© Samual Fradley
Meet the Experts
Our Wine Seminars and Tastings are taking on a new look in 2021 coordinated by local wine merchant Michael Sutton’s Cellar. They have great links to experts and wines from around the world.
Food Matters – Science, Diet and everything else.. is the name of our unique Food Festival programme on contemporary food issues. It is free to attend and can be booked in advance. It involves a series of conversations between food writers, chefs, food producers, scientists and possibly supermarket managers with audience participation very much encouraged. Topics will range from controversies in food production, what constitutes a sustainable diet and how we can reduce plastic and foods waste to some light hearted fun considering how to feed the kids and todays essential kitchen gadgets.
The programmes will be educational & fun and designed to encourage lively discussion and debate. These events are very popular so if something catches your eye book early as places go quickly!
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)… and how our food system has shaped our collective identity, bringing abundance yet hunger to our society….bon bon appetite!”
Clare is an innovative educator who likes to engage students in dialogues about the future of food/nutrition and how they can be more active advocates for healthy and sustainable diets/food systems. She frequently acts as an advocate for her professions by exchanging knowledge and offering expert consultancy on sustainable healthy eating and food related issues to local/regional networks. She has also been involved in promoting environmentally sustainable diets for nutrition professionals (working with British Dietetic Association) as well as sitting on the editorial committee for Urban Food Futures (online science magazine) and the advisory board of the Food Research Collaboration
Clare is actively engaged in community research around food, poverty and social justice, currently leading the ‘Food as a Lifestyle Motivator’ (FLM) project, which explores creative methods to engage ‘marginalized’ communities in food activities to enhance their health, well-being and life skills. She is an active member of the Food Plymouth partnership, and lead on the Food Equality (poverty) aspect of their action plan
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!
Jonathan Sutton owns Michael Sutton Cellar Wine Merchants just outside Dartmouth in Stoke Fleming.
Jonathan was born and bred in Stoke Fleming and has recently returned to Devon, after a 30 year absence, with his wife, Suzie, to run the family wine business set up by his father Michael.
After leaving University, Jonathan joined the Royal Navy and served for 16 years. During that time he visited many countries including Croatia which he fell in love with. After leaving the RN he returned to Croatia and started a property business on the Dalmatian Coast. He divides his time between the wine business and travelling to Split.
Anyone who knows him understands his genuine passion for learning more about both wine and food. He is currently studying for the next level of WSET exams. Taking Michael Sutton’s Cellar into the 21st century has been very exciting and he has a dogged determination to make wine buying unintimidating for all and encouraging customers to be more confident in knowing what they like and exploring new wines.
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’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.
For 6 years he edited BBC Good Food magazine and has very recently launched a series of podcasts with Tom Kerridge.
Peter Grieg began by working for his father in an industrial Chicken unit. Along with Henri, when their two children were born, they wanted to change the direction of the way that they were producing food. After a spell of sheep farming in the Yorkshire Dales, they both headed down to Devon and so began Pipers Farm.
Every piece of beef and lamb that they sell is 100% grass fed for life which is made possible because they only farm native British breeds; suffolk lambs and traditional Devon Ruby cattle. They exclusively breed and rear all the livestock they butcher, and therefore have total control of the process.
Peter travelled to continental Europe in order to witness the very different butchery methods employed there, and returned to the farm and taught himself to butcher. With the prime focus being to produce fantastic tasting and textured meat – a process of trial and improvement ensued (with a frying pan as an aid!) and today Peter has the full benefit of everything that he learnt during that period. He is always happy to share his experience and offer advice!
Chef & Food Writer
Showing the Dough who is boss since 1980
Originally trained as a baker in Brittany, Richard has been in England since 1988 and is now very much an Anglophile. With 20 years experience in the kitchen, baking, consulting and teaching behind him, Richard moved to Bath in 2005 to open The Bertinet Kitchen cookery school. His classes attract customers from all over the world to come to learn to bake with him. Richard was named as BBC Food Champion of the Year 2010 for his work on baking.
Founded in response to requests from cookery school customers and locals to buy the bread being made on classes, The Bertinet Bakery originally opened as a pop up above the cookery school in 2008. It now operates from 2 production bakeries in Bath and London supplying its own shop in Bath together with wholesale customers across the South in addition to Waitrose who stock Bertinet Bread nationwide.
Richard’s first book Dough was published in 2005 and was awarded the IACP Best Cookery Book of the Year 2006, the Julia Child Award for the Best First Book, the James Beard Award for Best Book Baking and Desserts and The Guild of Food Writers Award for Best First Book. It has been translated into 15 languages and is sold in over 20 countries. Crust published in 2007, was given a World Gourmand Award for the Best British book on Baking and a James Beard Award for Food Photography. Crumb is Richard’s 6th book and was published in February 2019.
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 Chair of Eat Club, the organisation that teaches food skills to young people and the power of eating around the table. He is past Chair of Plan Zheroes, the platform which connects surplus food with those in need, and is on the Board of United St Saviours, a charity which runs best in class Almshouses and gives grants 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 is a governor of a Special School which has food education, growing, and food enterprise as an integral part of its curriculum;
He frequently sits on expert panels, guest lectures at a number of universities, is a TED speaker, and caries out dozens of speaking engagements a year – particularly about Protected Food Names and the impact of Brexit on food and agriculture. He is a well-known bon viveur and after dinner speaker, and returns to Dartmouth each year often to be found hosting tasting events
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.