Mitch Tonks: The Seahorse and Rockfish Seafood & Chips, Dartmouth
Award winning restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks’ name is synonymous with all that's great about British seafood. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the fishing industry has won him many awards including seafood restaurant of the year, restaurateur of the year and best fishmonger. Listed as a top 100 foodie, Mitch has published 4 seafood books, (latest was FISH, published 2009), presented UKTV’s Mitch Matt’s Big Fish and has restaurants in Dartmouth (The Seahorse and Rockfish Seafood & Chips family seafood restaurant) and Bristol (The Rockfish Grill Seafood Market). Mitch is a true advocate of South Devon and passionately believes in the quality of the seafood caught along the coast, particularly the crab.
Stephen is now the Head Chef at The Angel, Dartmouth. Prior to joining the 10 in 8 Group, Stephen Bulmer ran his own cookery school, Brook Hall in Winslow, Buckinghamshire and previously spent ten years working for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, both as a senior chef de cuisine and subsequently as Chef Director of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Steve is acknowledged to be one the leading cookery school teachers in the UK, with a rare gift for combining entertainment with education. Raymond Blanc commented: ’He is one of my most experienced chefs and a great craftsman – his enthusiasm is completely infectious’
Michael Caines: Gidleigh Park. Chagford and Abode, Exeter
Michael Caines was awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry and made AA Chef's Chef of the Year in 2007. Now Operational Partner and Director of ABode Hotels and Michael Caines’ Restaurants, he is also Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park, the prestigious country house hotel on the edge of Dartmoor at Chagford, Devon where he has earned his reputation - as well as two Michelin stars - serving distinctive modern European cuisine utilising the finest local and regional produce and ingredients. Since February 2009, he’s been Executive Chef at The Bath Priory, Bath, Gidleigh Park's sister establishment, cooked for the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and taken part in ‘The Great British Menu' competition broadcast on BBC2 television.
Rob Andrew: Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh
Rob arrived at Riverford in 2010 after more than ten years of enriching cooking experience that enabled him to travel extensively through Asia and Australasia. He has had the benefit of working at specialised fresh seafood restaurants in New Zealand, living off-grid in Tasmania where curing meats, making salamis and diving for lobster were an everyday occurrence, as well as holding head chef positions as part of the vibrant restaurant scene in Brighton.
Rob initially headed up Riverford’s enormously popular ‘Travelling Field Kitchen’, which moved between farms around the country taking the field-to-plate experience into local communities. During this time he demonstrated great expertise and enthusiasm for taking seasonal vegetables and delivering inspiring dishes, loaded with textures and flavours.
In February 2012 Rob took up the coveted post of Head Chef at The Riverford Field Kitchen and since then has led his team to win Gold at the Taste of Devon Tourism Awards, Silver at the Taste of the South West Tourism Awards and retained an AA Rosette for commitment to serving food prepared with care, understanding and skill, using quality ingredients.
It's easy to see why Rob's grounded but creative culinary background suits the Riverford philosophy of good food and good farming. Everything is cooked fresh and the menu changes daily to reflect the best fruit and vegetables coming in from the fields and growers.
Jean-Philippe Bidart: The Millbrook Inn, South Pool
JP trained at the Centre Formation d'Apprentissage in Paris and went on to work at triple Michelin starred, Le Saint Clement. In 2000, he headed to the UK to improve his English and took a job at Buckland-Tout-Saints, a country house hotel where he rose to Head Chef and earned two rosettes along the way. In December 2008, JP took over as Head Chef of The Millbrook Inn(listed as one of the Best 50 Places to Eat by the Sea in The Times May 2010) and has been winning awards ever since: Runner Up Gastro Pub Challenge - Restaurant Show Earls Court 2009 and now Pub Chef of the Year 2011.
Ben Kingdon: Head Chef, The Cary Arms, Babbacombe
24 year old Ben grew up in Torbay and from an early age had a very keen interest in cooking. He trained in the area and gained his qualifications, working his way up the ladder. At 21, he became Head Chef of a local restaurant in the bay and it was here that he developed his love of fresh, local food. In April 2009, Ben joined the Cary Arms team as Sous Chef, under the guidance of Head Chef, Denise Tarriela. In March 2010, Ben was crowned Poultry Chef of the Year at the Great British Pub Food Awards and in May 2010, he was given the opportunity to take over as Head Chef at The Cary Arms. The Cary Arms is now included in the Michelin 'eating out in pubs' Guide 2011.