Award-winning venues, producers, chefs and restaurants have joined forces to celebrate the incredible food and drink on offer across East Devon’s stunning coast and countryside. Taste East Devon is a nine day food and drink festival taking place across the whole of East Devon from 11th - 19th September 2021.
From farm feasts to brewery open days, seafood tasting experiences to BBQs and parties, each event will have its own mix of experiences and entertainment. Some events will be ticketed, some will be open freely for all. www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk
This unique festival is a true ‘field to fork’ experience with participants including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Michael Caines MBE, Darts Farm, THE PIG-at Combe, River Cottage, Deer Park Country House, East Devon AONB, Mazzard Farm, Jack in the Green, Otter Brewery, Lympstone Manor and the Donkey Sanctuary.
Ottery St Mary in the heart of East Devon will kick things off with its own Food & Families Festival on the 11th - from then on all manner of tastings, demos, producer visits, special menus will be staged across the area, culminating in a grand finale at THE PIG-at Combe’s Summer Party in Gittisham on September 19th.
From an evening at River Cottage HQ to a Darts Farm all day ‘Field, Fire and Ferment’ food festival and feast in its new ‘The Farm Table’ restaurant there will be something for everyone. Various restaurants in the area will create special menus and experiences throughout the nine days including a seafood tasting experience at The Salutation Inn, ‘Cocktails & Canapés of East Devon’ at The Jack in the Green and flour milling, gin making at Otterton Mill. The Donkey Sanctuary will be hosting a vegan lunch with conservation talk, while beer lovers may book a tour and pizza experience at Otter Brewery.
East Devon is a sensational destination for food and drink lovers, with a coastline full of beaches and seaside resorts. The area includes the world-famous Jurassic Coast and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All events are within 30 minutes of the sea, many are right up along the shore. The area is renowned for its locally landed fish and seafood from East Devon day-boats. With a patchwork of fields spanning the region, Devon is home to native breed Red Ruby cattle.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talks about Taste East Devon: “It is important that we celebrate what we have. We have this landscape - I don’t know the exact term, but I call it Dingly-Dell. Up-hill-and-down-dale… It lends itself to small-scale mixed farming. People doing bits and pieces. And because farms have tended to be small there’s been that entrepreneurial spirit of adding value to products with a bit of artisan craftsmanship thrown in. Little dairies with their own cheeses - small farms making their own cider on the side.
“And that is a great thing to feed a food culture,” Hugh continues. “The patchwork of small dairy farms has all but gone, which is a great shame - but in their place there’s diversification. River Cottage was, itself, an old dairy farm - but we have diversified here as others have. What’s great about this part of the world is that quite a few people have come from elsewhere because they sense a kindred-spirit here.
“Food entrepreneurs. They come to grow, they come to experiment, they come to diversify. They come from places where the land is more mono-cultured - and there are still opportunities here to do really amazing things with food.
“The productivity - the entrepreneurial spirit of small growers and producers - it has become a bit of a Mecca.”
Michael Caines MBE adds: “We needed to have something in the calendar that said we are going to celebrate this wonderful region. Our own identity is shaped by the places and the people who live here - so come and be a part of it!”
Sponsors include: East Devon District Council, East Devon Excellence, NFU Mutual Honiton, NFU Mutual Tiverton, Jurassic Fibre, Ashfords Solicitors and Lympstone Manor.
For further information and regular updates about the festival, visit www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk. Follow Taste East Devon on Instagram or Facebook - /TasteEastDevon.