The Chefs’ Forum 10-Year Tour Hits Devon & Somerset

Following on from success in Bristol recently The Chefs’ Forum tour of celebration reached Devon & Somerset. After starting in Manchester at the beginning of the year there have been celebratory lunches up and down the land including in Wales, Kent, Cotswolds and Bristol.

On Monday 10th October, the show rolled into Devon at Winslade Manor in Exeter where chef Matt Mason was excited to be playing chef host along with Chefs’ Forum Director Catherine Farinha. The lunch, attended by leading chefs, restaurateurs, suppliers and hospitality professionals follows a similar pattern and is one that has developed over the years.

The lunch is cooked by chefs from the region who are assisted by college students, again from the region. In this case the chefs were assisted by students from Exeter College.

“This year has been fantastic,” said Catherine Farinha. “Wherever we’ve been there have been excited students wanting to cook with our chefs and vice versa. It’s really great to see. The chefs create amazing dishes and the students learn so much and the colleges love what we do – which is really nothing more than enabling professionals and students to work together in a unique way. It sounds easy but it’s really not. It’s taken us a long time to perfect the template.

“This time, in Devon we had Dan Moon from Foie Royale, Werner Hartholt from Butlin’s Chef Academy, Richard Hunt from Courtyard by Marriott in Exeter, Matt Mason from Winslade Manor along with freelance chef Merrick Webber and Great British Menu’s Elly Wentworth, affectionately known as ‘Elly off the telly’!

“The menu was a delight, starting with a welcome drink of Ca’Bolani Prosecco sponsored by St Austell Brewery, then featuring delicious partridge supplied by Willo Game, fresh produce by Goosemoor Foodservice and Total Produce, Foie Royale, Gio plates by Wedgwood, jackets by Chef Works and much more. And the students from Exeter College loved their time in the kitchen with the chefs – You could tell they were getting so much from it.”

Matt Mason, Chef Director at Winslade Manor commented: “This was a great event for us to host at Winslade. It’s just the sort of event we love to do. It was great to work with the young talent from Exeter College a chance to see what other chefs have to offer – whether making ravioli or breaking down a venison carcass to making a restaurant quality stock or sauce – simple enough but great building blocks for a future in catering – what a great experience!

Catherine, Alex and The Chefs’ Forum team always bring a buzz of excitement which was felt around the room, a great time was had by all – and it’s a great opportunity for our industry peers to have a good old catch-up. The Chefs’ Forum are brilliant at bringing chefs, suppliers and students together – they were very excited to tell me all about their new book – The Chefs’ Knowledge – I look forward to my free copy. The page layouts look amazing.”

The lunch in full comprised:


Dan Moon – Foie Royale
Foie Royale, Tomato & Onion Tartlet 

Fish Course

Werner Hartholt (Butlin’s Chef Academy)
Pan Roasted Fillet of Stone Bass with Granny Smith Apple, Rujak Sauce and a Cray Fish Spring Roll 

Richard Hunt (Courtyard by Marriott Exeter)
Roast Fillet of Gurnard, Curried Crab Velouté 

Main Course

Matt Mason (Winslade Manor)
Loin of Dartmoor Venison, Fondant Potato, Parsnip Purée, Pear & Chocolate 

Merrick Webber (Freelance Chef)
Partridge Breasts, Celeriac Purée, Deep Fried Quail’s Egg, Salt Baked Celeriac and Tru­e Ravioli, Confit Leg Ballantine, Morteau Sausage, Confit Shallot & Game Jus 


Elly Wentworth (Great British Menu Southwest Food Hero)
The Penny Black – Chocolate, Sesame & Banana

Matt Mason
Crème Brulee

Many chefs were asking when the next Devon & Somerset event will be.

The good news is that there will be a further series of regional chefs’ lunches to celebrate the launch of The Chefs’ Forum’s new book – The Chefs’ Knowledge which will go to print this month.

Many chefs were asking to cook at the next one, which is a great sign that everyone had a wonderful day and are keen to showcase their signature dishes to their industry peers, while supporting the next generation chefs and hospitality professionals.

Any chefs, suppliers or colleges wishing to get involved with The Chefs’ Forum should contact

Photography credit