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The 2016 Festival Cookery Theatre Lineup!

Darrin Hosegrove

Darrin Hosegrove

Ashburton Chefs Academy

After training at Exeter College, Darrin began his career at Gidleigh Park followed by working for several years in fine dining restaurants around the UK. His love of teaching brought him back to Exeter College, and he joined the Ashburton Cookery School in 2004 with the vision to create a cookery school with a strong ethos supporting South West producers and artisan suppliers. Five years ago he was instrumental in the development of the Ashburton Food Festival and in 2012 was responsible for launching the Ashburton Chefs Academy which has now become a professional accredited training centre teaching culinary diploma's in cuisine and patisserie to an advanced level.

www.ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk

www.ashburtonchefsacademy.co.uk

www.ashburtonfoodfestival.co.uk

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Michael Caines MBE

Michael Caines MBE

Lympstone Manor (opening 2017)

The inspiration behind the Festival, two Michelin star chef Michael Caines is opening Lympstone Manor in 2017. Michael was formally the Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park and Director of Brownsword Hotels, Michael is Director of Michael Caines Restaurants. Born in Exeter, he has long been a champion of the South West and the outstanding quality of its local produce. Michael was awarded an MBE in 2006 for Services to the Hospitality Industry and AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2007.

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Andy Appleton

Andy Appleton

Appleton's at the Vineyard

Andy Appleton is the former Head Chef of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, a position he held for 9 years. Andy was originally a senior sous chef at Fifteen London and was part of the team that launched the Fifteen concept back in 2002. During his 10 years at Fifteen Cornwall he has designed menus and food concepts that have satisfied the hunger of over three quarter of a million guests and alongside overseeing the award winning restaurant has managed the apprentice chef training programme that has resulted in 101 young chefs graduating.

Andy left Fifteen in February and started his own venture, a restaurant called Appleton’s at the Vineyard, a small restaurant within a new vineyard and winery in Cornwall, Trevibban Mill.  

For Andy, food is about more than the recipes – it’s a whole attitude and lifestyle that makes great food the focus of every day. It’s about sourcing the best seasonal ingredients at their peak, and letting them do the talking without unnecessary clutter and complexities. Taking rustic, Italian dishes and adding a contemporary twist, Andy creates unique menus that bring the best of Italy and Cornwall together on a plate. The new restaurant is exciting for Andy as not only is he cooking for himself, the Vineyard has its own vegetable garden and rears its own lamb for him to use, taking the sourcing policy of using produce on his doorstep, very literally! Appleton’s at the Vineyard opened on March 16th 2016. 

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Mark Dodson

Mark Dodson

The Masons Arms, North Devon

The Masons Arms, Mark and Sarah Dodsons’ Thirteenth Century characterful thatched Inn with a cosy beamed bar and comfortable lounge, offers log fires and a warm welcome. Mark was, for twelve years, Head Chef of Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn, Bray. His food displays a modern take on British and French classics with a certain complexity to the cooking and with that it comes as no surprise that the Masons Arms has been recognised by all the major guides and was awarded a Michelin Star in 2006 which has been retained since.

Award winning exceptional local cuisine using only the finest ingredients and presented with taste and style. Wonderful friendly service complete this first class restaurant within this North Devon pub in the village of Knowstone. Truly two experiences in one!


 

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Peter Gorton

Peter Gorton

Gorton's

Consultant and celebrity chef Peter Gorton and Fellow Masterchef of Great Britain is one of the best-known chefs in the south west of England. Peter has many years of Michelin Star experience and provides consultancy services to hotels and restaurants throughout Britain and abroad. He also runs a successful Hospitality Academy in association with GHQ Training and works extensively with schools in food education.

Peter was former chef proprietor of the prestige’s Horn of Plenty and Carved Angel Restaurant gaining a Michelin Star for 10 years and countless other accolades placing both restaurants in the top 10% in Britain which he sold a few years ago. Peter also owned Gorton’s a fine dining 26 seater restaurant in Tavistock Devon which he sold recently due to the high demand for his consultancy services.

Peter began his culinary career in 1980 at the age of 16 and trained at some of the finest restaurants in the UK and around the world, from The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny to the Burnham Beaches Hotel in Melbourne, Australia and Jamin in Paris. He has made a number television series including Little Chefs, a six-part programme for ITV Westcountry, and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It for BBC3. Peter is happy in the media spotlight and regularly contributes to magazine articles and recipe columns for the local and national media. He is also a regular voice on BBC Radio Devon’s Breakfast Show and has published 3 books, the latest is Peter Gorton ‘An Invitation to Cook’.

