Tuck into the best of the West!
The Devon County Show's Food and Drink Marquee is not just a shop window for Devon’s superb range of artisan producers, it’s a gigantic market for them!
The show is proud of the big part it has been able to play in the food revolution which has transformed the quality and variety of locally-produced food and drink over the past 25 years or so. Not only does it provide a market for the mostly small businesses which have been at the heart of that revolution, but it also enables them to raise their profile, compare notes with other producers and impress the retail buyers who are increasingly coming to the show to identify new suppliers.
All of the West Country’s most famous and characteristic products are represented: cheese, cider and Devonshire cream, of course, but also grass-fed beef and lamb, pies and pastries of every conceivable description, teas and cordials, ice creams and confectionary, honeys and preserves…the mouth-watering list goes on. It’s Devon on a plate!
So popular has the Food and Drink section become with both producers and show-goers that the show organisers are providing an even bigger and better pavilion for this year’s Show, so as to include an even wider range of local produce, and give visitors more space and seating to enjoy it.
The ever-popular food cookery theatre will be back again, in which top chefs will be demonstrating how to turn all of that lovely Devon produce into even lovelier meals. And while you are in the Food and Drink marquee, don’t miss the Devon County Show Cider Competition, featuring some of the South-West’s finest ciders.
But if the Food and Drink marquee is the centrepiece of the Show’s commitment to supporting local producers, it is by no means the sum total of it. Alongside the Ales from Devon Marquee off Road 3, you will find the Taste of the West fast food area, offering locally produced burgers, hot dogs, pies and pasties. All of the fast food outlets on the showground are required to source their products from Devon wherever possible.
Top quality local food and drink has become a vital ingredient in the appeal of agricultural shows in the 21st century, and Devon, as always, leads the way!
Is this the best ales & cider feature in the country?
The Devon County Show has a bigger and better range of real ales and ciders than you will find at any other agricultural show, thanks to an enterprising group of local brewers and cider makers, who call themselves Ales from Devon.
Led by Guy Sheppard from the Exe Valley brewery, they decided in 2001 to band together to stage what is effectively a beer festival at the show, featuring the cream of the real ales being brewed by Devon’s growing band of craft ale brewers and artisan cider makers. They called this shrine to malt and hops and fermented apple juice “The Contented Cow” - presumably in the expectation that their contented customers would order an udder one!
This year’s official Show beer is Sophie’s Ale, a light and summery drop from Teignworthy Brewery.
But at any event, it has gone from strength to strength, and will this year feature around 30 different real ales from every corner of the county, plus a great range of local ciders and a bottle store, for those who want to take some ale home with them. There is plenty of seating both inside the Contented Cow marquee and outside it, with the added bonus that it is right next door to the Taste of the West fast local food area, so that drinkers can enjoy a Devon hot dog, burger, pie or pasty with their pint of finest Devon ale.
As local food and drink experiences go, they don’t come much better!
A host of acclaimed Devon chefs will be cooking up some culinary masterpieces in our demonstration theatre within the new-look Food and Drink marquee.
We're putting together a full programme of demonstrations from local chefs and food-lovers to delight, tantaslise and inspire visitors.
Devon’s very own super chef, Michael Caines (pictured on the left), who has two Michelin stars, will join us on Thursday.
The Brend Hotel’s team led by Dez Turland (pictured on the right), the group’s development chef, will be in the kitchen on Friday.
Daniel Gavrilidis, head chef at The Pig, Combe near Honiton, will be joining us for the first time this year.
Please come back to this page nearer to the Show when we will be able to provide more information about the chefs and when they will be appearing.
All recipes will use local ingredients easily sourced from the magnificent Food & Drink Pavilion.
Sizzling sausage competition
Elly Wentworth, who was runner-up in the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals last year, and is a former Torquay chef and currently junior sous chef at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire, is one of the judges in the Spring Sausage competition.