Dartmouth Food Festival details announced

Posted June 17, 2015 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Devon, Drink, Food

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Dartmouth Food Festival returns this October with a mix of delicious regional food and drink, chef demonstrations, workshops, lively food debates and fun for all the family.

Set in the beautiful Devon estuary town of Dartmouth in the South Hams from Friday October 23 to Sunday October 25 it celebrates the very best food, drink and culinary skills from the south west.

Chef Mitch Tonks will be taking to the stage to host cooking demonstrations and will be joined by a host of other exciting names in the food world and local food heroes with the likes of Simon Hulstone, Darrin Hosegrove and Nick Evans from Rick Stein‘s St Petroc’s Bistro sharing their skills. 

  
Wine seminars will once again be led by wine expert Susy Atkins so expect an exciting, informative and highly entertaining programme.

Mr Tonks said: “The Dartmouth Food Festival is a celebration of the fresh and exciting produce we have available to us locally. With the coast and countryside on our doorstep and the strong character of our farming community, we are able to produce some of the very best, truly delicious food and drink.” 

New for this year, the Embankment, Quay and Royal Avenue Gardens venues will be open until 8pm on the Friday so visitors can browse and enjoy the stalls while soaking up the festival atmosphere. The Festival Bar will also be open until 8pm on both Friday & Saturday, so visitors can make the most of their trip before enjoying a meal in one of the town’s many restaurants and eateries.

The popular Eat Your Words event is back. Taking place in The Flavel Church in the heart of Dartmouth and sponsored by Corinium Care, the event provides a forum for informative and fun talks on food and drink. With highly regarded chefs, writers, producers and critics taking to the stage to lead discussions, the event will also include taster sessions.

Confirmed sessions include Mouthwatering TV with David Pritchard, in which the television producer who brought us Keith Floyd and Rick Stein will spill the beans on what it’s like to work with some of the nation’s favourite foodies. 

Advice for Aspiring Food Writers will feature Orlando Murrin, founding editor of BBC Good Food magazine, and Rosemary Barron, author and journalist, offering advice on how to make it in the world of food writing from building a blog to bagging a book deal.

How Green is Your Business? will examine the ways in which a growing number of food businesses are going green with Lucy Siegle of The Guardian and The One Show, joined by award-winning chef Tim Bouget

Fishing into the Future, with award winning restaurateur and seafood champion, Mitch Tonks, will discuss the future of fishing with Dartmouth crabber and chairman of Fishing into the Future, Alan Bennett.

The Flavel Arts Centre will once again be the venue for a series of events including our Festival Feast, Wine & Food matching sessions and, back by popular demand an amazing Saturday lunch with an Italian theme devised and created by chef and food writer, Jane Baxter.

Families visiting the festival will find many activities to keep the little ones entertained in the children’s marquee. Activities on offer will include biscuit decorating, face painting, apple bobbing and the ever popular flag decorating competition.

Entry to the festival is free with a charge for some events. 

Cornish campers get a pizza the action with Kernow Forno and its mobile wood-burning oven

Posted June 7, 2015 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Cornwall, Food

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As land-locked Midlanders, my husband and I are always keen to escape to the coast. A recent jaunt took us to the Meadows campsite in the Pentewan Valley, just outside St Austell for a weekend of coastal walks, plenty of food, and some good old Cornish cider.

Child-free, dog-friendly, and recently featured in the Guardian in a list of 15 ‘pitch-perfect’ campsites, The Meadows was perfect for us. Even more perfect when they announced that on the Saturday night, we would be treated to a visit from a cocktail van, and pizza experts Kernow Forno. Pizzas? On a campsite?

  
Yes, indeed. All will become clear.

Kernow Forno is a mobile pizza-making mecca, taking a wood-fired oven to all sorts of events across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. Husband and wife team Simon and Sarah Pryce (who in a previous life clocked up a joint 32 years with the RNLI) set up the business in what they describe on their website as a “you only live once” decision. They upped sticks, moved to Cornwall, and started their travelling wood-fired pizza oven business.

  
With a menu ranging from traditional margherita to more speciality toppings, and even dessert pizzas, they boast of using an authentic Italian dough recipe to get a thin, crispy base and pizzas that cook in less than two minutes in the 500-degree oven.

  
Eager to see their handiwork, we arrived back at the campsite from a long, lovely coastal walk to find the pizza-cooking well under way and fellow campers trotting back to their tents with their delicious-looking dinners.

In a confession that will indicate that these pizzas are really rather good, I have to admit that while we started of planning to order two between six of us (since we had a full barbecue dinner planned as well), but ended up buying four more after we’d tried them. The best-laid plans hey!

  
This pizza overload was due, in part, to the great offerings on the menu. As well as a simple but tasty margherita we couldn’t resist the meat feast, topped with sausage, Cornish salami, home-cooked ham and roast chicken. We also couldn’t walk away without trying the Cornish line-caught mackerel marinated in soy, horseradish and ginger, with red onion and chive. The mackerel was fresh and tasty, its flavour enhanced by the oriental marinade.

  
With all of the pizzas the dough was light, thin, and just the right level of crispy round the outside. Nowhere was its quality more obvious than in the form of irresistible garlic bread. 

