Clavelshay Barn joins the Exmoor Food Fest

Clavelshay Barn Restaurant near Taunton/Bridgwater is one of the establishments taking part. Co-owner, Sue Milverton, said: “We’re delighted once again this year to be participating in the 2017 Exmoor Food Fest from February 1 until 28.

 “It’s all about showcasing the very best our region has to offer. It is a celebration of all local produce and local talent, the very things we’re devoted to here at Clavelshay.”

Clavelshay Barn will be running special menus as part of Exmoor Food Fest on Wednesday and Thursday evenings during February with two courses priced £10 and three courses £15.

The award-winning business, which at the end of last year was crowned as the Westcountry’s top restaurant in the Taste of the West Awards and named the region’s ‘No. 1 Place to Go’, also has accolades from the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Awards, run by Services for Tourism, for being the Restaurant of the Year and having the very highest standards in customer service.

Sue, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Bill, said: “We won seven awards in 2016 including the Taste of the West South West Restaurant of the Year and being named their No 1 Place to Go.

“We also won Silver in the Bristol Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards – Restaurant of the Year category and won Gold in the Unsung Hero for Customer Service. These were a direct result of all the effort everyone on the team puts in on a daily basis here. We also owe a great deal to our wonderful diners who give us lots of support and encouragement.

“We pride ourselves on serving up the very best in customer service, use only the highest quality local, seasonal ingredients and have developed a stunning menu thanks to our incredible French head chef, Olivier Certain, who has a flair for creating some of the most fabulous food I have ever tasted. 

“Olivier creates stunning dishes with French flair. His style of cooking is classical French but after living in England for more than 18 years, he has learnt English dishes to an extremely high standard and knows exactly what our diners like to eat.”

The restaurant is in a lovingly restored and converted 18th century stone barn at the foot of the picturesque Quantock Hills at Lower Clavelshay Farm near North Petherton.

The restaurant is set on a family-run farm that produces its own milk, beef, pork, lamb and eggs, which all feature in its top quality and tasty dishes.

Sue added: “At Clavelshay, we also strive to use as much produce as possible from the farm and the surrounding countryside. We use our own pork, rose veal, wild rabbit, pigeon, pheasant and our own farm-reared beef on the menu.

“We have a walled garden where we grow salad leaves, herbs, soft fruit and vegetables. If it is not possible to use our own produce, we only use local suppliers who can provide us with quality local produce, which is fully traceable.” 

Also in 2016, Sue and the team won a top accolade for the best micro business in the Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards.

Olivier will also be cooking at a special launch dinner for the 2017 festival at the Luttrell Arms in Dunster on January 26 He will be one of five award-winning chefs joining the Luttrell’s Head Chef, Barrie Tucker to cook seven courses.

 

Exmoor Food Fest to launch at The Castle in Taunton

Award winning chefs from the region are joining The Castle’s head chef on 28 January in Taunton to prepare a mouthwatering Taste of Exmoor menu.  Tickets are limited, so early booking is very advisable:

Canapés & Fizz
Hospitality Students
(The Combe, West Somerset College, Minehead)

Starter
Olivier Certain (Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton)

Slow Roasted Belly of Little Oak Farm Pork, Black Pudding & Quail Scotch Egg, Apple and Cider

Fish Course
Mark Dodson (Mason Arms, Knowstone)

Pan Fried Scallop with a Thai Style Salad, Rice Wine Dressing

Main Course
The Castle Hotel, Taunton

Roast Exmoor Venison Loin, Faggot, Red Cabbage,
Jerusalem Artichoke and Wild Mushrooms

 Dessert
Paul & Donna Berry (The Swan, Bampton)

Lemon Cheesecake with Exmoor Wolf Gin, Tonic and Thyme Sorbet

Petit Fours and Breads
The Castle Hotel

Four course dinner:  £75.00 per person
(including a glass of fizz & 2 glasses of wine)

BOOK NOW

Award winning Exmoor-based chefs are joining The Castle’s head chef Liam Finnegan to cook up a Taste of Exmoor menu as the launch of the 2016 Exmoor Food Fest which takes place all over Exmoor in February.

The menu showcases the best the region has to offer. It is a celebration of local produce and local talent.

Elke Winzer, who is organising the Exmoor Food Fest as part of Exmoor4all, is delighted that so many outstanding chefs are bringing the best of Exmoor to Taunton.

“The launch at the renown Castle in Taunton brings some of the amazing Exmoor chefs together who all take part in the Exmoor Food Fest which takes place all over Exmoor in February.  It is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the high standard of Exmoor restaurants some of which are hidden gems,” explained Elke.

Liam Finnegan commented: “We are excited to host the launch of the Exmoor Food Fest. It is a great opportunity for us chefs to work together and create a stunning menu.”

Award winning chefs Mark Dodson, Paul and Donna Berry and Olivier Certain  are joined by the hospitality students of the West Somerset College training restaurant The Combe in Minehead. The students will prepare the selection of canapés which will open then night’s food celebration with a glass of fizz.

The Chefs:

Mark Dodson

Mark and his wife Sarah took over the The Mason Arms in Knowstone in June 2005. In July 2006, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star which they still hold. Since then, Mark and his team have gone from strength to strength, receiving many awards and accolades, including Michelin Pub of the Year 2010.

Prior to moving to Exmoor, Mark spent twelve years as Head Chef of Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn in Bray.

Paul and Donna Berry

There aren’t many awards Paul and Donna haven’t won for their historic pub “The Swan” in Bampton.  Best Trencherman’s Pub of the Year 2016, Visit Devon Pub of the Year Gold Award, and AA Gold Star Award are amongst the most recent accolades, recognising Paul’s and Donna’s passion for food and the use of local, seasonal produce.

Liam Finnegan

Liam Finnegan, who has been head chef at The Castle Hotel in Taunton for three years, grew up in Carlingford, Co Louth in Ireland from where he still sources their famous oysters. However, whenever possible, he uses local suppliers.

Liam’s career path took him through some fantastic restaurants such as The George Hotel on the Isle of White, The Bath Priory and Gidleigh Park where he worked for Micheal Cains, and The Nuremore Hotel (Ray McArdle). When asked about awards Liam counters that a full restaurant and happy customers are more important. “Of course accolades are brilliant, but anything we get, we receive and share as a team.”

Olivier Certain

Marseille-born Olivier moved to Somerset in 1998 following his Michelin star training in La Bonne Etape Chateau Arnoux and Les Roches in Le Lavandou.  In 2006 he joined Woods in Dulverton as head chef 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 now heads the kitchen at Clavelshay Barn in North Petherton.

The Students

The Year 13 hospitality students from train at West Somerset College, Minehead under Chef Lecturers Paul Ruttledge (a former British Master Chef) and Werner Hartholt.