© Ed Ovenden
Meet the Experts
Over the years, Chef Ash Hamilton and his team have worked hard to bring original concepts to Brixham including modern brunch and lunch, supper clubs and their famous #donutporn whilst maintaining a laid back welcoming vibe steeped in the team’s love for rock music.
Now a Devon staple, The Curious Kitchen (‘TCK’) has won multiple awards and received rave press and public acclaim due to its high standards of food and drink but also for its community input including Ash’s Cooking with Ash online series where he teaches how to take a £25 budget and feed a family of 4 for 5 days (lunch and dinner).
“I founded a catering event business that makes life time memories on long tables. One of 7 kids, I grew up around long tables and conversation. My career has always been motivated by the maternal instinct in cooking. I have worked with the likes of Ottolenghi, Honey & Co, Jamie Oliver and Berber & Q. They are more importantly now my friends. My businesses challenge and disrupt the hospitality sector and our Canteen concept is going to change the world.”
Ben Quinn is known for his flavour-drenched, colourful food – often cooked over live fire – served to the centre of communal tables guaranteed to be packed with an appreciative crowd of food lovers. Ben dishes out ‘experience dining’ with all the creativity, flare and memorability which that lofty terms implies; he is a force to be reckoned with and not just for his culinary skills.
Ben worked at top restaurants, including Fifteen Cornwall, and as a freelance consultant before deciding to take a non-traditional career path in the hospitality industry. He co-founded Woodfired Canteen which, in a few short but intense years, has built a cult following for hosting dinners in special locations – think spectacular clifftops, bucolic barns and idyllic gardens – eat your heart out Instagram!
Canteen, at Wheal Kitty Workshops near St Agnes, is HQ for Ben and his team. This industrial-style prep kitchen and shared workspace is open to the public every day and was described by Olive Magazine as Cornwall’s hottest new opening when it launched in 2017. Grab a mug of Origin Coffee, browse Ben’s favourite cookbooks and store cupboard ingredients, and enjoy a delicious plate of food while chatting to fellow foodies or catching up on your emails.
Beware though, spend too long with Ben and you will succumb to his infectious enthusiasm for positive change. “It’s about more than plates of food,” Ben explains, as he talks eloquently about building a catering company with a social purpose, putting people before profits. And it’s more than just talk – Woodfired Canteen have developed event concepts with the likes of ShelterBox, the RNLI, Cool Earth and CLIC Sargent.Passionate, articulate and ambitious, Ben is taking no prisoners in his bid to shake up the hospitality industry in Cornwall and beyond.
Cantina Chef at the Seahorse
Ben started cooking in Bristol, from there he worked at the Seahorse before embarking on several years of discovery cooking in Australia. Ben moved to London and joined the opening team of “Sabor” ,Nieves Barrigan’s celebrated Mayfair restaurant where they were awarded their first Michelin star.
Ben re joined Jake at the Seahorse where he cooks for clients in the Cantina, the private room at the seahorse and alongside Jake in the main Kitchen.
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.
COLIN WHEELER -JAMES
Having grown up in a fishing and farming community on the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, Colin has always been surrounded by the finest seasonal ingredients and enjoyed making the most of them. Over 30 years as a professional chef has seen Colin work in a variety of different roles from charter yachts and boutique hotels to leading catering companies. Colin lived in Dartmouth for many years and was Executive chef at BRNC and ran the catering at the Royal Dart Yacht Club.
Now co-owner of Ground Up Cookery School on the North edge of Dartmoor with his wife Natasha they focus on teaching a range of less traditional skills such as foraging and fermenting as well as creating a range of retail products ranging from the Heath and Hedge wild inspired spirits range to fermented products, jams and chutneys.
Colin also works in the flavour industry as European Development Chef for IMCD, a distribution company supporting the sales and technical teams and working with customers to provide creative solutions to grow their business
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 2021 we offer an even more challenging and entertaining programme than in 2019 with Sustainability and the impact of the Pandemic on the food industry as core themes. 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.
Elly Wentworth, runner up of MasterChef The Professional 2016, is now the new Head Chef of The Angel – Taste of Devon here in Dartmouth.
Elly will be joining the team at The Angel this September after she wowed judges Marcus Wearing and Monica Galletti, who is still very much Elly’s mentor through her career.