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Dez Turland

Dez Turland

Group Development Chef at Brend Hotels

Dez's career started in London with jobs at the Law Courts on the Strand and a private hospital on Baker Street. This led to a role at the world famous Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly working with Michael Quinn MBE and Andreas Antonia, now of the 1 Michelin starred restaurant Simpsons in Birmingham.

Dez then spent two years at the Michelin rated Terrace Restaurant situated at the NEC, Birmingham before helping to open The Alverton Manor, a country house hotel in Truro, Cornwall.

In 1990, Dez became Head Chef at The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth which quickly gained recognition and was awarded its first AA Rosette.

In 1992, Dez was approached by Brend Hotels to take over at The Royal Duchy Hotel, Falmouth and quickly helped them achieve their 4 Star status as well as being awarded 2 AA Rosettes which they continue to hold.

In 2008, Dez became Group Development Chef for Brend Hotels in charge of 11 hotels, 2 Restaurants and some 100 chefs. In October 2010 he moved to North Devon to oversee all kitchen operations at Saunton Sands Hotel.

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Sam Moody

Sam Moody

The Bath Priory, Bath

Progressing from his first role at the Michelin starred Ockenden Manor, Sam joined Michael Caines’ two-star Michelin team at Gidleigh Park. He spent two years working through every section, honing his cooking skills. Now Head Chef at Gidleigh’s sister property The Bath Priory, Sam and his team are proud to have earned a Michelin star of their own.

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Mark Puckey

Mark Puckey

Padstow Seafood School

Mark Puckey comes from a long line of Polperro fisherman. Inspired by this, Mark took his first job in a local seafood restaurant before training at Mid-Cornwall College and a catering college in Northern Spain. Alongside this he worked as commis chef at the Jubilee Inn, where he specialised in meat and game, working his way up to sous chef.  

Once qualified Mark became head chef along Fowey River. After two years he travelled to Bangkok to explore Asian cuisine. Invited to the 5* Conrad Hotel and Michelin-starred Cuisine Cuisine in Hong Kong, Mark taught Western fish cookery and developed his knowledge of Chinese food. In 1996 Mark set up his own restaurant, The Boathouse, in Polperro, receiving recognition from the Good Food Guide for three consecutive years. Mark was featured in ‘Cornish Chronicles’, a six part ITV documentary series in 1999. 

In 2000, Rick Stein ate at Mark’s restaurant after which he invited him to work at the company. Joining as head chef of Stein’s Deli in 2000, Mark was appointed head chef at Rick Stein’s Café in 2002. After a year, Mark spent three years as production manager for the business. In October 2005 Mark became head chef lecturer at Padstow Seafood School. 

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Scott Paton

Scott Paton

The Horn of Plenty

Scott started cooking at The Jack in the Green near Exeter, having joined them as a kitchen porter when he was still at school. He worked his way through the ranks at The Jack over a period of 9 years, from KP to Commi Chef to Pastry Chef to Sous Chef. Whilst there he completed various work placements in other acclaimed restaurants and patisseries, both in the UK and in Paris. In terms of awards, Scott has won South West Chef of the Year in 2009, and Dessert of the Year in 2008. The Horn has also won a whole host of awards during his time as Head Chef there, including “Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Devon” in the 2012 Food & Drink Awards. They have also won a bronze award for “Devon Hotel of the Year” in the 2012 Devon Tourism Awards. There is a strong emphasis on local produce at the restaurant, with over 70% of their produce sourced within the County, and 90% from the South West.

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Matt Mason

Matt Mason

The Jack in the Green, near Exeter

Matthew Mason has been the Head Chef of The Jack in the Green at Rockbeare near Exeter for 20 years.

Born and brought up in Devon, after serving his apprenticeship under the tutorage of Shaun Hill at Gidleigh Park, Matthew took over the kitchens of The Jack in the Green in 1995. A year later the Jack became one of the first pubs in Britain to achieve 2 AA rosettes; an award that it has maintained ever since.

