Date for the Diary: Dunster Food Festival 27&28 Feb 2016

This is the grand final of the Exmoor Food Fest 2016:

We will be taking over the whole of Dunster, with local producers, street food traders, crafters and artists in various locations such as the Tithe Barn, the Yarn Market, Memorial Hall and Dunster Castle.

There will also be cooking demonstrations and much, much more…

Are you a producer or an artist? Do own a local business? Would you like to take part? Then get in touch:

The Exmoor Food Fest is sponsored by
Print

 

From Field to Fork….  The Minehead Farmers’ Market

Photo by James A. Fenwick

Every Friday, from 8.30am till 2pm, the busy Parade in Minehead is transformed: Purple and yellow tents take over the top part of the town, and shoppers with baskets filled to the brim with fresh bread, eggs, cake and vegetables walk where cars usually speed along.

The Minehead Farmers Market moved into the Avenue nearly 10 years ago.  Between 16 and 19 traders bring their fares to Minehead for 50 weeks a year. Whether it is gluten free cakes, sourdough products, chocolates, fish, cheese, preserves, beef, pork, venison or even plants, visitors will find a plethora of homemade or homegrown products to fill their larder. 

Shelley Kift, who has been attending Minehead Farmers Market since 2006 with her business “Out Over Catering”, took over as market chairman in 2011.

“We run our own farm at Blackmore Gate on Exmoor and only use home bred pork and beef from neighbouring local farms,” explains Shelley who now coordinates all the market traders. The trained chef sources all ingredients as locally as possible, and all products are made from scratch, including the pastry. 

“The Minehead Farmers Market has been going from strength to strength,” said Shelley while serving another customer with cheese scones and chocolate cake. “In 2014 we won the Taste of the West Silver Award. We are still waiting for the 2015 results…”

Cheryl Arvidson from Greenmeadow Poultry in the Quantocks regularly brings free-range hen, duck and quail eggs to the market in Minehead.  Those interested in having their own chicken, can book courses in poultry keeping for all levels with the Cheryl who has a further education teaching certificate.

Another stall to look out for is Plowright Organic and their home grown, organic vegetables, freshly hewn each week from the sandy Somerset soils at the foothills of the Quantocks.  “It isn’t a big money maker for us,” says Richard Plowright who runs the farm, “the customers are the reason we go there as they’re so appreciative of our produce.”

Carrots and Milya potatoes are the biggest sellers which keep the customers coming back for more. Customers also enjoy the experience of looking through the vegetables, connecting with the growing seasons and sharing recipe ideas, as well as having a chat with Joel who runs the stall.

On 20 September 2015, many of the regular Minehead Farmers Market traders will take part in the Minehead Food and Families Day around The Beach Hotel, which launches a range of “Taste of Exmoor” events leading up to the 2016 Exmoor Food Fest.  Participating restaurants across Exmoor will again be offering 2 courses for £10.00 during February.  For more information, please go to www.tasteofexmoor.com .

Credit:  All photos by James A Fenwick

(Note: This text was first published in the September issue of Somerset Life)

The Exmoor Food Fest is about to start!

Celebrating local food and venues across the region

The first Exmoor Food Fest will come to Exmoor in February 2015, celebrating everything Exmoor has to offer.

For a whole month, outstanding restaurants across the region will be offering 2 courses for £10.00 and 3 courses for £15.00 to give locals and visitors alike the opportunity to sample dishes prepared with excellent local produce.

Customers will be able to pick up vouchers for the Exmoor Food Fest “Tenner Deal” at participating restaurants or download them online.  As an extra incentive to visit as many of the restaurants as possible, customers will receive a passport which will be stamped every time they order an “Exmoor Food Fest Deal”.  Once the passport is full it will be entered into a draw for a Taste of Exmoor hamper.

The Exmoor Food Fest will be launched on 28 January 2015 at The Combe, a training restaurant based at the Skills and Enterprise Centre in the grounds of West Somerset College Minehead. Local chefs Mark Dodson (Masons Arms Knowstone), Thomas Carr (The Olive Room, Ilfracombe), Andrew Dixon (The Cafe Porlock Weir) and former student Richard Boggie (now Chef de Partie at Bath Priory) will be cooking a five-course-menu with the hospitality students for invited guests.

The grand finale of the Exmoor Food Fest is taking place at Minehead Harbour on 28 February in conjunction with the first Family Angling Day.  Street Food Traders will give the harbour a village feel, inviting people to stroll around the harbour, watch the anglers and taste delicious food. A local produce and craft fair will take place at The Beach Hotel in Minehead where chefs like Mark Dodson will do cooking demonstrations throughout the day. Other venues along the seafront will also join in the celebration. Street artists and entertainment complete the recipe for a great family day out.

Andrew Dixon, owner and Chef at The Café at Porlock Weir, came up with the idea of the Exmoor Food Fest to promote the many outstanding food venues across the region.

“Exmoor has so much to offer, but February tends to be a very quiet time for us. The ‘Tenner Deal’ is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase what we can do while making it affordable for our customers,” explained Andrew. 

Kentisbury Grange is one of the Devon-based venues taking part in the Exmoor Food Fest, where renowned Chef Michael Caines MBE has recently become involved.

“We are delighted to join this promotion of local food and Exmoor as a region,” commented Peter Farquhar, General Manager. “Michael’s involvement is very exciting as it will enable us to move to a whole new level in all aspects of our hospitality offering.’

The Exmoor Food Fest is organised and run by Exmoor4all, an internet platform based on sharing photos and stories of Exmoor with people all over the world as well as providing a network for local businesses.  Andrew Dixon, who now is also a tutor at The Combe, and Werner Hartholt, the Combe’s Chef Lecturer, are co-organisers and technical consultants for the Exmoor Food Fest.

A total of 15 restaurants will take part in the first Exmoor Food Fest. A list is available on  www.exmoorfoodfest.com, complete with contact details and days when the special Exmoor Food Fest deal is available.

For further information for traders and media enquiries, please contact Elke Winzer on 0788 1504863 or by email elke@cultureline.co.uk.

*** PLEASE CONTACT THE RESTAURANTS DIRECTLY TO BOOK A TABLE.  CONTACT DETAILS CAN BE FOUND ON OUR RESTAURANT PAGE. ***