Festival Advocate - Mitch Tonks: The Seahorse and RockFish Mitch Tonks, voted Tatler's restaurateur of the year, and labelled by The Independent as "a fishmonger for the 21st Century" has been driven by an honest passion to enthuse, cook for and inspire others to enjoy seafood. His list of awards and recognitions is testament to Mitch's hard work and inspiration; 'Best Fishmonger', 'Best London seafood restaurant', 'Best fish book in the World Gourmand Awards', nominated as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, listed as one of the top 100 most influential foodies by Hotel and Caterer are just a selection. A favourite on BBC Saturday Kitchen and UKTV's Market Kitchen, Mitch's good humour and constant relish for good food and the good life tend to be infectious. Renowned for his radical career change in a switch from accountancy to fishmongering, the self taught chef and fishmonger grew his first fishmongers in Bath into a chain of 13 restaurants and fishmongers including a top end wholesale fish business supplying many of the country's leading hotels and private households. The FishWorks chain of restaurants received a huge amount of positive press comment and was recognized with many awards and accolades. The company was floated in 2005. Mitch pursues his passion for the sea and all things fishy with considerable success and a certain amount of gusto! He is respected as both a credible voice and passionate supporter of the fishing industry in the UK and lives in Brixham, Britain's largest working fishing port where he is heavily involved with the local fishing community. He worked as a consultant for 5 years for the UK's largest seafood business, Young's, in different areas of their business including sustainability and product development. Mitch is also consultant chef at the stylish boutique hotel and restaurant South Sands in Salcombe, works with Youngs Seafood and has been appointed UK ambassador for Norwegian Seafood. He has written 5 cookery books, the latest, Fish Easy was published by Pavilion, April this year.
Festival Head Chef - Serin Aubrey: Smith Street Deli, Dartmouth Previously owner and head chef at renowned Dartmouth restaurant, Anzac Street Bistro, Serin now works with friend and fellow Festival stalwart, Simon Entwistle, at the Smith Street Deli in Dartmouth. Previously a chef in Sir Terence Conran's flagship London restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour, Serin escaped the rat race to move down to Dartmouth and be closer to the family farm at Blackawton. As Executive Chef, Serin oversees all event catering throughout the festival.
Festival Chairman - David Jones. As well as being the steady hand at the helm of the Food Festival Supertanker, David runs the Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear. His main expertise lies in the field of bread and yeasted bakery but since most people have better things to do with their time than watch dough rise, his demonstrations will focus eleswhere. As yet we are unaware of his intentions as, to paraphrase his own words, he's the Chairman and he'll cook what he damn well likes. He is very much looking forward to his Sunday morning demo with the Kingswear Landladies in the Flavel since by then the Festival has either been a great success or an abject failure and nothing he can do now will change it either way; so he may as well relax and enjoy himself.
Jane Baxter: Jane has served the most remarkable apprenticeship having worked with Joyce Molyneaux at the Carved Angel, worked at the River Cafe and been head chef at Riverford Field Kitchen. She is currently writing a book with Henry Dimbleby of the Leon Restaurant chain and runs her own business www.baxters-moveablefeasts.com. At Dartmouth this year, Jane will host a not-to-be missed tasting of Umbrian Food with food writer Christine Smallwood at 2pm on Saturday 27th October in the Flavel.
Mark Puckey, Padstow Seafood School. Mark is the long term head chef at Padstow Seafood School and will share some of experiences as he demonstrates some wonderful fish cooking techniques..
Simon Hulstone: Head Chef, The Elephant Simon’s culinary career started early in his life. By his early teens he already had several World Junior titles to his name and he has been adding to the list ever since, with a myriad of awards, including the Roux scholarship for young chefs in 2003 and the National Chef of the Year award in 2008. Before moving to Torquay, Simon had been perfecting his culinary technique working for highly regarded, Michelin starred restaurants throughout Europe where he was mentored by some of the world’s most respected chefs. Since becoming head chef at The Elephant, Simon has brought his extensive influence of traditional and world cuisine to Torbay, putting the English Riviera on the culinary map. The Elephant was awarded a Michelin star in 2006 which it maintains today. Simon became a Roux Scholar in 2003. He represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most challenging and prestigious culinary contest, for the second time in 2011. He is captain of the British team in the Culinary Olympics and was also captain of the English Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010. Simon is the only British chef to win gold at the World Chef Championship in France. In August 2011, Simon won the British Airways’ Great Britons competition and worked with Heston Blumenthal to create a menu for British Airways passengers. He is married to Katy, with three young daughters, Tansy, Cicely and Betony Melisse. He shares a love of his adopted Devon and its produce and regularly takes part in demonstrations at local colleges and food events.
