Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

Manna From Devon’s DFF Popup supper: book now!

[This is one in a series of blog posts written by Charlotte the Intern.  Tune in daily to find out about what she’s been up to, what she has been learning about, and all of the crazy things she does as part of the Manna from Devon team.]

The food festival may not be until next weekend, but here at Manna from Devon, DFF festivities start tomorrow, with our fundraising popup supper!   Not only are we using ingredients from our many wonderful local producers, but we’re making the dinner extra special by creating a menu inspired by recipes from many of the authors coming to speak at Eat Your Words, the food festival’s first ever series of ‘in-conversations’ with UK food writers.  I’m so excited, I have to spill the menu.  Please try not to drool on your keyboards.

Amuse Bouche: Mackerel Paste with Fennel Bread

The mackerel paste comes from our friend and star UK chef Mitch Tonks’s book, Fish Easy, and the mackerel itself came in yesterday when Kit stopped by with some he had just caught fresh.  It doesn’t get much more local than that!  The fennel bread recipe is from Flavours of Greece, written by Rosemary Barron.  Rosemary is a writer, chef, and expert in Greek cuisine who used to own a cookery school on the Greek island of Crete.  She has also been absolutely instrumental in helping us plan Eat Your Words, and will be helping me with some of the hosting duties over the course of the weekend!

The combination of these two dishes will certainly start the night off with a bang.

Starter: Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Labneh and Chili

Our starter will come from James Ramsden’s book, Do-Ahead Dinners, which provides easy recipes that can be largely prepped ahead of time, allowing you to “feed family and friends without the frenzy”.  James would know all about that.  He is a writer and chef who runs the weekly London popup supper The Secret Larder.  What’s more, James will be the chef behind the DFF Supper Club, the first ever food festival popup supper, happening on Saturday night in the Dartmouth Community Cafe.  I’m so excited to try something from his book!  It is absolutely stunning.

Main: Chicken with Lemon and Pine Nuts

This chicken comes from Caroline Conran’s book, Sud de France, which features recipes and food wisdom from France’s Languedoc region.  The Languedoc is a wild region, far removed from the polished cooking of Paris and much of the rest of France.  In truth, the Languedoc sounds very similar to Devon; its people enjoy a dramatic landscape, and a richness of land and sea that provide them with a wealth of delicious, fresh ingredients during all seasons.  We’ve made a similar dish out of Sud de France recently, chicken with fresh and dried mushrooms, and it was absolutely out of this world.  I have no doubt this will be equally excellent.  Caroline is an expert on French cuisine, as she splits her time between France and the UK, and is one of the pioneers of British food writing.

Dessert: Apple Galette

Tomorrow night’s apple galette comes from Miranda Gardiner’s Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack, which I have written about before on the blog.  Miranda is the food festival’s children’s laureate, a beautiful writer, and a veritable expert on all things pudding.  Her new project, Cakeodyssey, contains a year’s worth of cake recipes that will keep any sweet tooth satisfied.  And it couldn’t get more local and seasonal than apples–this is a supper featuring Devon after all!

We still have a few seats available at the dinner, so call us up tomorrow morning to get in on this delicious menu and help us support the food festival!   And if you’re intrigued by the sounds of any of these writers, come see them speak at Eat Your Words at the Dartmouth Yacht Club on the South Embankment!  Details for each speech are listed below, and you can book by contacting Val Bird at valeriebird124@btinternet.com or  07771 781242.

Miranda Gardiner & David Jones//One Year of British Baking

Friday 25 October//1.00-1.45 pm//Tasting included

Miranda Gardiner, the author of Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack and David Jones, bread guru from Manna from Devon and Festival Chairman will chat about a year of culturally seasonal baking; from a New Year’s Cake for good luck, using up the leftovers in February’s bacon and egg Collop Pie, a damp Elderflower Loaf Cake to celebrate the British Midsummer, to November’s Soul Cake and Bread of the Dead. Her view is simple. Feast days need not be filed away under “historical” or “religious”, but can have modern resonance.

James Ramsden & Rosemary Barron//Cooking and Writing for the Next Generation

Saturday 26 October//11.00-11.45 am

James Ramsden is at the forefront of new movements in the food world, where bricks-and-mortar restaurants have given way to food trucks and pop-up suppers, such as James’s own London pop-up restaurant, The Secret Larder.  He and Rosemary will chat about how making food and writing about it has changed in the Internet age, and what this means for diners and readers alike.

Mark Hix & Mitch Tonks//Designing and Creating a New Wine Label

Saturday Oct 26//12.00-12.45//Tasting included

Celebrated chefs and food writers Mark Hix and Mitch Tonks will talk about their joint project, Tonnix, the wine label launched in 2009. Chat with them about everything that goes into starting a new wine label, including all that fun “research”!

Caroline Conran, Fiona Beckett, & Paul Vincent//Wild Weather and Fierce Flavours: The Food and Cooking of the Languedoc

Saturday Oct 26//2.00-2.45//Tasting included

The region of Languedoc curls up from the Spanish border along the Mediterranean coast as far as the Rhone valley.  There is a unique cuisine here, one based on hunting and foraging, more southern, and less influenced by the Michelin style of cooking than the rest of France. The land and sea are generous to the people and the fine dishes of the region owe to the area’s natural richness.  Renowned food writer Caroline Conran will chat with wine expert Fiona Beckett and Paul Vincent, a well-known local smallholder, about the food and wine of the Languedoc.  With them, discover how the food and drink of this rugged but fertile area, relying heavily on both land and sea, can be compared and contrasted with the culinary landscape of Devon.

Elisabeth Luard, Rosemary Barron, & Natalie Wheen//The Real Mediterranean Diet

Sunday Oct 27//12.00-12.45//Tasting included

Distinguished food writers Elisabeth Luard, Rosemary Barron, and Natalie Wheen have all travelled extensively in the Mediterranean (Natalie even produces her own olive oil from Lesvos, Greece).  Join them for a chat about what really constitutes the healthy Mediterranean diet. It’s far more than a collection of recipes; it’s an attitude, a way of living and surviving over millenia in what is undeniably the cradle of western civilisation.  Among the lessons learned over the centuries round the shores of the Mediterranean are an understanding of how to grow, harvest and store, methods of conserving glut, knowledge of the virtues of foodstuffs gathered or grown in certain places at certain times, how to produce variety out of limited ingredients, an understanding of balance in the composition of a meal and the use of food to maintain health.