers Arms

Beech-Ridge Duck Breast
Confit Leg, Yeast Crumb, Roscoff Onion, Beetroot & Game Jus
By Chris Chatfield

Fillet of Fresh Trout
Crispy Pork Skin, Sautéed King Oyster Mushroom, Textures of Cauliflower & Herb Oil
By Chris Gillard

Josper Seared Early Spring Lamb
Potato & Celeriac Gratin, Kalettes & Red Current Jus
By the team of the Farmers Arms

Braised Octopus Tentacle Ballotine
Lobster Mac & Cheese, Exmoor Caviar & Red Pepper Coulis
By Miguel Tenreiro

Glazed White Chocolate Mousse
Honey Comb, Chocolate Soil & Winter Berries Compote
By the team of the Farmers Arms

A huge THANKYOU to our fabulous hosts, the chefs and their teams, and of course all the amazing guests without whom the evening would not have happened.

All photos by Gareth Davies Media

Michelin Stars announced today

Two Exmoor restaurants have been named in today’s announcement by Michelin Guide to have retained their stars.

Congratulations are in order to Mark Dodson and his team, amongst them Olivier Certain, at the Masons Arms in Knowstone who held their star yet again – 17 years, and not out!

(Photo by Andy Francis)

MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View

Husband and wife Mark and Sarah Dodson run this pretty thatched pub in a secluded little village. It was built in the 13C by the masons who constructed the nearby church and exudes plenty of rural charm. Have a drink in the cosy beamed bar or lounge then dine beneath a Grecian ceiling mural in the bright rear dining room, where the views over Exmoor’s rolling hills are fantastic.
The food is more sophisticated than you’d expect to find in a pub, with a concise seasonal menu of attractively presented dishes firmly rooted in British and French classics. Cooking is refined and flavours are pronounced and assured; Mark has plenty of experience and employs the finest local produce to full effect. Service is charming and attentive and a perfect match for the food.


Congratulations are also in order to Thomas Carr who retained his star at 1837 in Ilfracombe.

MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View

Thomas Carr is a skilful and experienced chef who understands his guests and the area well. Local fish is his forte and he serves it in a multitude of different ways, carefully selecting the accompaniments to enhance rather than dominate the star ingredient of each dish. The well-judged, perfectly balanced menu reflects both the region and the seasons: you might find mackerel, monkfish or bass alongside juicy Creedy Carver duck, with some playful desserts to follow.
The building, in the heart of town, was formerly a police station, and the restaurant’s name is a nod to the year it was constructed. Dark colours and an impressively high ceiling set the tone and the exposed stone walls are hung with seafood prints; there’s also a sweet little anteroom. Endearing service completes the picture.

Tickets are now available for ExFF22 ‘Closing Ceremony’

Well, it's actually more of another outstanding Tasting Dinner - six chefs will be serving up six courses at the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey on Saturday, 26 February.
There are only 50 Tickets available. And they are selling fast.
Menu plus wine flight: £70.00 pp

To book, call the Farmers Arms on 01823 432267 or send an email to farmersarmschef@yahoo.com or info@farmersarms.net

Meet the Chef: Jade Shorney, The Rising Sun

When did you become a chef and why?

I started my Journey in kitchens when I was 15/16 during School work experience. I was asked what I wanted to do and my Brother said you can come to work with me so I did and have never looked back. I became a chef because it is something I have always been interested in doing. My Nan was a chef and made these beautiful wedding cakes with delicate flowers and my Big Brother is a chef so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. 

Have you always been passionate about cooking?

I have always been in the kitchen Baking with Family/Friends from a very young age. It’s always been something I’ve been interested in from the exact science of baking to creating new dishes and flavour pairings.

What keeps you passionate about cooking?

To be passionate about cooking you have to have a good teacher and respect for the ingredients. I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher. One of my old head chefs in the 2 years we worked together  taught me how to become not just a leader but a chef.

But also you as a chef have to remember every day is a school day because we are constantly learning and the food trends, diets and so on are constantly changing so it keeps you on your toes.  

When did you start at The Rising Sun?

Well… The Sun is under new management so I  have really only worked there since September 1st. I worked at the Sun Pre Covid for almost 3 years. I was Gutted to have to leave. It really is a special little Village. I knew I had to go back and finish what I started so I did. 

Do you have a particular style of cooking?

My style of cooking is very much taking Local and Seasonal Produce and letting the ingredients sing. Try no to fuss around too much with foams , plates full of purees and so on because at times they shy away from the ingredients. We use a lot of varied techniques but we stick to traditional ways of cooking in order to benefit the ingredients we use.

Do you have a favourite dish at The Rising Sun and why?

 I couldn’t pick a Favourite dish as I love coming up with new ideas and dishes. If I was to hold on to one dish I’d get bored and start thinking of ways I can make it even better. 

What one ingredient couldn’t you live without?

Salt – what good would any other ingredients be without Salt to Season them.

Do you have any exciting future plans?

We hope to purchase a second pub in 2022 and I would then become the Head chef of Two kitchens overseeing and building both the brand, cuisine and standards.

