Festival News

The leading autumnal event of the year, Powderham Food Festival, is back for its sixth year, celebrating the best of local food and drink on Saturday 7th October to Sunday 8th October.

With the beautiful and historic Powderham Castle as its background, festival organisers Bob Small and Fiona Gofton are aiming for 2017 to be the biggest, best and quite possibly the healthiest food festival yet!

Home to The Earl and Countess of Devon, Powderham Castle acts as a magnet over the weekend for foodie fans of all ages. So, with the county brimming with scrumptious fruits and vegetables, what better way to shine a light on fresh and delicious food the whole family can enjoy.

Bob Small says: “We have always ensured we create a food festival at Powderham which is suitable and fun for every member of the family, but this year we wanted to take it a step further and give everyone who attends food for thought on what they feed their loved ones.”

It is for this reason we have teamed up with Sugar Smart to help educate and inspire families on how to cook less with sugar-filled processed foods and more with fresh ingredients, to discover easy ways to lower their sugar intake.”

Fiona Gofton says: “We all live hectic lives and it can be a struggle to get inspiration for meals to feed the family which are speedy, healthy and appeal to everybody’s tastes. Our new family food marquee will focus on wholesome home cooking, offering a bounty of useful information from Sugar Smart and associated organisations on how minor tweaks to diet and lifestyle can have a long-lasting effect on health and wellbeing.”

Food anthropology PhD student, Rachel Pinnock, who works at Exeter Cookery School and is a Sugar Smart ambassador, will be on hand to show both children and their parents how humble veg, which can be grown at home or bought from supermarkets, can be transformed into a nutritious and interesting family meal.

Judi Spiers will also be on site, joining the team from Home Farm Café, a Dartmoor-based farm café with 85% of its menu featuring local, seasonal produce, with demonstrations from Stella West-Harling and Nick Smith on how to create exciting and delicious dinners for week-night meal times.

An added interest this year will be the presence of Waitrose’s wine expert Steve Minnican. who will talk about the world’s wines on the Saturday.

Fun Kitchen will be attending the Festival once again, supporting Sugar Smart’s campaign with its popular, messy and educational hands-on cookery classes for children. Fun Kitchen founder and Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador, Joe Mann, is a firm believer in making cooking fun and accessible for children and as a partner of the Growing Devon Schools Partnership, has been instrumental in teaching about food beyond the classroom.

Exeter Cookery School’s stage will be home to a wondrous line-up of the region’s best culinary talents. Jim and Lucy Fisher, the dynamic husband and wife team who opened Exeter Cookery School in the summer of 2016, will play host to an amazing array of cookery demonstrations for the third consecutive year. Working with the region’s very fine seasonal larder, chefs include new faces for Powderham Food Festival, such as Actor, Masterchef 2016 Semi-finalist and founder of Scripts for Supper, Annie McKenzie, chef and co-owner of Café Catalan, Paul Greenhead, artisan sausage makers, cured meat producers and Good Game co-founders, Steve Williams and Pete Woodham Kay, and Exeter Cookery School tutor and Food Anthropology PhD student, Rachel Pinnock. Meanwhile, making return appearances are TV chef, consultant chef & founder of Devon Scone Company, Richard Hunt, Exeter Cookery School tutor of authentic Indian cookery Nila Ross-Patel, owner of Emma’s Bread and the Boatyard Bakery and sourdough afficionado, Emma Parkin, and not forgetting previous Masterchef semi-finalist and head chef/tutor at Exeter Cookery School, Jim Fisher.

As a Powderham Food Festival veteran, the ever-popular Theatre of Fire and Smoke will also be back to delight its loyal following. Barbecue and food smoking aficionados Simon Dyer, Marcus Bawdon and John Gower from Quiet Waters Farm, will be cooking up a storm. Meanwhile, the Clifton Chilli Club will be hosting their usual increasingly fiery chillies on members of the public in the Great Devon Chilli Challenge – for the bravest of souls (or should we say stomachs).

And if that was not all, there will be 150 local food and drinks producers and craft stalls to explore and keep you occupied, such as, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Fizz Bizz by Lemon Jelli, The Cherry Tree Preserves, The Stannary Brewing Co., and so many more.

Bob Small, continues , “We are very privileged at Powderham Food Festival to have the loyalty and support from our sponsors and partners. Our headline sponsors Helpful Holidays have been with us since 2012 and are with us again this year. We appreciate and thank everyone for their very valuable support.”

The Festival will be a fantastic family, foodie and arty day out for all to enjoy, so make sure you put the date in your diary for the must-visit Autumn Food Festival at Powderham Castle!

Our Headline Sponsor

A family business founded 33 years ago. We’re based at the heart of the West Country, in Chagford within the Dartmoor National Park.

We know the West Country and the holiday cottages we let very well and our excellent team of 40, who help arrange over 16,000 holidays a year, retains a ‘small firm’ ethos where customers come first. More than 60% of our bookings are from previous customers, their friends, relatives and work colleagues, and 99.6% of customers who responded to our questionnaires this year said they would recommend us to friends.

Our job is simple – to do all we can to make sure you have happy holidays. We do so by being very honest and straightforward.

By publishing clear photos and accurate descriptions and by having knowledgeable staff to advise you who are not rewarded with sales commission. By carefully and regularly inspecting cottages (see Star ratings) and upholding our industry-leading standards of quality. By never overpromising (if anything, we understate) and absolutely delivering on the expectations we raise. This approach has earned us a faithful and growing fan club.