  
The smell alone was enough to make you nod your head helplessly when asked if you’d like one, while the taste was simply out of this world. I mean, who doesn’t love cooked garlic for starters? But mix with salty butter, all soaking into a light pizza base. A true winner.

Kernow Forno isn’t just about the quality of its food, much of which is a showcase of what the south west has to offer. This is theatre at work, and no doubt one of the reasons these guys are so popular at festivals and fetes. Simon rolls and tosses the bases while you watch, bringing an open-kitchen style to the whole affair, while you can peer into the wood-fired oven to see the roaring flames as you loiter with intent waiting for your pizza.

And the piece de resistance? They appear to have some control over the weather, at least at the Meadows anyway. As Kernow Forno arrived, so did the sun (something Simon assures me has happened before when they’ve staged one of their pop-up pizza nights), meaning we could bask in the heat, munching on our pizza and sipping on cocktails.

In an age where pop-ups and street food are all the rage, Kernow Forno are cashing in on a trend that looks unlikely to wane anytime soon. But they’re not just doing it, they’re doing it well, and stand out from the crowd. Bravo Simon and Sarah, that decision was certainly worth taking.

Ellen Branagh is a journalist who blogs about food rather well at www.eatwithellen.com <!–

Bath Blue wins at World Cheese Awards

Posted November 21, 2014 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Food, Somerset

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Bath Blue, a classic blue veined cheese made by The Bath Soft Cheese Co, has scooped the top award at the World Cheese Awards.
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It pipped 2,600 cheeses to triumph in London, with Canadian judge Louis Aird describing it as “poetry; like a river of cream over rocks, a perfectly balanced blue cheese with long, long lingering flavours.”
The final Supreme panel of judges, representing nations including Australia, USA, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand and Canada, concurred, awarding the Bath Blue the highest score of the final judging stage.
Graham Padfield, managing director of The Bath Soft Cheese Co, said: “This is truly fantastic news. It’s a huge privilege to be the winner and we can’t quite believe that we are now the makers of the World Champion Cheese. This gives us great confidence for the future as we have just invested in a new dairy building and we were taking a leap of faith, but this award confirms that we are getting our cheese right and that is a wonderful endorsement.”
The cheese is made without any mechanisation and the milk comes from our herd of 160 organic cows.
Over 250 cheese experts from 26 nations travelled to London Olympia to judge in the space of a single morning. The final judging panel of top-name global experts – including Cathy Strange of Whole Foods Market in the US, Suzy O’Regan of Woolworths Foods in South Africa, Ros Windsor of London’s Paxton & Whitfield and Kris Lloyd of Australian artisan cheese-maker Woodside Cheese Wrights – then tasted a shortlist of 16 cheeses to select the 2014 World Champion.
The World Cheese Awards, now in its 26th year, returned to London for 2014 after a three-year run at the BBC Good Food Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Organised by the Guild of Fine Food, this year’s event drew entries from 33 countries including New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw lead line-up at Padstow Christmas Festival in Cornwall

Posted November 19, 2014 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Cornwall, Drink, Food

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Celebrity chefs Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Nathan Outlaw, Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix will face the public as they perform their skills at this year’s Padstow Christmas Festival.

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The four-day festive fiesta from December 4 – 7 sees chefs and local producers take over the streets around the town’s harbour for an event that includes 64 cookery demonstrations and workshops.

This year it includes a head-to-head cook-off between Phil Vickery and Brian Turner on Saturday December 6, presented by Fern Britton, aka Mrs Vickery.

Event organiser Tina Evans said: “This is our biggest event to date with more than 40,000 visitors expected to join us for the festival.

“Alongside a packed schedule of demos, we’ll have a spectacular fireworks display, lantern parade, Narnia-inspired grotto, activities for children, pop-up food stalls and live music.”

More information and a programme of events can be found at www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.

Penpont Brewery’s Creation ale wins Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) award

Posted March 25, 2014 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Cornwall, Drink

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Penpont Brewery‘s latest beer, Creation pale ale, has won two Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) awards.

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The light golden beer from the brewery in Altarnon, in east Cornwall, won a gold award in its product class and a silver in the overall Champion Keg Beer competition.

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Dorset Food and Arts Festival 2014 date set for Poundbury

Posted March 24, 2014 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Dorset, Drink, Food

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The Dorset Food and Arts Festival will take place at Queen Mother Square square in the heart of Poundbury on Saturday August 2, the weekend closest to the late Queen Mother’s birthday.

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This year’s event will celebrate local food and drink and artistic creativity in Dorset.

Organisers Dorset Food and Drink, Dorset Farmers’ Markets and the Duchy of Cornwall will also be working with the New Hardy Players, the Dorchester Community Play and Screen Bites, Dorset’s food and film festival.

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Extra day added to TorqEat festival in May

Posted March 22, 2014 by davidtwilcock
Categories: Devon, Drink, Food

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Organisers of the TorqEat festival in South Devon have added an extra day to the 2014 event on the May bank holiday weekend.

The festival will take place on May 3 and 4 in Torquay’s Harbourside and Cary Gardens after last year’s one-day event attracted 5,000 visitors.

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The line-up is led by Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor at Torquay’s Michelin starred restaurant The Elephant.

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