Tom Woods: Head Chef, Dart Marina Born and bred in Devon, Tom Woods is Head Chef at Dart Marina Hotel & Spa in Dartmouth. Tom’s career has included many years of fine dining and banqueting and his knowledge of Devon producers, farmers, fishermen and dairies has been built up over many years of living (and fishing!) amongst them! Tom explains: “Devon is my home and I have been fortunate to grow up and work amongst beautiful landscape almost surrounded by the sea. I’ve lived in Salcombe for over 15 years and have made some great friends amongst local producers so I write my menus with landscape, the sea and great producers in mind. As Head Chef I’m continually looking for that extra spark of enthusiasm in young chefs – and I instil in them a love of local – it’s the way forward as far as I’m concerned and it’s at the heart of my daily life and work. I’ve just worked with Salcombe Dairy on a new recipe for Tregothnan Honey Iced Yoghurt and this is typical of the food culture within this area. The Food Festival is certain to be a success; we are hosting a really special event at Dart Marina and tickets are like gold dust. I think that says a lot about the enthusiasm there is, so get your appetites ready.
Matt Buzzo: Owner/Head Chef, Waterside Bistro and New Walk Restaurant & Café Bar, Totnes will be cooking up a storm again this year at Dartmouth Food Festival on Friday 26th October. Matt is known for his inspired menus and cuisine using quality, fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. He is justly proud of his growing reputation for serving up good food at a great price at both of his restaurants on The Plains by the River Dart. In celebration of Dartmouth Food Festival’s 10th Anniversary and this year’s festival theme of Great British Food, Matt will be demonstrating some of his tasty and warming signature dishes for the autumn, adapted for easy cooking at home. Matt grew up in the South Hams and trained as a chef both locally and in London where he met his French wife, Delphine. Their careers in hospitality began in the South Hams and Loire Valley, France, respectively, and the couple moved back to Totnes and opened Waterside Bistro over eight years ago and New Walk in 2011. Both restaurants are recognised as Rising Stars in the 2012/13 Trencherman’s Guide, have Les Routiers awards and are members of Food & Drink Devon and Taste of the West. http://www.newwalkbrasserie.com/ http://www.watersidebistro.com/
Philip Watts Philip has lived and worked as a chef in Dartmouth since 1980 and was behind the renaissance of the 'real' food culture. He set up the first Dartmouth mini food festival in association with Food & Drink Devon, ran Powderham Castle Banqueting and has cooked at the British Embassy and British Residency in Brussels. Founder of the award winning Dartmouth Smokehouse, Philip now runs a busy event catering business (Philips Food 'The Moveable Feast') which caters for private parties in the locality and is the dedicated caterer for the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company and the Dartmouth Yacht Club. Philip will be serving a special food festival menu at Dartmouth Yacht Club which will be open to all during this year's Festival. Philip will also be running the Annual Great Devon Pasty Competition.
Jean-Philippe Bidart: The Millbrook Inn, South Pool JP trained at the Centre Formation d'Apprentissage in Paris and went on to work at triple Michelin starred, Le Saint Clement. In 2000, he headed to the UK to improve his english and took a job at Buckland-Tout-Saints, a country house hotel where he rose to Head Chef and earned two rosettes along the way. In December 2008, JP took over as Head Chef of The Millbrook Inn (listed as one of the Best 50 Places to Eat by the Sea in The Times May 2010) and has been winning awards ever since: Runner Up Gastro Pub Challenge - Restaurant Show Earls Court 2009, Pub Chef of the Year 2010 (meat) - Great British Pub Awards 2010, Runner Up Pub Chef of the Year 2010 - The Craft Guild of Chefs and, most recently, Winner Pub Chef of the Year 2011.