It probably helped that Elly’s got no shortage of competition experience, though. She’s twice been named South West Young Professional Chef of the Year, also scooping the overall title the second time around. She was even taking part in the prestigious Royal Academy of Culinary Arts awards while she was competing on MasterChef (and went on to be one of only four chefs to be given an Award of Excellence).
With Elly as the Head Chef, The Angel will be looking to mentor female chefs in a very male dominated industry and with history of The Angel and the great success and leadership under Joyce Molineux they very much wanted the next chapter of The Angel to be led by one of the top female rising culinary stars
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
GEETI 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.
I love compering the festival as I have been involved in it since the very first one 17 years ago. I have seen it grow from a tiny festival in the market square on hay bales to a superb national success attracting the top chefs in the country and 100’s of producers from Devon and the South West. I have been lucky to share the stage with the UK’s best loved chefs and rising stars of the future.
Gina is the fabulous compare of our Chef Demo tent and has been living in the South Hams for nearly 25 years following an eclectic career in the music business working in recording studios and record companies. She loves music, travel, film, eating and drinking, driving – has driven across the Sahara in a banger and loves theatre and started treading the boards herself ten years ago and can be seen with the Dartington Playgoers amongst others. She now spends her days selling superb tailor made safari and beach holidays to Eastern and Southern Africa with Safari & Beach Travel in Kingsbridge and spends a few weeks every year in both Tanzania and Kenya. She is extremely fond of rose and champagne, so feel free to buy her a glass at any time!
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
After working in the NHS as a Public Health Specialist for a number of years, Helen moved to Dartmouth 16 years ago and has been involved in the Food Festival on and off since then.
She has recently blogging (My Delicious Devon) and is often to be found trying out yet another cake recipe in her kitchen!
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
Head Chef Seahorse
Jake was the first employee at the Seahorse and has been at the restaurant for 13 years working his way to head chef. He learnt his skills directly working with Mitch and Mat and continues their work today in upholding the standards in what has now become an institution in the dining world.
The Seahorse was recognised in the top 100 for the 11th year at number 52.
James Crowden grew up in South Devon where there was plenty of farmhouse cider and started working on farms in the late 1960s. After a spell in the deserts of Iran, the Afghan Hindu Kush and the Himalayas he became rather thirsty and returned home via Bristol Docks. He then helped make cider in Somerset for a good few years just as the Somerset Cider Brandy Company started business. He first went to school in Dartmouth and has written three books on cider He loves tannin.
Jamie Rogers brings you the the best of South Hams larder skilfully prepared, matched with the perfect wines and cocktails, bringing you a unforgettable dining experience.
He began his career in catering at the age of 12, washing dishes and helping with some prep at The Cricket Inn, Beesands. He later worked as an apprentice with the Tanner brothers at Tanners and the Barbican Kitchen before taking a position as sous chef at the Glassblowing House on the Barbican at Plymouth. After a spell at the South Sands Hotel at Salcombe, Jamie moved to Langdon Court Hotel in 2013, initially as sous chef but he was promoted to head chef in 2014.
Later that year, Jamie entered BBC MastcefChef reaching the quarter finals and after entering South West Chef of the Year three times, won the Professional Chef category in 2015, also being awarded the title of overall South West Chef of the Year.
After a short spell at The Wardroom in Salcombe, Jamie opened his own restaurant, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers, in Kingsbridge, Devon in the spring of 2018.
Chef & Food Writer
Jane started cooking whilst at Leeds University and decided to take it up as a career. She was lucky enough to work for George Perry Smith at Riverside in Helford, followed by a stint at The Carved Angel in Dartmouthunder Joyce Molyneux, whom she sites as one of her major influences.
Jane’s time at The River Café in London also gave her invaluable experience and started her love of all things Italian. After working in various London establishments Jane went “off Piste “to the South Pacific where she worked and lived for 7 years.
On her return she started working for Riverford, first setting up the staff canteen, then local school meals and finally was responsible for the style of food and service at the Field Kitchen along with Sam.
Jane also wrote the recipes for the two Riverford Farm Cook books – the first of which gained two Guild of Food Writers awards.
Jane is now living in Kingsbridge with her son David, when she’s not in Puglia!
