© Ed Ovenden
Meet the Experts
Plastic waste reduction Expert
Angus developed the idea for a distillery in Salcombe having witnessed first-hand the burgeoning small scale distilling industry in the USA, when living in New York. As the industry expanded in the UK, Angus recognised the potential for a distillery in Salcombe that builds on the town’s renowned reputation as a haven for affluent consumers who seek the finer things in life and as the perfect location from which to build a luxury drinks brand. Meeting up with an old friend, Howard Davies who Angus had met teaching sailing in Salcombe whilst they were teenagers, they co-founded Salcombe Distilling Company (SDCo) in 2014 before launching the iconic ‘Start Point’ gin 2 years later in 2016.
Salcombe Distilling Co., has gone from strength to strength winning plaudits from around the world with their citrus led London Dry gin ‘Start Point’ and Mediterranean inspired pink gin ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’, together with their collection of limited-edition Voyager Series gins in collaboration with world renowned chefs and iconic winemakers.
Salcombe Distilling Co. are excited to be releasing our first ever festival exclusive gin at this years festival, in addition to showcasing their new gin developed to celebrate their partnership with the RNLI and our British coastal communities.
Anna is a freelance environmental journalist based in the UK.
Since studying biology at university, she has worked in the media for more than 20 years. First TV, then magazine journalism. She has freelanced for more than a decade and writes regularly for the Guardian, BBC and many other national publications. She has taught journalism undergraduates at Plymouth Marjon University and enjoys presenting episodes of Costing the Earth for BBC Radio 4.
Her work focuses on solutions – progress, innovations and the changemakers pushing for a greener planet.
In 2022, she published her first book, Go Toxic Free: Easy and sustainable ways to reduce chemical pollution.
MP Totnes & South Devon
ANTHONY MANGNALL MP
Anthony Mangnall was elected MP for Totnes and South Devon in 2019. He previously worked as a shipbroker and advisor to the former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague. He is the Conservative Party’s Sustainable Agriculture champion which aims to understand and promote solutions to climate change. Anthony is also Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary group for Shellfish Aquaculture (APPG) that concerns sustainability, nutrition and health and the local economic aspects of the industry to coastal communities.
Chef & Food Writer
Charlotte Pike and is a UK based food writer, cookery teacher, chef and occasional broadcaster
Charlotte is the author of five cookery books which have won and been shortlisted for leading International and UK based book awards. Charlotte is currently the Chair of the Guild of Food Writers.
Charlotte is one of the UK’s leading independent cookery teachers and teaches classes at schools around the UK as Executive Chef Tutor, and teaches a wide range of consumer and corporate classes on a weekly basis. She is also Founder and Director of Field & Fork School, a food education social enterprise.
Charlotte is a is a graduate of the Ballymaloe Certificate Course and is a Chef Ambassador for Slow Food in the UK and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. She runs a hugely popular catering company, Charlotte’s Kitchen, cooking for high profile clients, and cooking for weddings and parties all over the UK and Europe.
Food Matters Programme Co-ordinator
Always fond of good food and wine, and an enthusiastic domestic cook, Craig has since retiring to Dartmouth become a lobster fisherman, sourdough bread maker and dedicated seasonal eater. He has also become interested in how food is produced and became aware of the ecologically poor record of modern farming and the food industry.
For 2023 we offer an even more challenging and entertaining programme with Sustainability remaining a core theme. We have a fantastic collection of experts to amuse and challenge the festival audience.
Come and hear the experts and join in the conversation.
Dietitian & Public Health Nutritionist
DR CLARE PETTINGER
“Call me a nutrition expert if you will but I am foodie through and through! I breathe food…in all its delectable, historical, political, socio-cultural glory! So bring me to the table and let’s share those peppered and convivial food conversations – I have a deep intrigue into how food can make us happy, sad, thin, fat, shamed, coerced (the list goes on)… In light of COVID and Brexit, I have a particular interest in how we can collectively transform our food system, so that it is fairer and more resilient for all members of society.”
Clare is engaged in community research on food poverty and social justice and currently leads a Plymouth based ‘Food System transformation’ project that aims to transform the food system for disadvantaged communities. She is an active member of the Food Plymouth partnership and leads on the Food Equality (poverty) aspect of their action plan.
Edward is the Chair of the Eden Trust, the charity behind the Eden Project. He and his wife have a deep interest in sustainability, increased when their tenant farmer retired prompting them to take a direct role in managing their farm. They are learning to manage the conflicting priorities of biodiversity, carbon, food production and public access.