A proud father, Matthew's driving ambition is that his passion for good food comes through in each of the dishes the kitchen serves every day. In September the pub retained its Bib Gourmand from Michelin for providing outstanding value for money for the sixth consecutive year. In December it was named by Devon Life as their 2015/16 ‘Gastro Pub of the Year.’

“In order to evolve we look to our landscape and delve deeper into our rich West Country food culture. Our suppliers, their heritage and most importantly the ingredients they supply help shape us into what we aspire to be. Simply put; everything a good pub should be.”


Spring 2016 sees the release of ‘The Jack Cook Book’. Aimed at the enthusiastic home cook it details the pubs story to date with 42 easy-to-follow recipes and a supporting cast of suppliers, customers and friends. £5 from every book sold will be donated straight to FORCE Cancer in Exeter.

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Matthew Peryer

Matthew Peryer

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton

Born in Bournemouth in 1985, Matthew studied the Specialised Chefs course at Bournemouth and Poole college. From 2001 he took on a three year apprenticeship at one of the best country house hotels in the UK, The Chewton Glen Hotel, and spent a total of six years working under three great head chefs Pierre Chevillard, Alan Murchison and Luke Matthews, moving through the ranks from apprentice to chef de partie.

In 2007, Matthew moved on from Chewton Glen and set his sights on Jersey in the Channel Islands. He started with Mark Jordan at The Atlantic Hotel as junior sous chef and after a short time Matthew was promoted to sous chef. Then in 2010 with the business at The Atlantic expanding Matthew was promoted to head chef while still working under the watchful eye of Mark Jordan.

In April 2013 Matthew moved his family to Lewdown in Devon and is now Head Chef at Lewtrenchard Manor. Working closely with his team to produce simple clean dishes using the best of what Devon has to offer and in particular sourcing his ingredients from the kitchen garden.

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Ian Webber

Ian Webber

The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon

Ian was the winner of Taste of the West's ‘South West Chef of the Year’ competition in 2006, after which Michael Caines appointed him Head Chef of his two Michelin starred Gidleigh Park at Chagford. Following a six-year tenure and numerous international awards, in January 2013 Ian then became Executive Head Chef of Abode Exeter for ten months.

Following an extensive renovation, The Five Bells Inn at Clyst Hydon re-opened under new ownership in August 2013. Ian joined the team later that year as Head Chef and within twelve months had helped them to win a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

As a father of three, it was a brilliant opportunity to balance family life with work and approach cooking from a slightly different and more hands on perspective. “My motivation now is to produce delicious, local seasonal dishes and pub favourites with a stylish twist and make them accessible for all. In terms of quality local ingredients we have everything we could possibly want right on our doorstep.”

www.fivebells.uk.com

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Thomas Hine

Thomas Hine

The Coach House, Kentisbury Grange

Born in Cornwall, Tom has risen through the ranks at a number of highly acclaimed South West restaurants. After studying Hospitality and Catering at College, Tom worked for local celebrity chef Rick Stein where his passion for seafood grew. After three years and progression within the kitchen team, Tom went across the road to join other local celebrity chef Paul Ainsworth who recently received his first Michelin star at No6 in Padstow.

Tom then relocated to The Bath Priory as Sous Chef, introducing him to Michael Caines’ cuisine. This led to an opportunity at Gidleigh Park where he learned from Michael and his talented team. Two years in one of the UK’s leading kitchens was hugely influential for the development of Tom’s career and style of cooking. After Gidleigh, Tom went on to become Michael's Executive Chef at ABode Chester. Tom says, “Michael taught me how to appreciate food and the importance of using fresh locally sourced ingredients to create uncomplicated dishes."



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Jean-Philippe Bidart

Jean-Philippe Bidart

Millbrook Inn, South Pool

Jean-Philippe Bidart, or JP as he is known, is the head chef at the multi-award winning Millbrook Inn at South Pool.

JP learnt how to cook from an early age, surrounded by a large family of enthusiastic cooks, all willing to pass on their knowledge.

 Inspired by the great Bernard L’Oiseau, JP trained in Paris at the Centre Formation d’Apprentissage at Evry  and his first job was as a Commis Chef at Aux Armes de France, an award-winning restaurant in Coreilles, France. He has also worked at triple-Michelin starred Le Saint Clement in Paris. Since arriving in Britain he was awarded two rosettes during his time at Buckland Touts-Saints Country Hotel and has built up a growing reputation as one of Devon’s finest chefs.