Chef & Food Writer
Jenny Chandler is a teacher, cook book author and consultant with experience and knowledge that has been gleaned over years of eating, researching, travelling and working as a cook. She is passionate about inspiring others to source, prepare and eat great food. Jenny also maintains a blog, “I’ve Mostly Been Eating”, for those of us who just can’t get enough of her recipes and kitchen insights.
Jenny trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine before spending a decade cooking around the Mediterranean.
Jenny teaches at her own school, Plum Cooking, in Bristol, at the Bertinet Kitchen in Bath, Divertimenti, Leith’s and Borough Market in London. Jenny also teaches at many leading cookery schools including Leith’s School of Food and Wine and regularly writes and demonstrates for Borough Market in London.
She is very passionate about getting more plants on plates, has written 2 books about pulses and currently leads culinary workshops for The Humane Society International focusing on sustainable catering.
Getting kids in the kitchen, creating a lifetime of good eating habits is another of Jenny’s goals with her most recent book “Cool Kids Cook”
Following a 12-year career that ended as Captain in the Merchant Navy, I switched to the fishing industry via a 2-years spell as a Fisheries Inspector in MAFF. I have been the CEO at SWFPO Ltd since 1989, representing fishermen and vessel owners to the highest levels of UK Government and to Commission level in the EU. I lobbied for changes to the Common Fisheries Policy that would restore the UK industry to a fair and level footing and, when offered the chance at the referendum I campaigned to Leave.
The resultant melee was not of anyone’s asking, but I remain optimistic that the eventual outcome will provide the UK fishing industry with investment opportunities and profitability better than was in prospect from the discredited Common Fisheries Policy.
My food career started as an apprentice chef. After travelling and working in kitchens for 16 years, I had the opportunity to move into food buying and have built up an extensive experience and qualifications in food preparation and animal welfare including a master’s degree in Food Policy.
I am now Group Food Policy Manager at Whitbreads, a pivotal role in maintaining our welfare and responsible sourcing agenda. I am responsible for our Animal Welfare policy and the Marine Stewardship Council audit and compliance that includes approving suppliers and products for wild caught and farmed seafood.
CHEF, Landlord and Butcher
Landlord of the award winning Bear and Blacksmith in Chillington, born and bred on the area and chef on and off for 20 years. We rear our own lamb and pork on our farm which we then put through our own butchery. If we cannot use our own then we source from local farms and fishing boats. Providing local produce through my pub is a passion and I love it.
Chef & Food Writer
Celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix is known for his original take on British gastronomy.
After 17 years as Chef Director at Caprice Holdings, he opened his first restaurant in 2008 – the distinguished HIX Oyster & Chop House in Farringdon. Following the success of Chop House Mark opened HIX Mayfair, HIX Soho and his chicken and steak concept restaurants Tramshed in Shoreditch, and Hixter Bankside. In autumn of 2015 Mark opened his first stand-alone bar in The Old Vic theatre, offering a late-night venue in Waterloo.
Mark and long-time friend Damien Hirst announced their collaboration on Pharmacy 2: colliding their two greatest passions, art and food. The restaurant in Vauxhall opened its doors on 23rd February 2016.
Outside of London in Mark’s native Dorset is HIX Oyster & Fish House and HIX Townhouse, a boutique hotel, both in Lyme Regis. Mark is frequently lauded as one of London’s most eminent restaurateurs with an unrivalled knowledge of ingredients with provenance. Mark has a weekly column in City AM, and is the author of a number of cookbooks on British cuisine.
Mark hosts an annual food festival in Lyme Regis, Food Rocks to showcase the best producers and suppliers in Dorset and surrounding areas.
I grew up in Dartmouth and Stoke Fleming. My teenage years were great : diving, sailing & shooting, a real outdoors life. I followed my father into the Fish Merchant business and after a few years set up my own. I still sail when I can but I have never worked harder than during the past year and a half!
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.
Mary Cadogan’s career spans decades most notably as Food Director of BBC Good Food magazine for 12 years. Following a move to France she continued her writing and editing career as well as opening a bespoke cookery school with her husband Mick that attracted guests from all over the world. Mary now lives in Somerset where she cooks regular pop up suppers, runs the village market and makes seasonal preserves when the mood takes her. During lockdown she baked for the village to keep spirits up and to ensure everyone else put on weight!
