Exmoor Food Fest: A taste of Exmoor

Chambers Bistro Minehead will take part in Exmoor Food Fest

Chambers Bistro Minehead will take part in Exmoor Food Fest - Credit: sub

Packed full of tasty fun, Exmoor Food Fest is returning in 2017, says Elke Koesling-Winzer

Celebrating food and everything that goes with it – that’s what the Exmoor Food Fest is all about.

For a whole month, participating restaurants across Exmoor will be offering a special Food Fest deal of two courses for £10 or three courses for £15 so locals and visitors alike can have the opportunity to get a taste of Exmoor without breaking the bank. Many restaurants will also put on foodie events which showcase outstanding dishes using the best local ingredients.

Over the years, an interesting food scene has developed in the Exmoor region. Somewhere, at a secret place, caviar is produced which can easily compete with the better known brands and, recently, the reintroduction of oysters in the bay near Porlock Weir made headlines. In the past, Porlock Oysters were served at the best London hotels, and hopefully this will happen again in the not too distant future.

Rare breed pork from small breeders like Little Oak Farm has found its way into chefs’ kitchens – the quality of the meat of pigs who grew up running free in woods is not surprisingly far superior to mass produced pork. Then there are artisan producers like Janet Thompson who set up her company Grown Up Marshmallows a few years ago – forget the sticky stuff you know as marshmallows from supermarkets, Janet produces dreamy clouds of yumminess, flavoured with gin and other grown-up tastes, which are a very special treat.

Many producers will be showcasing their products at the Exmoor markets during the Exmoor Food Fest and, of course, at the grand finale in Dunster when the Dunster Food Festival takes place across the village on the last weekend of February.

The Exmoor Food Fest starts on 26 January at the Luttrell Arms in Dunster with a VIP dinner. Seven chefs will serve up seven courses, not only for invited guests.

The actual Food Fest will run throughout February. Anyone interested in attending should check out the festival’s website for information on participating restaurants and updates on events.

However, there is more to the Exmoor Food Fest than ‘just’ fine dining, pop-up restaurants and markets. A Surf & Turf Run will take place at the end of January along the West Somerset coast between Dunster beach and Minehead, ending close to the Exmoor market in the Tesco car park.

At the Dunster Food Festival chefs and their teams will do sponsored runs around the village – the chefs with eggs and spoons, the front of house team with trays. All will be raising money for Hospitality Action, a charity looking after hospitality staff in need.