JP has firmly put the Millbrook Inn on the map for food since joining the team some eight years ago and has gained nationwide recognition as runner-up at The Craft Guild of Chefs, Restaurant Pub Chef Of The Year in both 2010 and 2012.

He has lead his kitchen team to win the Gastro Pub Challenge at The Restaurant Show, 2010, and won both Kitchen team and Pub Chef of the Year at the Morning Advertiser’s Great British Pub Food Awards in 2011. In 2013 year he was a finalist for the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards. In 2013 the Millbrook Inn was also given a Gold award at the prestigious Taste of the West awards. In 2014 the Millbrook Inn won the Food and Drink Devon Best Pub award, Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards Best Pub category and Silver in the South West Best Tourism Awards.

JP has demonstrated at the prestigious Exeter Festival of Food and Drink in 2014 and 2015 and at the Dartmouth Food Festival for several years. JP also trains his chefs though HIT Training, the UK’s leading provider of training and apprenticeships in the Hospitaltiy industry and sous chef Dave Gobbett was the West's Regional Champion of the HIT MasterChef Competition 2016.

JP is an advocate of nose to tail eating and he cooks with the very best Devon has to offer from the surrounding landscape and the sea.

JP’s style can be summed up as “Where inspired English pub food and French auberge cuisine collide in spectacular fashion.”

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Neil Haydock

Neil Haydock

Watergate Bay Hotel

As executive chef of Watergate Bay Hotel, Neil oversees all of the hotel’s food offerings including three restaurants - The Beach Hut, The Living Space and Zacry’s.

He works with a collection of handpicked suppliers and takes inspiration for his dishes from around the world to constantly produce diverse and contemporary menus. Zacry’s, the newest addition to Watergate Bay, shows off Neil’s passion for contemporary American cuisine, whilst The Beach Hut is more laid back with burgers, mussels and seafood. Neil and his team are constantly building on Watergate Bay’s reputation as an outstanding food destination.

Neil’s decision to become a chef was made very early and throughout his career he has retained this passion for local, seasonal foods; seeking out small-scale artisan producers to give his menus a real sense of place.

Raised in Lancashire as the grandson of a gamekeeper, Neil went on to live and work in South Africa for several years before taking on senior roles at a number of highly regarded restaurants, including the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, Terence Conran’s Bluebird in London and most recently, as Executive Chef at Fifteen Cornwall.

Twice in four years, Neil and his team at Watergate Bay were awarded Best Foodie Hotel as voted for by Food Magazine readers.

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Tomas Cook

Tomas Cook

Dartmoor Kitchen

Dartmoor Kitchen’s Executive Chef Tommy has 17 years of training and experience working as Sous Chef with Marco Pierre White and Jean Christophe Novelli preparing, cooking and presenting food at a Michelin level. He moved to River Cottage Canteen in Axminster before running his own successful restaurant ‘A Cook’s Kitchen’ which also catered for many high end private events.

Tommy has been with Dartmoor Kitchen for 4 years and heads up a strong team that are constantly developing new menus and dishes as well as delivering exceptional food across our events.

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Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

Ashburton Cookery School, Devon

Robert joined Ashburton Cookery School in 2011 after a distinguished chef career cooking in many fine-dining restaurants including sous chef at L'Ortolan, head chef at the Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, and the New Angel in Dartmouth.

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Bini Ludlow

Bini Ludlow

Sweet Cumin

Binixa (Bini) Ludlow grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She learnt traditional Gujarati cooking from her mother at the tender age of eight. This was to prepare her for married life ahead. Bini was fortunate to have been surrounded by experienced home cooks, Bradford's diverse culture, and an array of Indian shops that were full of unusual exotic ingredients.

Bini set up Sweet Cumin to pass on her knowledge to budding cooks, young and old, who want to understand the importance of using spiced, trying new flavour combinations and how to create and develop their own dishes. Cookery courses for adults come in beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The beginner course is taugh to school age children.

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Simon Hulstone

Simon Hulstone

The Elephant Restaurant & Brasserie

Simon has been cooking professionally since his school days and is one of the UK’s most decorated chefs.

 

By his early teens he already had several World Junior titles to his name and until 2011, he was the only British Chef to win gold in the World Skills Awards. In 2003, Simon was awarded the Roux scholarship for young chefs and he went on to win the National Chef of the Year award in 2008.