Are you looking forward to Exmoor Food Fest?

I Have been involved in the Exmoor Food Festival for a few years now and it’s great to be back but for some of the Team it is new to them and we are excited to be entering this year.

Something we are hugely proud of at The Rising Sun is Our All Female Kitchen Team , with only 17% of UK chefs being Female. 

I Couldn’t be more proud of my Team. They are Amazing and such hard working, we get along like Family.  

Download the ExFF22 menu here

West Bagborough
Taunton 
Somerset, TA4 3EF

Website: www.therisingsunwestbagborough.com
Phone Number: 01823 432 575
Email Address: michelle@melburypubs.com

Meet the Chefs: Arek & Dainis from the White House, Williton

  • When did you become a chef and why?

Arek-  I have been involved in cooking since early childhood, helping my mum and dad and learning my first tastes from them. After finishing secondary school I started my professional education at chefs college, rest is history 😊

Dainis- I became a chef 19 years ago as a new challenge for myself.

  • Have you always been passionate about cooking?

A – To this day I enjoy cooking, creating new dishes and seeing happiness on my customer faces when they taste the food, I think this is what keeps me going and motivates me.

D – Yes

  • What keeps you passionate about cooking?

D –  I love keeping people happy and exceeding expectations with food they eat

  • When did you start at The White House?

A – I’m with the Withe House Hotel for over a year now, enjoying every minute . I have joined my friends here and we are are all passionate about great food and customer service, it’s great when we inspire and motivate each other.

D – We took over the business as a B&B in 2019. We renovated the restaurant and opened to the public in November 2019. 

  • Do you have a particular style of cooking?

A – I wouldn’t say that I have a particular cooking style, I love food from around the world and trying new things

  • Do you have a favourite dish at The White House and why?

Both – We don’t have a favourite dish. We change the menu often and we create each dish with passion and care. It would be like choosing a favourite child.

  • What one ingredient couldn’t you live without?

Arek – Butter

Dainis – Meat

  • Do you have any exciting future plans?

Both – Yes, to extend our restaurant, open the garden to public and do BBQ weekends

  • Are you looking forward to the Exmoor Food Fest?

Both – Yes very much so. It’s always great to hear feedback about your dishes, we are constantly trying to improve the customer experience. Also, it’s great to see what trends and ideas are presented by the competition.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

We look forward to seeing you at The White House!

The White House
11 Long Street 
Williton
TA4 4QW
Tel.: 01984632306

www.whitehousewilliton.co.uk
info@whitehousewilliton.co.uk

Arek
Dainis

Meet the Chef: Ben Routley, Farmers Arms

When did you become a chef & Why?

In 2011 I Entered my first kitchen as the quiet little pot wash trying to earn a little bit of pocket money. A couple weeks later I realised what I thought was going to be just a weekend job changed a thought in my head and I realised this fast paced, crazy & fascinating industry was definitely for me! Soon ditched the dishes and headed for the main kitchen.

Have you always been passionate about cooking?

I’ve always had a flair with food from digging half my parents garden up to make a vegetable patch to going out beating & using the freshly shot duck, pheasant & partridges to cook meals at home. Ive always enjoyed experimenting and putting ingredients together that shouldn’t work together but do!

What keeps you passionate about cooking?

It’s got to be hearing and seeing customers enjoy what’s produced for them. 

The “wow” you hear through the kitchen door as the dishes arrive at the table.

But also the amazing availability of our produce raised so close to us from long horned beef to freshly caught lobsters.

When did you start at the Farmers Arms at Combe Florey?

February 2020! Not the best time to try & turn a restaurant completely around with the Covid just kicking off and us soon getting locked down. But we pushed through staying open for takeaways. Which soon got the customers flooding into our outdoor thatched area wanting to try our new menu & freshly made pizzas.

Do you have a particular style of cooking?

Less is more. I don’t really have a style. I enjoy creating dishes from locally shot game to Asian Ramen noodles & everything in between. Everything comes with a little twist of course !

Do you have a favourite dish at the farmers and why?

I do have a couple of personal favourites I like to suggest to people. On the starters it’s got to be the hand picked Brixham crab & brown shrimp served with a runny truffle confit egg yolk & homemade focaccia. On the Mains its got to be the Josper seared backstrap of venison, hand-made sweet potato gnocchi, charred fennel & rich Port jus!

What one ingredient couldn’t you live without?

The obvious answer would be salt & pepper as that can lift & change a dish instantly but would be garlic for me I think. 

Do you have any exciting future plans?

We are hosting an event to celebrate the closing of the Exmoor Food Fest.

We have a few things up our sleeve for this year but its hush hush at the moment. 

Definitely the spring as I’m a huge spring lamb fan. 

Are you looking forward to the Exmoor Food Fest?

100% it’s a great way to prise people out of their homes & to keep supporting businesses throughout the cold winter months 

Is there is anything else you would like to add?

As mentioned we will be hosting the closing event to celebrate this great month of Fantastic pub / restaurants.

If you wish to see more of our food & the pub you can follow me personally on instagram @VW_CHEF96 or the pub itself @farmersarmscombeflorey