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Dartmouth is the perfect place for a festival

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 19, 2013

Mitch Tonks, left, and David Jones raise their glasses to the Dartmouth Food Festival

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The lovely, friendly, Devon town of Dartmouth is the perfect location for a food festival. It is close to the sea and has a healthy number of excellent local chefs to call upon to take part.

Leading the way are David Jones of Manna from Devon, who is the Dartmouth Food Festival chairman, and local chef and keen supporter Mitch Tonks, who will be giving cookery demonstrations alongside many of his chef friends.

"Devon has so many hugely gifted chefs and it's fantastic to see such a vast selection of them demonstrating their culinary skills at the festival," says David.

"We're exceptionally lucky to have such an exciting and varied schedule ahead, giving exposure not only to local chefs but also local producers. This year's Dartmouth Food Festival is a definite must-visit for any food and drink enthusiast."

The line-up for the three-day festival, now in its 11th year, includes Jean-Philippe "JP" Bidart, head chef at The Millbrook Inn, a recent winner of a Gold Taste of the West Hospitality and Retail Award, who will be educating and inspiring all about rose veal.

On Friday he will show how to source, prepare and cook a number of veal dishes including a delicious Pitmans Farm rose veal fillet with tarragon butter.

Also on Friday, Chris and James Tanner owners of Plymouth's The Barbican Kitchen and Tanners will be hosting a demonstration in the Royal Avenue Gardens.

Other chefs hosting interesting and enlightening demonstrations include the proprietor of the Taste of the West gold award-winning Waterside Bistro and, also gold award-winning, New Walk Restaurant & Cafe Bar, in Totnes, Matt Buzzo; chef at the Michelin stared The Elephant, Simon Hulstone and Manna from Devon Cooking School co-owner Holly Jones.

Seafood champion Mitch Tonks will be joined by the equally passionate chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix for a Celebration of Southwest Seafood on Friday in The Flavel.

Jane Baxter and Christine Smallwood – a great success last year – are back for A Taste of Puglia at The Flavel on Saturday, October 26, during which audiences will savour a fantastic array of food and wines. There's also an Italian flavour to a pre-festival event at the Flavel on Thursday evening – the Italian Festival Feast, during which Mitch Tonks, Serin Aubrey and Simon Entwistle of Dartmouth Fine Foods, proprietor of Annabelle's Kitchen Jon Hodgson and Saveurs' Julien Picamil will be re-creating the wonderful flavours of Italy with a fabulous four-course feast.

Coast & Country Cottages and Cafe Alf Resco will be running the festival coffee bar and free children's activities area in the Royal Avenue Gardens.

Dartmouth Food Festival is from Friday, October 25, to Sunday, October 27. dartmouthfoodfestival.com.

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