Meet the Chefs - Exeter Festival of Food & Drink

Meet the Chefs

The 2020 Chef Lineup

Take a look at all of the amazing chefs that are confirmed for 2020! There are even more to come...

Emily Scott - St Tudy Inn

After great success with her Harbour Restaurant in Port Isaac, and scooping the Food Reader Awards Best Chef title in 2013, Emily’s launched herself into a new foodie adventure, taking over the St Tudy Inn near Wadebridge in Cornwall. Emily creates an ever-evolving menu that combines her passion for beautiful, seasonal food with the best Cornish produce available in this wonderful village location. They were awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for 2017 which they have now retained for the fourth year in the Michelin Guide 2020. A wonderful recognition. Emily was named as one of the most influential women in hospitality by CODE – a leading industry publication.

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Liam Finnegan - The Castle at Taunton

Liam Finnegan’s the latest chef to take the helm at prestigious foodie destination The Castle at Taunton (past head chefs have included Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery). He grew up in Carlingford, Co Louth in Ireland where he spent his time as a self-professed ‘menace’. So much so that his grandmother put him to work in her kitchen, just to keep a watchful eye. Little did she know that her intervention would grow into his lifelong appreciation for the hard work and graft it takes to cook quality food.

Since then, Liam’s career path took him through some fantastic restaurants such as The George Hotel on the Isle of White, The Bath Priory and Gidleigh Park where he worked for Michael Caines, and The Nuremore Hotel (Ray McArdle). When asked about awards, Liam says that a full restaurant and happy customers are more important. “Of course, accolades are brilliant, but anything we get, we receive and share as a team.”

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Bini Ludlow - Sweet Cumin

Bini’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Her portfolio of accolades now includes a raft of awards for her cookery classes (Olive magazine, best Indian cookery courses as well as the Guardian top food courses in the UK) and frozen ready meal range winning 11 Great Taste Awards, numerous high-profile TV and Radio appearances (BBC, ITV and C4) as well as featuring in local and national press (The Guardian, Delicious Magazine, Olive Magazine, Crumbs Magazine). Bini’s longstanding collaboration with Thatchers Cider (pairing curries with ciders) has been rolled out across the UK, Australia and the US. She is also a champion for Women in Business for the Federations of Small Business (FSB) South West region sitting on the national task force.

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Peter Gorton - Master Chef

Peter is an award winning Masterchef of Great Britain and one of Devon’s finest chefs. Peter began his career in 1980 at the age of 16 and trained at some of the best restaurants in Britain and around the world from The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny to Burnham Beeches Country House Hotel in Melbourne Australia and Jamin in Paris. He became proprietor of The Horn of Plenty Country House Hotel and gained many national awards and accolades including a Michelin Star, The Carved Angel restaurant and cafes in Exeter, Taunton and Dartmouth and Gorton’s restaurant, Tavistock in Devon.
Look out for Peter and the photographer Adrian Oaks book ‘Devon Food Heroes’, it includes lovely recipes and stunning images of our wonderful Devon food producers featured in the book. Peter has since published another recipe book entitled “An invitation to cook.”

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Tom Browning-Young - Lewtrenchard Manor

Tom began his career doing work experience at ODE True Food in Shaldon, Devon, under the supervision of Tim Bouget and shortly after gained a year further experience at @bode Exeter, under Tom William-Hawkes and Michael Caines whilst at college. He then took a Chef Du Partie role at the Edgemoor Hotel, Bovey Tracey in 2009 and stayed until 2011 before returning to work with Tim in Shaldon. Whilst there the group won and maintained the SRA Sustainable Restaurant of the Year Award 3 years running, a passion which is still close to Tom’s heart.

At the beginning of 2014 Tom found a position under Mathew Peryer at Lewtrenchard Manor, and swiftly worked his way up the ladder to sous chef withing 18 months. Mathew and him have worked closely from then until now, a deciding factor in Tom receiving the offer of Head Chef in 2018. An offer he instantly accepted.

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Ian Webber - The Farmers Arms

Originally from Honiton, Webber’s introduction into hospitality was at the age of 17 in a local pub. He then worked as an apprentice at Combe House before going on to work in some of the UK’s finest country house hotels. Having always had a desire to use his trade as a means to travel, Ian did stints in France, Switzerland and Dublin’s five-star Merrion hotel. Ian returned to the UK in 2006 and entered the South West Chef of the Year competition which he won. Soon after, Ian became the Head Chef at the two Michelin starred Gidleigh Park under Chef Michael Caines MBE. In 2013, Ian moved to take on the role of head chef at The Five Bells Inn at Clyst Hydon where he and his team achieved a Michelin Bib Gourmand within 12 months. In September 2018, Ian took the position of Executive Chef at The Farmers Arms near Bideford after its extensive refurbishment. The pub and restaurant are the first phase of a wider ambitious rejuvenation of the village called The Woolsery Project.

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