Chef & Food Writer
Matt presents Food Unwrapped on Channel 4. Matt, Jimmy Doherty and Kate Quilton, present the food and science series that travels the world to lift the lid on what’s really in the food we eat. He is the lead presenter of Saturday Kitchen on BBC1, along with John Torode. This 90-minute cookery show is broadcast live on Saturday mornings and is a well-established favourite on the BBC.
Matt has always loved cooking, so when he was unable to further his ambition of a career in the RAF, he returned to his first love – Food. Having completed a diploma course in London with Leith’s School of Food & Wine, Matt Tebbutt set his sights on some of the best restaurants in the UK, with a view to acquiring the breadth of experience that would set him up to run his own successful restaurant. A true baptism of fire followed in the form of a traineeship with renowned Michelin starred chef, Marco Pierre White, working at The Oak Room and then The Criterion. Matt later moved to the kitchens of Chez Bruce, working under the tutelage of Bruce Poole, master of classic French food and leading advocate of affordable excellence. Working at Clarke’s, Sally Clarke’s Kensington restaurant, Matt was exposed to the art of bread making at one of the most skilled bakeries in the UK.
One of his strongest influences, clearly evident in his recipes and menus is Alastair Little, pioneer of the non-stuffy, high-quality eatery and renowned for revolutionary freshness and flavour. Matt worked with Alastair at his Lancaster Road and Soho restaurants, celebrated for its no-nonsense British cooking, with a Northern Italian twist. Matt is a passionate exponent of Modern British cooking, using only the freshest, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients within honest recipes designed to highlight the quality of those ingredients.
He owned and ran The Foxhunter, an award-winning restaurant in Monmouthshire, for thirteen years until 2015. Here, the daily-changing menu featured an exciting range of wild and foraged foods from the local countryside and sea-shore. He is now a consultant for bars and restaurants including his new venture Schpoons & Forx in the Hilton hotel, Bournemouth.
Matt presented Market Kitchen with Rachel Allen, Tom Parker-Bowles, Amanda Lamb and Matthew Fort. This UKTV food show was an audience favourite for 5 years. It was followed by Market Kitchen’s Big Adventure. Matt also appeared in the BBC productions Great British Menu, Great British Food Revival and Great British Waste Menu. He is a regular contributor to Waitrose Kitchen magazine and other food publications and he has co-presented several cookery shows on the Food Network with Lisa Faulkner. In July 2013 he hosted the cookery demonstrations at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Coronation celebrations.
Chef, Food Writer
“Everything that is great about British cooking, growing, harvesting, catching, eating and drinking is represented here for the four wonderful days of the Dartmouth Food Festival every October. It is a festival that is loved by locals and visitors alike. We have a great friendly neighbourhood here and we all celebrate together with friends, family and visitors, it’s a party atmosphere from start to finish, I absolutely love it and love being a part of it!”.
Festival Advocate & Company Director
Looking out across the waters of the Bristol Channel would be Mitch Tonks’ first significant connection with the sea. He grew up with his mother in Weston-super-Mare. Just a few doors down the road lived his grandmother. It was in his grandmother’s kitchen that his earliest food memories would form. He recalls buckets of eels arriving at her back door, fished from the Rynes by the local children. The eels would win an hour’s reprieve swimming around in her sink before being chucked, boiled and jellied. Mitch would run errands for his grandmother. He’d return home from the fishmonger with shrimps, which he’d help to peel and prepare sandwiches with, which they would then devour together. These simple shared pleasures were the first small steps of a food journey that would take Mitch to culinary experiences all around the world. But home would always be the coastline of the south-west of England and the place where his fervour for seafood in particular would shape and resonate most profoundly.
Mitch has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable seafood people in the country and an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author in the process. His Seahorse restaurant has won the Observer’s ‘Best UK Restaurant’ gong; his Rockfish takeaway restaurant chain has twice claimed ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards. Of his books, one of them – Fresh – scooped ‘Best Fish Book’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. And his achievements and influence have been further recognised with a nomination for Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and inclusion in The Caterer’s prized ‘Top 100 Most Influential Foodies’ list.
Such accolades are an acknowledgement for a philosophy that is genuine and refreshing in a world where Michelin stars and viral social media campaigns so often steal the limelight: keep it simple and do something as well as you can possibly do it.