Drinks Expert & Food Writer
“I totally love the Festival – as always. It’s my favourite UK food festival. Dartmouth is such a beautiful place – it always attracts good speakers, the audiences are great and it’s so well run.”
Fiona Beckett is an award winning food and wine writer, one of the UK’s leading experts on food and drink pairing, wine columnist for The Guardian and author of 25 books on food, wine and beer. She is currently a contributing editor to the wine magazine Decanter and wine writer for National Geographic Traveller Food and has her own website matchingfoodandwine.com
Food Producer & Publican
GEETIE SINGH-WATSON MBE
Geeti is the founder of organic pubs and inns and has 23 years of running truly sustainable pubs!
Geetie Singh-Watson is the founder of the first official organic pub in Britain, The Duke of Cambridge Organic Pub, in Islington, London. After working in the restaurant trade for several years, she was horrified by the wastefulness that she witnessed – food was regularly thrown away, nothing was recycled and seasonal eating was unheard of. Geetie was determined to combine her passion for pubs and food, and set up The Duke as a business that could thrive without harming the environment, bringing delicious organic food to its customers, and educating them about organics, sustainable living and seasonal eating.
In 2009, she was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to the Organic Pub Trade’, and has also been named Business Woman of the Year, Asian Woman of Achievement and Entrepreneur of the Year. An active campaigner and environmentalist, Geetie firmly believes that businesses must act responsibly and be led by their ethics and values.
Geetie’s 4th organic pub, The Bull Inn, Rotherfold Square, Totnes, is due to open in Autumn 2019.
Graham Waddington’s charcuterie story starts in 2003 when he & wife Ruth decided to keep a couple of pigs on a rough piece of ground near their home, and began making sausages and bacon to sell to neighbours and friends.
Graham has trained across Europe and the UK and has been making charcuterie for nearly seventeen years in Britain. His salamis and specialist hams have won national food awards and sold to Michelin-Starred chefs.
Graham is now a partner in Rare & Pasture with Fowlescombe farm in South Devon. Rare & Pasture charcuterie products are clean, natural and nutritious and are made in a way that protects the quality of Fowelscombe’s amazing meat.
In 2013 I joined forces with a great friend of mine to set up a Scallop Farm to see if we could change the way scallops are harvested and produced. We set about securing the licenses and permissions to install longlines in the sea to grow the scallops
Having set up the sea based activities, the next challenge was to build a hatchery with which to supply the farm and in 2021 we set about our producing first batch of scallop spat. It worked, and here we are today with the first of those scallops ready for the plate…
After 30 years employment in the food and drink industry, I founded my first business, Somerset Larder in 2014 as a ‘local’ food supply chain collaboration and I have been able to use that experience in North Wales with Mon Larder / Larder Cymru and more recently as founder of the South West Food Hub, readying SME food & drink suppliers and public sector buyers for a new ‘dynamic’ approach to public sector procurement.
Along the way I set up my food focussed consultancy business POM support Ltd (Projects, Operations, Marketing) and I enjoy working with food & drink SME’s on specific challenges, opportunities and business planning and even setting up some new ventures too.
Having bought Sharpham Partnership Ltd (Dairy) in July 2019, I have had to limit my consultancy projects, but I still like to keep my hand in!
I was very proud to be asked to take the ‘Chair’ at Food Drink Devon in November 2021, which is one of a few things I do to ‘give back’ to an industry that has served me well.
My background is always in food & drink, in hospitality, manufacturing, sales, marketing and retailing, my key strengths are in planning, and leading implementation of new strategies. I am a completer/finisher, skilled communicator and motivator, with the drive and enthusiasm to lead from the front and get the job done.
In July 2021 I graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10KSB Programmes, in partnership with Said Business School, Oxford University, which reminded me of some skills that I haven’t used for a while, as well as ‘teaching this old dog a few new tricks’.
Guy Singh-Watson has over the last 30 years taken Riverford from one man and a wheelbarrow delivering homegrown organic veg to friends, to a national veg box scheme delivering to around 80,000 customers a week. Tired of meetings, brands and the assumption that greed is our predominant motivation, Guy converted the business to employee ownership in 2018, using the proceeds to buy a small farm and return to growing organic vegetables.
In common with many of Riverford’s new co-owners, Guy is an advocate of using business to shape a part of the world, however small, to be kinder, more considerate and sustainable; more like the world most of us want to live in. His weekly newsletters connect people to the farm with refreshingly honest accounts of the trials and tribulations of producing organic food, and the occasional rant about farming, ethical and business issues he feels strongly about.
