A foodie guide to what's hot in Devon



I LOVE FOOD. There I’ve said it. And I’ve been lucky in that in one way or another it has always been a big part of my life.

My earliest memory of food was helping my Aunty Aggie and nan bake on a Saturday afternoon (Teisen Lap for my nan while Aunty Ag favoured custard slices). Unfortunately, these were not eaten during a civilised afternoon tea but rather watching the wrestling on telly cheering on our favourite curiously named hulk!  At home, we ate quite traditionally as my dad believed that a meal wasn’t a proper meal if it consisted of anything other than meat and 2 veg. I still remember his look of disgust when mam brought home a Vesta Chicken Supreme packet meal … and expected him to eat it !!! He didn’t.

Much to my shame I do admit to spending a lot of my teenage years trying out all the fad diets of the time – the beef burger and tomato one was a real low point. Thankfully I came to my senses and finally developed an interest in healthy eating which encouraged me to go to university and study Nutrition & Dietetics. When we moved to Devon about 18 years ago we threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the local food scene and ran an ice-cream making business and shop in the beautiful town of Dartmouth for 8 years. Since then I have been heavily involved in running the Dartmouth Food Festival and have continued to pursue my love of food in a myriad of ways…..

BUYING IT : don’t you just love a leisurely morning browsing around a market or farm shop? There’s always something I can’t resist. I have a store cupboard full of products that I know I will get around to using one day … yes even that jar of octopus tentacles!  I also seem unable to pass a roadside stall selling home-made produce without issuing an emergency stop command with all the force of a driving instructor. Unfortunately I usually omit the “If safe to do so” bit which has caused more than its fair share of trouble.

COOKING IT : to help declutter my groaning storecupboard I do love experimenting with all sorts of ingredients and trying out new recipes. Unfortunately, I am inclined to do my experimenting when we have people over to supper … so sorry to all my friends that have been at the receiving end of some of my failures.  I am, however quite good at novelty cakes …

EATING IT : it goes without saying that any self-respecting food lover finds it hard to go through the day without indulging in a good square 3 meals plus the inevitable snacks that seem to appear. And when I say snacks I mean cake … I love eating out and always on the lookout for a new place to indulge my feeding fantasties. Thankfully in Devon I’m never short of inspiration.

READING ABOUT IT : after a recent cull I am now down to only about 80 cookbooks. I often listen to Desert Island Discs wondering which one I would take to the island with me. I’m always torn between the original River Cottage Cookbook (as this would help me butcher and cook anything edible I found) and anything written by Nigel Slater, as I think he is the best food writer … ever.

My Nigel Slater shrine !!

And now dear friends and readers I’m looking forward to WRITING ABOUT IT.

So I hope you’ll join me in my culinary adventure around Devon.