Festival Official Charity

CHICKS is a children’s charity that provides free respite breaks for disadvantaged children from all over the UK, at our three retreats in Devon, Cornwall and Derbyshire. For the children they support, a CHICKS break imparts new confidence, nurtures self-esteem, makes happy childhood memories and sparks new enthusiasm for life.

Andrew Dean, Director of Fundraising at CHICKS, said: “We’re really excited to be the official Charity of the Year at Powderham Food Festival! 2017 is an extra special year for CHICKS as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary – I’m proud to say that in that time we have given over 14,000 children a break. And whilst we help children from all across the UK, last year alone we supported more than 250 children from Devon, giving them a week to enjoy the amazing countryside that is right on our doorstep.

“The festival is going to be a fantastic weekend, and we can’t wait to see you all– make sure you pay a visit to our stand for family friendly activities and to find out more about the work we do.”


Helpful Holidays Giveaway

Every time you book your Powderham Food Festival tickets online you will automatically be entered into a draw for the chance to win a prize, thanks to one of our lovely sponsors, Helpful Holidays!


Helpful Holidays, the West Country holiday cottage experts, are offering a three night break for nine at Bonny Alva, a detached house in Porthpean with spectacular 180 degree sea views, elevated above the sandy beach, where magnificent tall ships are often seen sailing in St Austell Bay. You have exclusive use of this wonderful house.

The break is available between October 7th 2017 and 24th March 2018 (subject to availability – excluding school and bank holidays). Terms and conditions apply.

Terms and conditions apply.
For more information on Helpful Holidays, visit www.helpfulholidays.co.uk or call 01647 434388.

Book your Powderham Food Festival tickets here: www.ticketsource.co.uk/powderhamfoodfestival

A Food Festival for all Seasons

Powderham Food Festival is a full-on celebration of local produce, celebrating food for every season from around the South West of England. Although taking place on 1 and 2 October, arguably the best possible time of the year for abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, we don’t merely focus on the autumnal food offering, but share the love across all four seasons.

Take spring, for example, the time for wooing loved ones, telling Mum how much you appreciate her and for celebrating new life at Easter (or at least the many wonderful qualities of chocolate). Located in St Giles, Torrington, and available at local markets, online and in select delis, Chocolat de Caprine make delicious chocolates using goat’s milk – they are also cows’ milk free, gluten free, wheat free, nut free and egg free, which we are sure will be music to the ears of those suffering from food allergies.

Our Theatre of Fire and Smoke will be putting the spotlight on one of the nation’s favourite pastimes. Barbecues and smoking food is BIG in the region, and more and more this is becoming a year-round phenomenon rather than relegated for those rare warm and sultry summer days. We are also excited to introduce a new BBQ exhibitor to Powderham Food Festival this year. Bristol-based Spitfire Barbecue, which will be bringing you prime cut meats and monster ribs, smoked and grilled over hot coals. PitBoss (Spitfire’s BBQ), is on a mission to save his troops from collecting dust in the winter and changing the British perception that BBQs are only meant for the summer. Expect your taste buds to be blasted with flavours and damn good BBQ – you’ll have to look elsewhere for pretty plates of food.

If you want a perfect celebration of the autumn harvest, look no further than Riverford, who will be returning to Powderham Food Festival again this year with their award-winning veg boxes. Winner of Ethical Product of the Decade, no less, Riverford are mad about veg – it’s at the core of everything they do. Buckfastleigh-based Riverford has been growing organic fruit and veg since 1987, as well as grass-fed organic meat and more.

Is it too early to think about Christmas? ‘YES, we’re busy having picnics and barbecues’, we hear you shout. But bear with us. One of our regular exhibitors, Figgy’s traditional Christmas Puddings, really are worth a shout any time of the year. Richie and Jo Evans, a husband and wife team (plus two small helpers) based in Devon, create Figgy’s award-winning handmade Christmas puddings in Devon to a family recipe.

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Chef line up announced

Chef lineup

An exciting line up of the region’s top chefs has been announced for the 2016 Powderham Food Festival. Heading up the main cookery stage for the second year running, Jim and Lucy Fisher from newly opened Exeter Cookery School will be presenting a tantalising menu featuring delicious dishes using the finest local produce. Illustrious names from the cheffing world range from Tim Maddams of River Cottage; Richard Hunt, TV chef and co-founder of Devon Scone Company; Chef Consultant Peter Gorton; Food writer and founder of Olive magazine, Orlando Murrin, and Richard Valder of independent seafood restaurant @Angela’s in Exeter.

The Theatre of Smoke and Fire will once again add a touch of fire and spice to the proceedings, with ITV BBQ Champ, Simon Dyer; King of Meatopia, Marcus Bawdon; Glenn Bowden and Sarah Jones from Riviera BBQ, and John Gower of Quiet Waters Farm smoking, barbecuing and flaming meat as only they know how. Meanwhile, Clifton Chilli Club will be hosting another Great Chilli Challenge, pitting daring-do taste buds against increasingly spicy chilli peppers until there is only one brave and victorious soul standing.

If that is not enough, the Royal Marines from Lympstone Training Camp will also be returning with their Cooks Field Tent and Cook Van to entertain the crowds. They cook at any time, anywhere in the world, from the heat in Afghanistan to the cold of Norway, constantly raising their skills and team bonding while using limited rations and equipment. They will be telling visitors how they have to think creatively, while ensuring they provide the nutritional content necessary to keep the guys going in the field.