Regen Farming Advisor
Harriet grew up on a farm in Hertfordshire. After a brief spell in advertising, she returned to her farming roots and helped develop the Groundswell Show, an event for farmers to learn about soil health and sustainable farming practices. She spent 4 years as agricultural and environment Researcher for The Prince of Wales, and since 2021 she has been Agricultural Relationship Manager at Wildfarmed, a food company which offers a route to market for cereal crops grown in systems that prioritise soil health. She lives outside Dartmouth and this is her first year supporting the Food Matters Tent at the Food Festival.
HENRY DIMBLEBY MBE
Henry Dimbleby is co-founder of Leon Restaurants, the not-for-profit Sustainable Restaurant Association, and the charity Chefs In Schools.
Henry Dimbleby was made lead non-executive board member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2018 and in June 2019 the Environment Secretary appointed him to lead the National Food Strategy. Henry co-founded the Leon restaurant chain in 2004, the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2009, the charity Chefs in Schools in2018 and co-authored The School Food Plan in2013. This set out actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.
Henry previously worked as a Strategy Consultant at Bain & Company where he advised businesses on strategy, performance improvement and organisational design. Before that he worked as a journalist on The Daily Telegraph and a chef at the Michelin-starred Four Seasons Inn on the Park
Ian is passionate about wine in general but more specifically South African wine. Having grown up in the breath takingly beautiful Western Cape, wine has been a part of Ian’s life from a very early age. Now based in London, Ian’s biggest goal is to spread the word about the world-class quality and evolving character of South African wine, all made possible through the hard work and dedication of the passionate industry back home
Cider Writer and Poet
James first went to school in Dartmouth and started farm work in the Tamar valley plucking turkeys. He travelled very widely in the Middle East, Afghanistan and NW India. Since then he has lived in Devon, Somerset & Dorset and has deep respect for cider and eccentric cidermakers. His many books include Cider The Forgotten Miracle, Ciderland (Andre Simon Food and Drink Award 2008) and Cider Country. The history he has uncovered reveals that these cider makers pioneered methode champenoise circa 1650… Strong bottles, secondary fermentation, corks, pack thread, wax and a few years in a well or specially contrived cellars… Hey Presto Sparkling Cider.
Jemima Lewis is a weekly columnist for the Telegraph, and the former editor of The Week magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Independent, The Times, The Spectator and The Guardian.
Jemima is the co-author of Ravenous. She is also Henry’s wife, which means she knows what it’s really like to like, and eat, with a so-called “Food Tsar”.
In her hometown of Bristol, Joanna began her professional life at Averys Wine Merchants, where she looked after private clients for almost 10 years as a Senior Account Manager. Whilst there, Joanna completed the WSET Level 3 qualification. After starting a family and moving to Exeter, Joanna was recruited by Bancroft Wines in late 2020 to cover Trade Sales in the Southwest. Now in their 33rd year, Bancroft specialise in importing from small, family-owned wineries who prioritise sustainability, often with organic or biodynamic practices. Their aim is to build long-standing relationships to bring their clients and winegrowers closer together. Joanna particularly enjoys tasting and devising wine lists with her customers throughout the region, which includes wholesalers, restaurants, hotels, and independent wine merchants.
John Holmyard, MD of Offshore Shellfish Ltd. has been farming mussels for 34 years, first on the west coast of Scotland ,and now in Lyme Bay. Being able to grow large amounts of high quality, delicious seafood that also benefits the environment, is what drives John.
The family-run offshore farm, produces several thousand tonnes of rope grown mussels per year. Mussels are the grazers of the sea, and grow by filtering the natural phytoplankton that we have in abundance in South Devon. The farm removes excess carbon, phosphates and nitrogen from the seawater, and also acts as giant floating reef, which increases marine biodiversity, while providing a protected habitat, nursery ground, food and shelter for many commercial fish and shellfish species.
John believes we should all “eat more mussels and save the planet!”
Mark began his beekeeping journey after receiving a beehive as a birthday gift, and being enrolled onto a beekeeping course with the Plymouth branch of the Devon Beekeeping Association, to which he is now the Vice-Chair.
He turned his hobby of 4 allotment beehives into a business, and created Black Dog Honey Bees Ltd.
Leasing land from the local council, he has established a mating apiary, where he grafts larvae to produce his own queen bees to grow his production stock, and to improve the local honey bee population.