Each new day at The Seahorse, the Dartmouth quayside restaurant he co-owns and runs with his best friend Mat Prowse, begins as though it was their first. Acutely aware that they are only as good as the weather and climate and the food they source, they must rely on their kitchen team to treat those ingredients with care and respect and trust their front-of-house team to welcome each new customer into the restaurant with the warmth afforded to an old friend.
And so it is with each of the other restaurants under his stewardship – Rockfishes in Dartmouth, Torquay, Plymouth and Brixham, and the Spiny Lobster in Bristol. In Brixham, the restaurant stands proudly amongst the bustle and noise of the fish market, allowing the Rockfish chefs to see and hear the catch of the day, every day.
The recipes in his books are the recipes of his restaurants, dating right back to his debut FishWorks Cookbook, named after the original Bath-based restaurant which grew into an award-winning 13-site-strong chain. But these restaurant recipes belong to the home and to tradition, often inspired by his travels and by such legendary writers as Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson, and always informed by the best of what the local land and sea have to offer, embracing simplicity, freshness and flavour over everything else. Home is the ethos that underpins every aspect of his restaurant business. He wants people to walk into a place and they feel like they belong there, a restaurant that knows everyone.
His fifth cookbook is the absolute embodiment of this philosophy, featuring the people who produce, source and supply his restaurant, the cultures and traditions that pass recipes down from generation to generation and the simple wonders of the ingredients themselves. The Seahorse: The Restaurant and its Recipes was published in June 2015.
On TV he’s known for his ten-part fishing series with Matt Dawson and appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen. He is a consultant for the menus on the distinguished Pullman trains run by Great Western Railway and also to a number of brilliant national restaurants, including Hawksmoor in London. He is a champion of sustainability and driven by a strong belief that the South West coast is Britain’s Seafood Coast and produces some of the finest seafood in the world.
He is committed to constantly giving back to the community that has given him so much. He has embarked on an academy scheme in partnership with South Devon College to help train the next generation of aspiring chefs and to supporting the local fishing industries. On matters of UK fishing, sustainability and supply, his is arguably one of the most erudite and credible voices out there.
Launch editor of BBC Good Food and Delicious magazines; now freelancing as a food writer, food stylist and baker of wonderful cakes.
As a young girl, Mitzie pored over every recipe book and cookery feature in magazines and spent her childhood growing up in Devon making scones and cakes for tea, picking wild fruit for making jams and home made wines and making chutneys from her Dad’s garden produce.
Since then she has been writing receipes for the cookery pages of just about every woman’s magazine. Her career highlights include launching BBC Good Food magazine and editing it for 9 years, and then launching Delicious magazine in 2003 which she edited for 3 years.
Her passion has always been creating delicious cakes and bakes and food styling for beautiful food photography and as a result has tried every cookery gadget you can imagine (most of which have been confined to the bin!), but there are some essential tools she could not live without.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the Dartmouth Food Festival, it was very well organised with so much going on there was always something to do or somebody to see. …I even managed to to some hobnobbing with suppliers and chefs. With the festival spread out over the majority of the town centre it gives a great sense of community and involves so many local business’. I look forward to being part of it again in the future.”
Nick Evans grew up in East Sussex and from a young age worked the land around their home with his brother and father growing everything from potatoes to a small vineyard. It was fate that brought Nick to work in kitchens, covering for his brother as a kitchen porter when he fell ill.
Nick never looked back. Whilst studying for a degree in hospitality, he worked a year at a variety of Rick Stein’s businesses, learning a great deal about French classical cooking under Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant. Nick returned as Chef de Partie in 2007 and over the next 6 years worked his way up to Senior Sous Chef, before joining the team at St Petroc’s Bistro in 2014 as Head Chef. In 2016, Nick took on his current role, becoming Head Chef Lecturer at Rick Stein’s Cookery School.
Photograph by David Griffin
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.
During a varied career in food, he has been a magazine editor, hotelier and in September published ’Two’s Company’, a book of recipes serving two, for couples, friends and flatmates.
PROF TIM SPECTOR OBE
Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College London. He is also an expert in personalised medicine and the gut microbiome and started the famous UK Twin Registry in 1993. He is the lead researcher behind the world’s biggest citizen science health project – the Covid Symptom study app for which he was awarded an OBE.
