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Pyne Arms Restaurant

Owners Ellis and Amie Pannell from award winning ‘The Pyne Arms’ a gastropub with rooms between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe tells us about cooking influences and sourcing local ingredients. How the Exmoor Food Festival went and hosting the launch night with 3 other chefs at the top of their game. 

Blue Velvet Bistro , Tiverton

Owner Andy Cuddy tells us about the Bistro and his new Pizza Takeaway ‘Mama 

Luba’s’ on Bridge Street and opening his Bistro doors to pop up curry nights hosted 

by Kumari from Ceylon Curry House.

Clavelshay Barn Restaurant

North Petherton, Somerset a gourmet foodie destination

taking part in the Exmoor Food Festival

Clavelshay Barn Restaurant, North Petherton, Somerset 

 Weaving our way through a housing estate in Taunton, past the Tacchi Morris arts centre we put our trust in the sat nav, there was actually a quicker way back via old fashioned signposting. The estate faded and tiny country roads emerged with sleeping hedgerows and soaring birds of prey overhead, we were in the middle of nowhere, had we been misled by the errant sat nav? Then we saw a sign, beckoning us down. As we descended the muddy lane, we were met by stares of familiarity from plump cows for this is a working dairy farm too, these cows are used to ‘town folk’ visiting for Clavelshay is a popular award-winning foodie destination with head chef Olivier Certain at its helm for the last 3 years; winning best chef in the Somerset Life Award 2017 and his colourful dishes winning creativity and innovation at The Trencherman’s Awards 2018 and Gold from The Taste of the West among others.

Twilight was settling in this quiet valley once part of Glastonbury Abbey estates, there was even a river which the Barn overlooks, there is outside seating so a summer follow up visit must be on the cards, it is idyllic. We were greeted by owner Sue Milverton, who back in 2005 after the devastating foot and mouth crisis affecting her farm, was forced to diversify and created the restaurant from a rundown disused barn with family support. The Barn is authentic to its roots with warm wooden beams, stone walls adorned with local artist’s Jackie Curtis nature themed lino prints and cloud shaped wool ceiling baffling which will muffle conversations there is nothing worse than a noisy restaurant. This top room overlooks the valley, at dusk you may be witness to the odd deer or stag, grazing but tonight we are having dinner in the intimate bar area downstairs. Olivier likes to be flexible and this evening we were having the surprise menu, the only clue we had is a request for any allergies, being a foodie fortunately I have none. We settled in. First, we had a teacup of sublime mellow Bouillabaisse, a traditional Mediterranean fish soup combined with saffron and aioli with herbes à la Provence, a real nod to Olivier’s Marseille origins in the south of France. Noted the correct temperature to serve too, warm not scalding. Next, a pretty dish of curled dry cured slivers of Venison from Dorset placed upon local goat’s curd cheese from Whitelake farm in a red wine syrup and spinach puree, the earthiness of the Venison sat well with the slightly tart goats curd. We then recorded Olivier rustling up a favourite dish of his customers, Brixham scallops, 10 fat King scallops de-roed were deftly dealt with in a sizzling pan cooked to perfection and plated with a spicy wasabi cream and pearls of miso which popped. Sublime!

To cleanse the palate there followed a fennel sorbet topped with a signature viola edible flower and prepared with Exmoor Full Moon gin laced with tonic it was as sweet, sticky and moorish as it sounds.

The surprises from Olivier kept coming and we were certainly being treated and showcased to all of his unique and innovative talents. The main course was a balance of winter weather food comforting, the equivalent of a warm hug from a nearest and dearest. Local supplier Heal Farm provided the belly of pork which fell apart as the fork pushed through it into the milk mashed potato underneath- why is it so impossible to replicate this at home? The stock reduction and carrot puree enhanced the dish further and each mouthful was making my taste buds tingle. There was more, the grand finale -a petite dish of rhubarb cheesecake, iced ginger parfait and ginger marshmallows. Rhubarb an underused English fruit, some are forced extending the season. This fruit can also in the wrong hands be as tart and unwelcoming as a bee’s sting, but with a little grenadine this warms it to be sweet like strawberries and complemented the ginger, it wrapped up this evening well with perfect portion sizes and excellent service from Sue and her team ,this 5-course surprise menu was a treat.