Working closely with farmers and landowners in the surrounding area, he has adopted land to set up apiaries for crop pollination and honey production.
He has a passion for beekeeping, farming, and the environment, and tries where possible, to educate the public on the correct balance between managed beehives and the solitary bee population, in urban settings.
Reaching 50 colonies in 2022, reigned over by his own home produced queens, Mark spends time networking with Bee Farmers, and working towards his own membership with the Bee Farmers Association, and hopes in 2023 to double his numbers across Dartmoor and South Devon, spreading outward from Plymouth.
Along with his cornerstone partner, he sells his locally produced honey and hive products online, at farmers markets, fairs and exhibitions.
Vine Grower and Wine Maker
Mark spent his early years in south Devon on his parent’s dairy farm, before graduating in Mining Engineering from Newcastle university. He emigrated to Canada and worked as an engineer for a large gold mining company in northern Ontario.
On returning to the UK his career change took him back to farming running a commercial fruit farm and from there to Sharpham Vineyard to grow the grapes, and make the wine, but soon to become dairy farm manager, and a cheesemaker!
Mark now operates as a consultant advising vineyards.
Academic & Food Writer
Focused on inequality and how many in our population don’t have adequate access to food; this leads to food poverty and obesity.
Martin is Emeritus Professor of food and health policy, at City, University of London. He has spent decades working on issues related to food poverty, local food systems, food in schools and food banks. His recent focus is on how rising levels of debt during the Covid crisis has impacted on food poverty.
Nina is editor of Wicked Leeks magazine and a journalist specialising in food sustainability, supply chains and ethical business. She honed her trade at leading trade magazine Fresh Produce Journal, and has written for the Guardian, Huffington Post and The Ecologist. A passionate traveller, she is interested in food as the starting point for discussions about culture, the environment, health, business, politics and beyond.
“I’ve been to dozens and dozens of food festivals, on islands, up mountains, underwater (I made that last one up) but there is none as delightful and picturesque as Dartmouth. The harbour setting – stalls draped along the waterfront – is beautiful and unusual, and gives the festival a unique atmosphere. I also think it is the friendliest festival, with festival goers in a really good mood”
Orlando Murrin is a highly experienced food writer and editor, based in Exeter.
Orlando Murrin has worked in practically every area of food – as editor, writer, chef and teacher. His latest books – Two’s Company and Two’s Company Simple – are focused on cooking for two. In early 2024 his first crime novel will be published – with a culinary twist.
PROF TIM SPECTOR OBE
Tim Spector is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at King’s College London. His current work focuses on the microbiome and nutrition. He is co-founder of ZOE, a personalised nutrition company ZOE Predict. He is the lead researcher behind the ZOE Health Study, formerly known as ZOE COVID Study, which provided essential data in response to the pandemic and was awarded an OBE for this work.
Having published more than 900 research articles, he is ranked in the top 100 of the world’s most cited scientists by Google. He is the author of four popular science books and the most recent “Spoon Fed” is a Sunday Times bestseller. His latest book “Food for Life” will be published on October 2022
Rebecca Mitchell is an inspiring wine professional, competition judge, drinks consultant, copywriter, and educator with over 25 years experience in the wine trade. She is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a certified educator for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Rebecca’s wine career began at Bordeaux University and her first job was Cellar Door Host for Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. She then worked in wine tourism, taking clients to award-winning wine estates across Europe and the New World, before becoming a Drinks Consultant for independent hotels and restaurants in the South West.
Since 2011, Rebecca is a WSET Certified Educator teaching wine and spirits qualifications to enthusiasts and professionals working in hospitality and those wishing to pursue a career in the wine trade.
Rebecca previously worked as Head Sommelier at 2* Michelin starred Gidleigh Park Hotel on Dartmoor, managing one of the UK’s most extensive wine cellars.
Rebecca is a Wine Judge and Panel Chair for international wine competitions including the IWSC, IWC and Wine GB. She specialises in cool climate wines and is an ambassador for English wine producers and avid supporter of sustainable, organic and biodynamic viticulture.
As a member of the Association of Wine Educators, Rebecca tutors the Chefs Academy’s Culinary Diploma students at Ashburton Cookery School and is a wine educator for the South West Wine School in Devon.
Rebecca has written drinks columns for Devon Life magazine, writing about wines, beers, ciders, spirits, and soft-drinks. She also writes tasting descriptions for award-winning English wine producers.
She enjoys hosting tasting events for private and corporate groups plus drinks seminars at food and drinks festivals, including the Dartmouth Food Festival.
