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!
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.
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)
The Exmoor Food Fest was launched with great success on Wednesday, 28 January, at The Combe, the training restaurant at the Skills & Enterprise Centre (West Somerset College, Minehead) when Michelin star chefs Mark Dodson, Thomas Carr , Andrew Dixon and Richard Boggie cooked an amazing five course dinner with the Combe’s hospitality students for invited guests.
Richard Boggie was in charge of the Amuse Bouche , Mackerel ceviche, wasabi and Exmoor Caviar, which set the tone for an amazing feast. The former Combe student who left the College two years ago, is now Chef de Partie at the renowned Bath Priory.
Mark Dodson, whose restaurant Masons Arms in Knowstone holds one Michelin star, followed with a starter of tuna on Chinese cabbage. Thomas Carr,former headchef at Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant and now owner of The Olive Room in Ilfracombe, followed with Exmoor rump of beef, tongue and Jacobs ladder pie, herb dumpling, ginger carrot and, for the vegetarian guests, truffle and potato terrine, crispy free range hens egg and pickled mushroom dressing .
Guests were then treated to a pre-dessert by Richard Boggie, set Tonka bean cream, apple caramel and cider, followed by Andrew Dixon’s (The Cafe at Porlock Weir) apple tart tatin .
“Great students, great food, great evening”, commented Mark Dodson on Twitter.
Hollie Borland, reporter for the Somerset County Gazette tweeted “What an amazing evening put on @The_Combe_Mhead by #WestSomCol students too for the #ExmoorFoodFest launch #poshnosh”.
Martin Hesp, editor-at-large for the Western Morning News, tweeted “Been to amazing launch of #ExmoorFoodFest tonight – thanks students of #WestSomersetCollege and chef tutors.” This was seconded by Somerset Life editor Charlotte Skidmore who also tweeted “What amazing food at the launch of #ExmoorFoodFest”.
It was a brilliant experience for the hospitality students who all enjoyed working with these top chefs. One student tweeted to the chefs “Thank you for tonight in the kitchen. Amazing experience in there to watch what you all do!”
The Masons Arms, The Olive Room , The Cafe at Porlock Weir and The Combe all take part in the Exmoor Food Fest during February, offering the deal of 2 courses for £10.00/ 3 courses for £15.00. Please check on their pages on what days this offer is available.
Here are some impressions from the night:
First of all – the chefs!