We are really lucky to have David French as part of the Food Festival this year, doing a live Lobster/Crab pot making demonstration, he will also have some to sell too, they make fabulous garden ornaments! The structures are made using age old techniques and using willow from the Somerset Levels. David is one of just a handful of people still making these pots by hand in the traditional way. He will be on the Green all day making them, so do go and see him and talk to him about this craft. April 2017...... He will be on home soil in Budleigh, this will be a first for him in his home town, this will be my first festival. Most people in Budleigh are probably not aware of it's past fishing history or much about the beach and how it was, the crab pots he makes were once common place on the beach, this will be the perfect chance to see one being made the same way as it once was, for those who don't know me him he is the fifth generation of his family to still be making these pots, the Mears family were one of the four main family's who fished the waters off Budleigh , fishing as a full time occupation has all but ceased now in this area for various reasons but back in the day it was a very busy area, the main catches being Herring/Mackerel/Crab/Lobster/Scallops etc, come along and talk to him and he is hoping that he might even be able to coax Gerald Mears his Uncle to come along and chat!!!!!
Watch out for the full Budleigh Food and Drink festival programme being published next week, you will be able to pick up a copy at the library and some of the shops in town too! Of course you can just look on line too for all the listings of what's on during the weekend too. The line up of events and activities is staggering this year at the festival, there will be more music, more chef's, more stalls and more family and kids activities, more fun and more food ....what more could you ask for?! If you are feeling like you might want to volunteer at the festival to keep the event running smoothly them simply click on this and you can register to be a volunteer, it takes lots of people to make the festival happen so if you do have a spare couple of hours then do join in!
There is such a growing interest in having some of your own herbs, fruit and veg outside your back door, simply by growing your own even if you have very limited space. Nothing beats going out to chop some herbs into a fresh salad, pick rosemary for your lamb dish, or dig a few potatoes. We love the ease of it, really using what is in season to boost the flavour of everthing on your plate. Everyone loves being outdoors and gardening needn't be such a slog, especially if you don't have much time - just start off simply and easliy with a few items and you will get the bug!
Of course there are lots of ways to get your garden into shape first and a newcomer to this years festival in the new Living and Lifetsyle area is Greener Space, who specialise in and around East Devon in organic gardening. Visit them on the Green during the Food Festival for advice and inspiration.
This is more about them ...
Greener Space Ltd is a Garden Maintenance and Soft Landscaping company to create and maintain your Gardens and Green Spaces to ensure they are attractive at all times. This includes: the maintenance of Lawns, Borders, Hedges and pruning, dividing, weeding, and garden clearance. We are also able to work with you to plan and design with plants your garden or green space. Wildlife friendly - better for you, your family and your pets. Quieter - whenever possible we use battery operated and hand tools to keep noise to a minimum. Greener - we try to use organic methods and avoid the use pesticides. We work throughout East Devon and Exeter area, including Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton, Exeter, Woodbury, Newton Poppleford and all the wonderful villages and rural areas inbetween!
With a real emphasis on local products the Food Festival is set to showcase some fabulous drinks this year too! There are a real range of producers here from the non alcoholic to the full on G&T's. Empress Juices produces a wide range of really interesting flavours to really boost your taste buds! This is their story;
Having long dreamt of setting up her own business and being her own boss, Emily Hughes founded Empress Juices in 2015. Being someone who has always loved fresh fruit and vegetables, she felt there was a gap in the market for freshly pressed juices in the South West. After going into cafe after cafe and supermarket after supermarket, and being faced with a selection of juices which contained varying quantities of refined sugar, she saw an opportunity for a new business and hence Empress Juices was founded.
ALL NATURAL SWEETNESS
For many years there has been an ongoing debate about levels of refined sugar in food and drink. Soft drinks in particular are invariably consumed by young people who are understandably oblivious to the detrimental health effects of the excessive consumption of sugar. After seeing Jamie Oliver’s sugar campaign, and seeing the amount of teaspoons of sugar that go into various juices, Emily passionately believes that the natural occurring sugars of fruits and vegetables are just as sweet, but most importantly, so much healthier and refreshing than soft drinks and processed juices.
DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY
Empress juices are naturally delicious and good for you.If natural fruit juices, as opposed to refined sugar drinks, were tasteless and unappealing then there would be an understandable problem; but these natural juices are refreshing, deliciously tasty and so healthy.
That’s why Emily believes that every bag should contain an Empress Juice!
This year's festival sees a fabulous range of stalls offering mouthwatering ingredients to try and buy. There are some great new stalls this year along with old favourites too, some are there for one day only some for the whole weekend, so its worth visting on both days if you are a keen foodie!
Seaweed is big flavour addition this year and is featuring in lots of recipes and articles and we have our very own seaweed company right on our doorsteops in Sidmouth. Seaweed is said to deliver a unique savouriness to dishes the elusive umami taste. Ebbtides this is what they have to say about their fabulous products;
About Ebb Tides
Founded by Tony Coulson, Ebb Tides sells sustainably harvested edible seaweeds.
Based on the beautiful Jurassic Coast in East Devon, Ebb Tides was a dream of Tony’s for many years and finally established in 2016.
Tony’s knowledge of seaweed, and his belief in its nutritional benefits go back a long time. He’s been eating seaweeds for much of his life. Combined with 20 years’ experience working in aquaculture & fisheries, as well as environmental protection, he knows his stuff.