 

Simon has twice represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most challenging and prestigious culinary contest. He is captain of the British team in the Culinary Olympics and was also captain of the English Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

 

Since heading up the team at The Elephant, Simon has brought his extensive influence of traditional and world cuisine to Torbay, putting the English Riviera on the culinary map. The Elephant was awarded a Michelin star in 2005 which it maintains today. Simon and his father, Roger (also a successful chef) recently took over Burridge’s tea rooms on the Torquay harbourside.

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Tim Bouget

Tim Bouget

ODE-true food

Tim Bouget was born in Devon and studied at Exeter College, going onto the work with Michel Roux at the Waterside inn in Bray and other top London eateries. Later years saw Tim travel and work in North America, Asia, Caribbean, South Africa, and the middle East at the highest levels in the hospitality industry in a career spanning 30 years.

On returning to the UK in 2007 Tim and Clare opened their intimate dining room ODE in the coastal village of Shaldon which went on the win South West Restaurant of the year for 2 years in succession and listed in the UK top 100 at the National restaurant awards and awarded sustainable restaurant of the year in 2012

After the success of ODE it became obvious there was a demand to offer family friendly food for visitors and locals alike. café-ODE, Ness Cove was born, part new build, renovation and conversion opened in 2012 was subsequently named sustainable restaurant of the year in 2013 and 2014 by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Most recently ODE-true food group of businesses was awarded the prestigious Catey 2014 for sustainable business, ODE-dining holds 2 AA rosettes and is listed at no 55 in the Square meal top 100 restaurants in the UK.

The most recent café-ODE opened in 2015 and is located at the picturesque Gara Rock at East Portlemouth near Salcombe. Summer 2016 will also see the opening of the first ODE&Co, “true pizza” part of a multi million pound spa and leasure development in partnership with South West Holiday parks which showcases a wood fired sour dough pizza concept.

ODE-true food now is widely recognised as being at the very forefront of the sustainable food movement operating the highest rated sustainable restaurant and café in the UK.

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Gelf Alderson

Gelf Alderson

River Cottage

I was instilled with a passion for food from a very early age as I was fortunate to have my mum around as I was growing up who was a fantastic cook. One of my earliest memories is ruining some of her more delicate doughs and pastries!

I left school at sixteen and went straight into the kitchen. I’d had a job as a Kitchen Porter/prep chef since the age of thirteen and had decided that I wanted to be a chef.

I trained in a 5 star hotel, going to college once a week. It was a good place to train as it still approached food as it should be done; using whole carcasses and making everything from scratch so it was there I first picked up my butchery and fish monger skills.

After two years I moved on and decided to specialise in pastry and was fortunate enough to train under an excellent pastry chef who had worked at Michelin star level for thirty years. I stuck at this for two years until I was dragged back into the main kitchen.

I then moved to Stratford and worked for a small group of gastro pubs, all holding at least one rosette. I quickly moved up the ladder ending up as group head chef overseeing four kitchens. It was a great job and the only reason I left is because I wanted to start moving to the south of England.

Next stop was a stint working for Martin Blunos, holder of two Michelin stars. This was an amazing experience and gave me the opportunity to earn my fine dining stripes.

I finally arrived in Devon and knew almost straight away that the area was something special in the way of food. First I helped my old Executive chef to open a restaurant and spent a year successfully developing the business. I then moved into the ethical food sector working for an indoor ethical and sustainable food market and restaurant.

After all of this I fancied a break, so I went and worked for the National Trust. What I wasn’t expecting was to find a six and a half thousand acre estate of productive farm land connected to the estate with none of the produce coming into the kitchen. I spent the next three and half years changing that, working closely with the farmers themselves to develop two busy restaurants into being self-sufficient from the estate.

By the time the opportunity arose to join the team at River Cottage HQ, I had developed a Devon Ruby Red Beef farm, growing my own organic Maris Widgeon which was milled in our own 300 year old mill. We also had an organic dairy producing milk and cream; a community farm of 35 acres; 14 productive orchards producing award winning chutney, cider and honey; ten 1-acre market garden allotments as well as a supply of venison and game from the estate - shot as part of a larger conservation plan.

Now I’m at River Cottage HQ running the busy kitchens and cookery schools down on the farm and loving every minute.