He is also ranked by Google as being in the top 100 most cited scientists in the world and has published four popular books- including the best-selling Diet Myth and more recently, Spoon-Fed, a Sunday Times bestseller.
Escaping London 15 years ago to move closer to the Family Farm in Blackawton Serin has played a large role in getting the Dartmouth Food Festival where it stands today. As Chef Director he helps co-ordinate all the food based events in the lead up and through the Festival weekend.
Our Festival Chef & Company Director
Serin started his time in Dartmouth opening the Anzac Street Bistro a much loved and successful bistro in the centre of Dartmouth but after 11 successful years Serin decided to have a change and set about a new business with old friend Simon Entwistle and Dartmouth Fine Foods was born.
Serin and Simon now offer bespoke Catering for any size event from a small Canapé party of 20 to Grand Weddings for 200 they also offer contract catering and are working on a line of top class ready meals for customers and businesses for re sale. With between them more than 40 years experience in different aspects of the catering trade Serin and Simon bring a whole heap of knowledge to the Food Festival and continue to steer it on a steady path.
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
STEIN Group Head Chef
Stephane spent his childhood between Brittany and Paris and developed a love for cooking at a young age inspired by his uncle’s travels around the world, returning with new dishes and stories from his adventures.
He started an apprenticeship at the age of 16 at two Michelin starred Sully D’ Auteuil, before moving on to Le Vieux Berlin which specialised in game. His keen interest to learn a new language led him to England in 1989 where he worked in London’s Roof Restaurant at the Hilton on Park Lane. Stephane was also instrumental in the opening of some of London’s most distinguished restaurants, working alongside leading chefs of the time including Michael Croft at Mirabelle and Martin Webb at Quaglino’s.
In 1994, Stephane returned to France where he worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Prunier in Paris for two years. His career has taken him around the globe on the world’s most famous cruise liner, the QE2, as well as to Dublin where he worked with Patrick Guilbaud in his self-named two Michelin-starred restaurant.
After years of travelling around the world, Stephane and his wife made the decision to move to Cornwall to settle down. After just 6 months working with Rick Stein, Stephane was promoted to head chef at The Seafood Restaurant where he remained for over 20 years. Working closely with Rick, he helped to develop new menus and lead the restaurant team.
In 2019, Stephane took on a new role in the business as Group Chef. In which, he shares his skills and knowledge across our kitchen teams as well as hosting dinners in our restaurants.
His passion for cooking is shared with a love of the fresh Cornish produce that is available to him in this part of the South West, as well as great local suppliers.
When not in the kitchen, he can be found travelling the world, watching Rugby and relaxing in St. Issey with his wife and three daughters.
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 love Dartmouth and I totally volunteered to be part of it. The South West is so great at promoting its best produce and I’ve made it my personal business to try and promote drinks more.”
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’ Assocation, 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 previously worked on seven editions of the guide.
Susy now writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph 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 late 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 over the past 12 years on BBC1’s flag-ship cookery show Saturday Kitchen, which attracts 2 – 3 million viewers each week. Before that, she was a resident wine expert on Channel 4’s Richard & Judy. She has also appeared as a guest on TV’s Market Kitchen, UK Food channel programmes such as Great Food Live, and broadcast numerous times on BBC Radio 4 for programmes such as Excess Baggage, Woman’s Hour and The Food Programme.
Will Lyons, Wine Columnist Sunday Times.
For more than a decade Will Lyons has written a weekly wine column, first for The Wall Street Journal now for The Sunday Times. His humorous, informed, down-to-earth writing has been recognized in both the Glenfiddich and Roederer wine writing Awards.
He began his career in London, as a wine merchant in St. James’s for Justerini & Brooks where he developed a love for the classic wines of Europe. He has written for a variety of publications including The Scotsman, The Reader’s Digest and The Spectator and co-authored The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine with fellow Wall Street Journal wine writer Lettie Teague. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the International Wine and Spirit Competition Communicator of the year. He is a past president of the Edinburgh University Wine Society, where in between wine tasting, he read History. A Commanderie de Bordeaux, Lyons is also Vice President of The Sunday Times Wine Club.