We believe that simple is good. That means we don’t add anything to our products. The drying process allows us to capture the goodness so you can enjoy all the benefits.
And our ethos of simplicity goes a lot further than just our products. From how we’ve named our products through to our friendly, no-nonsense customer service – we’re all about keeping things beautifully simple.
Where does our seaweed come from?We think local is best – best for consumers and best for small, local business and the local economy. So that’s why we concentrate on hand harvesting from a stretch of Devon’s beautiful south coast.
We’re fully licensed and work closely with Natural England to ensure we harvest sustainably and ethically.
When creating our seaweed blends, we worked with Noel Corston, the pioneering, multi-award winning chef and restaurateur. His restaurant, Noel Corston@EX34 – located at the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the North Devon Coast – has received the award for Best Restaurant in Devon over the past few years, and is also recommended in the Michelin Guide 2016.
We all know about the four basic tastes in cookery – sweet, salty, sour and bitter. But there is a fifth basic taste too – umami – a Japanese word, the definition of which is ‘a pleasant, savoury taste’. Noel is a big advocate for including the umami element in cookery, and seaweed is a great source of it.
How we harvestWe harvest mainly during the summer months when the tides allow, but we’ll also harvest year-round, depending on demand and on the species. It’s got to be in season, and just like other vegetables, it has a point in the year where taste and goodness is at its best.
Why we love seaweedWe think seaweeds are pretty amazing. Eaten by coastal people since ancient times and part of the daily diet in Asia for centuries – for good reason. Seaweeds are wholesome, delicious and a great alternative to salt.
The benefits of eating seaweeds are well-documented and widely reported as being:
Tomahawk Steak with Buttered Kale
“The Tomahawk steak from Darts Farm Master Butchers is one of my favourite cuts. It’s always tasty and of the highest quality and helps me recover after a big game. I would highly recommend you try one” Tom Johnson, Exeter Chiefs
Buttered Kale (serves 2, double up if feeding more!)
Dash of boiling water
Pinch of salt
Good grind if pepper
Squeeze of lemon
To cook with the steak you will need few spring of
rosemary, garlic, star anise and butter
Method You’ll need a meat thermometer for best results, digital is best.
As with all meat, ensure the steak is at room temperature before you start cooking it. Remove from the fridge and sit the steak on a plate for a couple of hours before cooking. Preheat your oven to about 50°C, adjusting the heat to lower for a fan oven. Place the steak on a baking tray and season well with sea salt. Cook for two and a half hours. After this time, probe the centre of the meat to check the temperature. Your desired core temperature is 48-50°C for a rare steak at this point. The theory is, if your oven can sit at 50° then your steak will never go above that temperature, so there’s no chance you can overcook or undercook it.
Bring a pan large enough to accommodate the steak up to smoking. When it is ready, add a little oil with a few sprigs of rosemary, three cloves of garlic (skin on, squashed a little) and two star anise. Place your steak into the searing hot pan, adding two or three generous knobs of butter either side of the beef. Leave the meat alone, don’t agitate it – let it build up to a deep colour. A top tip is to turn down the heat a little, so you don’t burn the butter. Baste with that foaming butter in the meantime. Turn the meat over after about three to four minutes, and continue basting. After a max total of eight minutes, remove from the heat and allow to rest. Tuck the steak up under a blanket of tinfoil and a tea towel, resting for at least 30 minutes (preferably 40 – it’s worth the wait!). After this time, the core temp should be around 57°C for a lovely rare tomahawk (adjust cooking temp if you like it a bit more well done).
For the Buttered KaleTrim the ends off the kale, chop into equal segments (or strip from the stalks if you prefer). In a hot pan (one containing any meat juices is best) add the kale and butter, mixing to coat. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and the dash of boiling water. Shake the pan and cover, reduce heat slightly and leave to steam for 4-5 mins. Before serving add squeeze of lemon, mix and serve.
Serving suggestion – Serve with the buttered kale and roasted new potatoes
Rump steak with Dribbly Mustard Dressing
“I love our rump steak. Whether it’s good old fashioned steak & chips , sliced in a baguette or a sneaky piece with my fry-up in the morning, it’s just awesome!” Alastair David Master Butcher Darts Farm
Dribbly Mustard Dressing
Three tablespoons of good quality mayo
Four good ol’ teaspoon of English mustard
One good tablespoon of plain yogurt
Many twists of cracked black pepper
Pinch of good sea salt
One teaspoon of cider vinegar
Mix all of these lovely things together,
adjusting levels to suit.
To cook with the steak you will need oil,
garlic, rosemary, butter, salt & pepper
Take your meat out of the fridge and bring up to room temperature. A little oil and a good season with salt goes a long way. Get your frying pan / griddle smoking hot. Get your rump moving into the searing pan and listen to the sizzle. Drop a couple of knobs of butter either side of the steak, along with whole cloves of garlic and rosemary. Lower the heat slightly and while the meat is still, baste it with the foaming butter. After two to three minutes, flip the meat over. Continue basting for approx 6-12 minutes, depending on thickness of steak and cooking preference. Remove and rest for at least 10 mins under a blanket of foil and a tea towel.
Serving suggestion – watercress, in a baguette, sandwich, with salad, or devoured on its own stood in your kitchen hovering over a chopping board… just enjoy it.
David Perkins one of the local Budleigh Beach Fishermen will be demonstrating on Saturday at 10.30 come and join him for the best tips