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Tom Williams-Hawkes

Tom Williams-Hawkes

The Salutation Inn, Topsham

Tom started his cooking journey during a school work experience at Gidleigh Park, Chagford under the guidance of Michael Caines. Michael, himself started his professional career at The Imperial Hotel in Exeter run by Tom’s forefathers. His great grandfather ran Deller’s of Exeter for 17 years between the First and Second World War. It was an amazing cafe renowned for its quality and architecturally a leading Art Nouveau building.


Tom attended Exeter College as a chef trainee for three years graduating as Top Student, then on to Gordon Ramsey at Hospital Road, Chelsea then to Petrus under Marcus Waring before returning to Devon and working his way up to Sous Chef at Gidleigh for Michael, a spell in France followed for the Rothschilds during Gidleigh refurbishment and then on to the Abode in Exeter as Executive Chef for three years before opening the Salutation with the family. Now Tom with the help of his partner Amelia runs The Salutation Inn in Topsham a fabulous resturant with rooms, cafe and private dining room in the heart of Topsham.

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Angus McCaig

Angus McCaig

The Holt pub, Honiton

Angus McCaig runs The Holt pub and restaurant and Toast Cafe and patisserie with his brother Joe. 

Using local ingredients to create accessible, simple and tasty food at both venues on Honiton High Street.

The pub serves the full range of Otter beers.

Angus now teaches bread making and smoked and cured food classes at The Holt.

The Holt has previously won Taste of the West Dining pub of the year, and currently holds 2 AA rosettes.

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James Mason

James Mason

South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015

James trained as an apprentice chef at Exeter College while working at the Diggers Rest at Woodbury Salterton.  He then moved to Oxford to work as chef de partie in a 2 rosette pub and worked a stage at Gordon Ramsey’s 3 star Hospital Road restaurant.

James then returned to Devon temporarily to take the position of chef de partie at ABode Exeter before moving to Sussex to work at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Tristan in Horsham, Sussex.  James then returned to Devon again to work as junior sous with Tom Williams-Hawke at The Salutation Inn, Topsham. Later taking the position of sous chef, it was from here that James entered and won South West Young Professional Chef of the Year.

Thanks to his success in the competition, James was offered the position of head chef at No.1 Rock Road, Rock, Cornwall and he began his new role there in March 2016.

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Nicola Youngs

Nicola Youngs

South West Home Cook of the Year 2015

Nicola Youngs is a property developer and lives in Dymock, Gloucestershire with her husband Richard, children Emma and Thomas and their 5 chickens (Obi-hen Kenobi, Henzo Ferrari, Mary Cluckins, Christian-hen Dior and Big Fat Chicken).

“I entered South West Chef last year because a great friend (who was a finalist in 2014) was kind enough to suggest that I was a good cook and I might enjoy it. I can honestly say that I didn't expect to reach the final and actually winning the title still seems like a dream but I was fortunate to have the choice of so much fantastic local produce on which to base my dishes.

My greatest food success (apart from South West Chef!!) was probably a particularly ambitious Lego birthday cake for my son and one of my least successful was a parsnip and apple soup which prompted my daughter to coin the phrase 'thanks for lunch, please don't make it again!”

Since winning her title, Nicola has appeared regularly on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, sharing her recipes and cooking tips with the people of Gloucestershire. She loves cooking for her family and friends and teaching her children to cook and is delighted to be part of this year’s Food Festival.

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Jamie Rogers

Jamie Rogers

South West Chef of the Year (overall) and South West Professional Chef of the Year 2015

Jamie is the head chef at the Langdon Court Hotel at Down Thomas near Plymouth.  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.

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Jack Sharland

Jack Sharland

South West Student Chef of the Year 2015

After leaving school, Jack initially took a two year course at the Michael Caines Academy and as part of this course worked a stage at The Salutation Inn, Topsham with chef Tom Williams-Hawke and another at the Hand and Flowers, Marlow, with Tom Kerridge.  Following his stage, Jack was offered the role of part-time commis chef at The Salutation Inn while he continues his studies for a level 3 NVQ at Exeter College.