Rebecca is an ambassador for Fifth Sense, a charity which supports people affected by smell and taste disorders.
Shane Holland is Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK, the leading Food NGO which campaigns for Good, Clean & Fair food all.
Shane is also Ambassador for Venner, a charity which seeks to improve the diet and life chances of the poorest in society, a trustee of London’s iconic Borough Market, and a trustee at United St Saviours, a charity which runs best in class Almshouses and gives grants to the community of more than £1 Million a year. Within the third sector his work has specialised in regards to our most vulnerable citizens, their issues of food poverty & food skills, education, offending, and access to service.
He frequently sits on expert panels, guest lectures at a number of universities, is a TED speaker, and carries out dozens of speaking engagements a year – particularly about the right for good food for all. He is a well-known bonviveur and after dinner speaker, and returns to Dartmouth each year often to be found hosting tasting events.
Drinks Expert & Food Writer
Stephen Barrett is an Experienced Wine Educator based in Plymouth. Stephen can organise Wine Tastings & Events for Private, Businesses and Charities alike.
As a long time member of the Circle of Wines Writers and the Association of Wines Educators, Stephen relishes the opportunity to deliver wine tastings and deliver wine events nationwide.
He is also a member of the South West Wine School plus a consummate food and wine writer.
Please find his work on social media via @bistrowineman
Drinks Expert & Food Writer
‘I live in Devon and I love going to Dartmouth Food Festival. I have volunteered to host wine tastings at it for many years now and really enjoy it. The South West is great at promoting its best produce and I am especially keen to help promote its excellent drinks as well as show wines from other parts of the world.
Susy began her career as a young wine writer in the early 1990s at WINE magazine. She left in 1994 to spend five weeks in South Australia during the harvest, working as a ‘cellar hand ‘at wineries in the Barossa Valley. On her return, she began working for the Consumers’ Association, editing Which? Wine Monthly, which evolved into wine reports for the main Which? magazine. She became co-editor of the Which? Wine Guide in 1997 and worked on seven editions of the guide. Susy now writes a regular weekly column for the Telegraph online www.telegraph.co.uk and is the drinks editor of delicious magazine. Her books include Wine Wisdom, How To Choose Wine, Wine Made Easy and the best-selling, fun pocket-book Girls’ Guide to Wine. She has won both the Glenfiddich Food & Drink award and the Prix du Champagne Lanson wine writing award for her books.
In 2014 she won a prestigious Champagne Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Award for best short wine column for her work in Stella magazine and in 2016 she was awarded Rioja Communicator of the Year at the 2nd annual Rioja Recognises awards in London.
Susy is familiar to many wine & food lovers as a regular wine expert and presenter for over 12 years on BBC1’s flag-ship cookery show Saturday Kitchen. Before that, she was a resident wine expert on Channel 4’s Richard & Judy and has appeared on numerous BBC Radio programmes.
Author and Journalist
I care deeply about where our food comes from, how it is grown and how its growth supports the soil, biodiversity and the planet. Everyone should have access to good ingredients, and more locally grown fruit and vegetables. Much of my work delves into this, from work with the Soil Association, to creating a garden in my local primary school with help from the Fork to Fork food festival, to my work with Chefs in Schools, a charity of which I am a trustee.
TIM VAN BERKEL
Tim has over 20 years’ experience within farming and associated systems – dairy, arable, deer, sheep & beef; both growing and processing; conventional and organic; large scale and small. This mass of experience has allowed the development of a wide range of experiential and theoretical knowledge, a key strength of Tim’s being his deep understanding of regenerative and low-input farming practices that work closely with natural systems and place soil health at the core.
Will Lyons, Wine Columnist Sunday Times
Described by The Spectator magazine as having one of the finest palate’s in Britain Will Lyons is a wine writer, author and broadcaster.For more than a decade he has published a weekly column on drinks, formerly in The Wall Street Journal and now The Sunday Times. His humorous, informed, down-to-earth writing has been recognized in both the Glenfiddich and Roederer wine writing Awards. While his entertaining podcast Wine Times was recently named ‘podcast of the year’.
Will began his career in London, where he developed a love for the classic wines of Europe working in St James’s for Justerini & Brooks and Berry Bros.& Rudd. Known for his discerning palate and accurate predictions Will is also an accomplished blind wine taster and has lectured on the art of wine appreciation at Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. A past president of the Edinburgh University Wine Society, a Commanderie de Bordeaux, Will is Vice President of The Sunday Times Wine Club and co-host of the award-winning Wine Times podcast