Two top Devon chefs are on the hunt this autumn and winter (2018) for unusual traditional Exmoor recipes they can incorporate within their menus.
Donna Berry (pictured), who runs The Swan in Bampton with her husband and fellow chef, Paul, is hoping to hear from people who have recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
She explained: “We’ve heard of Devon splits, which are a type of scone, apple dappy dessert, tansy pudding – originally made with the tansy herb, Devonshire pork pie and potato cakes, but it’d be great to see if we can unearth some other unusual seasonal dishes from way-back-when, which use produce from Devon and our side of Exmoor.
“People have told us about blackbird pie, which dates back more than 100 years and hails from Exmoor. However, we’re not keen to include that on the menu, but we’d love to hear about other old recipes that originate from the area that we could try out. It’d be great to be able see if we can include or adapt a seasonal local recipe or two on the menu with all the local produce we use, too.”
The Swan, which is an AA Four Star Gold Inn and the oldest pub in Bampton, was named as one of the top 50 gastropubs in the country for the second year running this year.
In 2017, the pub was polled at 50 and this year it’s 28th in the rankings and received a highest climber award. The ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by food writers, executive chefs, celebrity and top hospitality industry chefs, pub guide editors, industry chiefs and food operators.
It has scooped a plethora of awards for its food in the past few months and years including being named Gold Tourism Pub of the Year 2018 at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards and receiving a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards. It has two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence as well.
The Swan’s team has a passion for food and embraces the use of produce from the area to create some real pub classics, such as sausages and mash, cod and chips, pies, grilled rump steak and sweets.
Donna said: “We try to keep our dishes simple yet bursting with flavours and imagination. From the freshly baked bread at the start of the meal, to tempting puddings, our kitchen produces everything we serve here at the pub.”
The Swan’s menu is created from fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced from nearby, on a daily basis by Paul and Donna and their team.
“We are dedicated to using all the local or regional produce available to us, needless to say we are so lucky living here in the West Country, we have local farmers supplying us with their beef, pork and lamb and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest cod for our classic cod and chips,” said Donna.
To find out more about The Swan and to book a table, please call 01398 332248 or visit www.theswan.co