I had complete faith in Olivier and was not disappointed with any of his surprise dishes tonight and how refreshing to put your stomach in a chef’s hands- it has made dining an experience which food should be, take a gamble, take a drive and book a table.

– this is Michelin worthy food. 

Claire Lynch - Caremoor for Exmoor Dining Club

Cider Producers - Secret Orchard

La Petite Bouchée - Witheridge Devon

Exmoor Food Festival February 2018

Wellhayes an Exmoor Vineyard

The Swan Bampton

Exmoor Food Festival February 2018 - Breakfast

Petroc Future Chef

Springboard Regional Finals 2018

Powderham Food Festival October 2017

The South West Coffee Festival 2017

Crediton Food Festival 2017

British Street Food Awards

Heat Tiverton 2017

Mark Dodson head chef and owner

The Mason Arms Knowstone

Paul Webber  Head Chef   The Hartnoll hotel     Tiverton

The Swan Bampton       Owner Chefs Paul & Donna Berry

Barrie Tucker Head Chef at The Luttrell Arms

The Luttrell arms is situated in the medieval village of Dunster on the edge of Exmoor. It is a traditional hotel with Restaurant and bars boasting a great heritage and a secret garden which overlooks magnificent Dunster castle. Barrie Tucker - local man is the head chef and we catch up with him and a walkthrough inside to give you a flavour of this incredible place.

Luttrell Arms Walkthrough

Steven Hadley head Chef and owner of Chambers Bistro Minehaed

Steven Hadley is 'one to watch'. A Minehead chef running Chambers Bistro. Steven takes us through a popular Lyme Bay Scallops dish in his kitchen and how he started including cooking for the Queen and his time working for 2 other Exmoor Chefs Andrew Dixon and Olivier Certain. Steven is taking part in Exmoor Food Festival with a great menu now available on Thu/Fri/Sat.

Andrew Dixon head chef and owner of The Cafe at Porlock Weir

Chef and Patron Andrew Dixon tells us about his journey so far and why a Newcastle lad fell in love with Exmoor. He talks sustainable fishing and the Porlock Oyster Project producing GRADE A right on the sea bed which his restaurant with rooms overlooks out onto. Exmoor doesn't get better than this. Andrew was also caught teaching some Petroc students in Tiverton the art of shucking oysters. It's all good stuff!

The Jubilee Inn

The Jubilee Inn was built in 1936 and is situated near to Tiverton and South Molton in Mid Devon. It is a traditional pub with a contemporary twist with interior designed rooms by the owner Claire and pet/child friendly. The head chef Sam Salway has worked in Michelin starred restaurants with a french influence; Sam sources locally and is passionate about what he does!

Claire Lynch from Claire's Kitchen chats to Caro B

Claire talks about the Exmoor Food Festival throughout February participating restaurants offer a fantastic deal 2 courses £10 or 3 for £15. A culinary cavort across Exmoor;events include farm visits and Miles tea tour ! Claire is a specialist events caterer and will also be launching her secret dining experiences in March check website for details. A cookery school is planned offering up local grown produce from her smallholding based in North Somerset, She also has some tips for better eating for Gout with a new book in the pipeline!

Olivier Certain

Petroc College Tutor/Lecturer Chef Chats with Caro B

Olivier Certain talks to us about his award winning restaurant at Clavelshay Barn in Somerset,

his French heritage and passing on his stunning skills to students at Petroc. 

Petroc College Student Chefs Jack and Scott chat to Caro B

Electric Christmas Nights 3rd December 2016 walk through

Pizza, kebabs, sushi, cider, reindeer, elf trail and music!

Petroc College Trainee Chefs

Exeter Food & Drink Festival 2016

A walk-through and chat

with all the amazing local producers and traders

Three Paella's in One Hour with

Tiverton Paella Company