Pie time at the festival: Exeter food and drink festival

Toms Pies at Exeter Festival

Toms Pies at Exeter Festival - Credit: Archant

Get ready for three days of culinary delights with the return of Exeter’s famous food festival - and two of its popular Devon exhibitors

Exeter Festival

Exeter Festival - Credit: Archant

Spring time in Exeter means several things, not least, the return of the mighty Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink. It’s the 14th festival and for the first time this year the three day, three night annual event will be held over the Saturday, Sunday and Monday (29 April to 1 May) of the early May Bank Holiday.

The festival, which is held at Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens, hosts more than 100 exhibitors selling the region’s very best home-grown, farmed, fished, reared, cured, pickled, marinated and cooked foods in the South West.

We asked two of those exhibitors, Chunk of Devon and Tom’s Pies, to tell us a little more about their pastry-wrapped offerings.

Chunk of Devon

How long has Chunk been making lovely pies?

Chunk has been making awesome pies and pasties for ten years. We started in July 2006, so creeping towards 11 years!

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What is your most popular pie?

It’s got to be the Steak & Ale. We use Otter Head ale in this pie which really complements the roasted carrots and caramelised onion. It comes from the fantastic Otter Brewery, just down the road from Chunk.

What defines a pie for you?

It really has to have great taste, made using real food, no silly additives. The filling tender with just enough gravy, the pastry strong enough to hold that wonderful filling but light enough to melt in your mouth. You’ve got to use butter in the pastry, or lard, NEVER margarine!

Tom’s Pies

What inspired you to make pies?

As we all know, Australians love pies, and it was when working as head chef in prestigious kitchens across Australia that Tom developed a real understanding of this. Completing his travels cheffing on super yachts around the Caribbean, he was inspired by his experience of using the fresh produce that surrounded him to return to Devon and create his own delicious pies.

What are your predictions for pie trends in 2017?

With the pie market saturated it can only push producers to create more interesting and exciting fillings. We have great British meats available to us and game or wild meats, alongside foraged ingredients, will start to appear in pies.

What’s the most unusual pie you’ve made?

In the early days, when Tom was still working from an old barn converted on the organic family farm in Devon, he was asked to create a bespoke birthday pie for a customer who was mad about Aston Villa. Tom produced a pie in the shape of a football and used beetroot as a key ingredient to create a colour similar to the team’s kit.

Festival facts

Opening Hours

Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6pm, Monday 10am - 5pm

After Dark Party Nights:

Friday 6:30 –11pm,

Saturday 6–11pm,

Sunday 6–10.30pm


Festival Day Pass (not including Festival After Dark Party)

Adults (Saturday) £8,

(Sunday/Monday) £6,

Children (5-15 years inclusive) £1,

Child (under 5 years) Free

Group day tickets (10+) Adults - buy 9 tickets and get the 10th free

After Dark Party Nights (not including entry to the festival by day or producer pavilions)

Friday (Locked Horns, supported by Stephens Scown’s Choir and Loose Cannons) £8

Saturday (Leigh Coleman Band, supported by Yazzy, Joanna Cooke and Celine Dos Santos) £8

Sunday (Bill Ding and the Skyscrapers, supported by Roger Styles) £8


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