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Adam Little

Adam Little

Exeter Golf and Country Club

Adam Little has transformed the restaurant, banqueting and members’ café bar since his arrival at Exeter Golf and Country Club as Head Chef, in October 2014. Always with a focus on seasonality and provenance, Adam and his team provide a perfectly balanced menu of hearty and healthy choices for the range of 5,000 members from golfers to fitness fans. While for the restaurant and banqueting, Adam’s creativity and passion for perfection ensures fine dining standards are maintained. Adam’s achievements include the fourth star and two AA rosettes that he contributed to while at the Dart Marina Hotel, and his eight-year reign as Head Chef at the acclaimed, Harry’s Grill Bar. Exeter Golf and Country Club is celebrating its 121st anniversary as a golf course this year, and the opening of its redesigned course layout. It is a momentous year for the club, as one of Exeter’s longest-standing establishments. The club, with its gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, rackets courts and golf course continues to lead the way, with the addition of a new spa last year. Adam will be joined on stage by his Sous Chef, Ben Corcutt.

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James Golding

James Golding

The Pig Group

The Savoy Hotel first employed James while still just a student on the Specialised Chef course. Within 3 years he had completed all sections at the Savoy and had a firm grasp of Classical French cooking. It was at this time Chris Corbin and Jeremy King were beginning to attain legendary status for the sophisticated elegance of Caprice Holdings; Le Caprice (1981), The Ivy (1990), and J Sheekey (1997). In 1998 James was offered Demi Chef de Partie at Le Caprice working under Mark Hix and later Elliot Ketley.

It was during the next 7 years James’s love for British seasonal produce began to present. Truffles, foie gras and caviar were happily exchanged with elvers, lamb’s kidneys, Dorset cockles and snipe. James stayed at Le Caprice until 2001 when head chef Tim Hughes offered him a new position at the seafood restaurant J Sheekeys. Elliot Ketley placed James in charge of the 6th floor restaurant at Soho House New York. It was his experiences in America that finely tempered his Modern British style of cuisine.

In 2006 James returned to his home on the south coast as both a seasoned chef and new father. James’s work began to take on inspiration from the region and it’s unique produce from both forest and sea.Through his work as head chef at Harbour Heights he has worked to raise interest in where his food comes from and how it tastes. He has done this through working closely with the New Forest Marque, Direct from Dorset and the AA.

Throughout these years James love for seasonal British food never wavered and in 2006 he returned to the UK where he became head chef at Harbour Heights. In 2011 James became head chef of THE PIG and is instrumental in the walled garden and with the foraging too. In 2014 James became Chef Director overseeing THE PIG group.

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Liam Finnegan

Liam Finnegan

The Castle Hotel, Taunton

Liam Finnegan, has been head chef at The Castle Hotel in Taunton since 2012.  He grew up in Carlingford, Co Louth in Ireland and still sources the famous oysters from his home for The Castle’s menu. However, whenever possible, he uses local suppliers.

Liam’s career path took him through some fantastic restaurants such as The George Hotel on the Isle of White, The Bath Priory and Gidleigh Park where he worked for Micheal Cains, and The Nuremore Hotel (Ray McArdle). When asked about awards, Liam counters that a full restaurant and happy customers are more important. “Of course accolades are brilliant, but anything we get, we receive and share as a team.”

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John Hooker

John Hooker

The Cornish Arms

John is Head Chef of The Cornish Arms

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Andy Witheridge

Andy Witheridge

The Salty Monk

After 36 years as a chef and 18 years at The Salty Monk, Andy has joined forces with The Kings School, Ottery St Mary promoting and teaching our chefs of the future. The Salty Monk runs a student development night every Monday at The Restaurant.

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Andy Chown

Andy Chown

Fifteen Cornwall

Andy has been with Fifteen Cornwall for over eight years, since 2008, and is our Senior Sous Chef, a demanding role ensuring the kitchen produces top-quality cuisine, creating and writing menu's and taking charge of the kitchen in the Executive chef’s absence. A Sous Chef needs first rate culinary skills, a flair with ingredients and an ability to stay calm in a busy kitchen and Andy is no exception, developing his skills during 19 years as a chef, cooking all around the world including in America and New Zealand, and for the likes of Condoleeza Rice, Jack Straw and Prince William.

Favourite things about working for Fifteen Cornwall?

Andy says: "Fifteen Cornwall stands out for the restaurant's total and utter commitment to cooking with what's fresh and what's best and not interfering too much with the flavours, in other words letting the quality of the ingredients do the work."

"I love how much freedom the chef's have with menu choice with a focus on local and quality."

And of course, inspiring all the young people and apprentices is one of his favourite things about his job.

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    Fifteen Cornwall