Taste East Devon Collaborates with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and Darts Farm for an Exciting New Educational Event

The Gut Health Revolution
Wednesday 13th September 2023 from 10:00 to 13:00
The Farm Table at Darts Farm

Taste East Devon Food Festival has partnered with Fearnley-Whittingstall and his River Cottage team, and Darts Farm, to bring a new educational event to the festival’s 2023 programme. Taking place on Wednesday 13th September, from 10am to 1pm,  Hugh is set to host The Gut Health Revolution in The Farm Table restaurant at Darts Farm, with a morning of in-depth talks and delicious tastings.

The Gut Health Revolution will feature a series of expert talks followed by an engaging panel discussion with leaders from the field. Joining Hugh for the sessions will be:

Dr Federica Amati PhD, nutrition scientist and communications strategist for personalised health company ZOE. Federica is a frequent podcast and talk guest and a contributing expert to media outlets including The Times, Vogue, Marie Claire and Grazia. She will be talking about how to harness the power of our diet and nurture our gut microbiome for better health.

Barny Butterfield of Sandford Orchards, who is known for fermenting apples to produce award-winning cider and cider vinegar. Barny will discuss the connections between good farming practices, traditional cider making, and the increasing interest in the potential health benefits of live cider vinegar. 

Rachel de Thample, River Cottage’s own fermentation and wellness guru whose expertise spans farm-to-fork fermentation, nurturing gut health and seasonal wellness. Rachel will share her extensive knowledge of ferments like sauerkrauts, kimchis, kombuchas and kefirs, as well as gut-friendly tonics, broths and natural remedies and their impact on gut health. 

The event will offer attendees an opportunity to learn more about gut health and to taste an array of delicious fermented food and drink while engaging directly with industry experts. 

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtall said: “I’m delighted to be hosting this event on behalf of the fantastic Taste East Devon Food Festival and I’m thrilled to be joined by such a talented and knowledgeable group of speakers.”

He continued: “Fermentation and gut health is a wonderful area for chefs, artisans and health experts to explore together, with its fascinating intersection of flavour, goodness and well-being. The vital connection between our gut health and our overall wellness, including our mental health, is increasingly recognised, and it is a great time for us all to embrace this connection to ensure we nurture our microbiomes throughout our lives. At River Cottage, we collaborate with a number of fermentation producers to craft our own kefir, kombucha, sauerkrauts, yoghurt and cider. We’re looking forward to offering tastings of these exceptional products during the event.”

George Dart, from Darts Farm, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to be hosting The Gut Health Revolution in The Farm Table. We share the same ethos as Hugh, and the River Cottage team, of celebrating ingredients grown on our land and locally sourced produce. Together, we hope to inspire our community to embrace the art of fermentation and the power of local veg.”

This event is kindly supported by some of Darts Farm’s brilliant local suppliers; including Riverford Dairy who are supplying their delicious organic kefir, crafted with their creamy unhomogenised milk; and Bath Culture House, who craft raw and unpasteurised fermented food and drink in their North Somerset kitchen, with the founder, Lucie, joining to offer tastings of their Somerset-made kimchi and sauerkraut between talks. There will also be tastings of the River Cottage Organic range of kombuchas, krauts, kefirs, yoghurts and ciders produced in partnership with organic artisan producers Equinox, The Culture Collective, Hollis Meade, Brown Cow and Newton Court.

Tickets for The Gut Health Revolution are priced at £7.50 per person, which includes tea, coffee, kombucha and tastings. Tickets are available to purchase from Darts Farm via www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk.

In addition to this event, Darts Farm will host its first Fermented Feast on 13th September, from 7pm – 10pm, in The Farm Table. This feast will treat guests to a welcome drink upon arrival, followed by a three course seasonal meal. The menu will showcase ingredients sourced from the farm and other local producers, including fermented foods and meat and vegetables cooked over fire.

Taste East Devon Food Festival, now in its third year, takes place from 9th to 24th September and brings together award-winning venues, producers, chefs, and restaurants from across East Devon to celebrate the region’s exceptional food and drink. Founding members include River Cottage, THE PIG-at Combe, Darts Farm, Mazzard Farm, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, East Devon AONB, Donkey Sanctuary, Jack in the Green, and Lympstone Manor. 

The festival is kindly sponsored by key sponsor, Ashfords, as well as NFU Mutual (Tiverton and Honiton Agencies), East Devon District Council, East Devon Excellence, Goosemoor Foodservice and SunGift Solar. 

The 2023 festival introduces an array of exciting new events. On Saturday 9th September, Darts Farm will host the ‘City to Sea Taste Trail‘ from 10am to 4pm, offering a foodie bike trail along the stunning Exe Estuary bike trail, with exclusive tastings and discounts at participating businesses. Also on the same day, Coldharbour Farm Shop and Field Kitchen will host a Taste East Devon inspired Pop-up Farmers Market, showcasing the finest produce from the Devon farming community, including food preserves, baked goods, ales and ciders, with a demo from talented chef, Oli Smith, and delicious food from their Field Kitchen. 

On Saturday 16th September, beekeepers, gardeners and nature enthusiasts are invited to ‘A Taste of Honey‘ at Blackberry Honey Farm. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the honey room at the heart of the farm, guided by one of their passionate beekeepers. The experience will include a tasting, a honey cream tea and a tour of the enchanting pollinator gardens. 

The festival will conclude with the Heron Farm’s Party in the Vineyard on Sunday 24th September, from 12pm – 5pm. Behind the walls of the stunning walled gardens, guests will enjoy a family-friendly party afternoon, complete with an outdoor feast, live music on the terrace and children’s games and entertainment. 

For the full list of events, downloadable map and leaflet or additional information, please visit www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk