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Devon Life Food and Drink Awards - the winners are named

PUBLISHED: 14:11 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 14:11 17 November 2014

Devon Food Hero Stella West-Harling with James Dart from sponsors Darts Farm

Devon Food Hero Stella West-Harling with James Dart from sponsors Darts Farm

Matt Austin Images 2013

Devon’s great food and drink businesses were recognised at the 2014 Devon Life Food and Drink Awards at Sandy Park, Exeter

Stella West-Harling, the founder and CEO of the Ashburton Cookery School, has been named Devon Food Hero 2014 at the Devon Life Food and Drink Awards.

Stella, who was awarded an MBE for services to hospitality in the Queen’s birthday honours earlier this year, founded the cookery school 20 years ago, running vegetarian cookery courses for small groups.

The cookery school has grown to become one of the leading culinary academies in the UK with 36 staff working at the school which teaches up to 60 students a day across five training kitchens.

Collecting her award at a prize ceremony at Sandy Park in Exeter Stella admitted she was overwhelmed by the honour.

Also collecting an award at the event was Kevin Lan, who wowed the judges of the Devon Life Home Cook of the Year awards and took first prize.

Spear fishing Frenchman Olivier Guyard-Mulkerrin from Exmouth restaurant Les Saveurs was named Chef of the Year while the exceptional talents of Noel Corston earned his Woolacombe restaurant NC@EX34 the accolade of best restaurant/fine dining experience.

The full list of winners is:

Best restaurant/fine dining experience 2014: Noel Corston’s NC@EX34 restaurant at Woolcombe in North Devon. Also shortlisted were Les Saveurs of Exmouth and the floating River Exe Café.

Best chef of the year was Olivier Guyard-Mulkerrin from Exmouth’s Les Saveurs restaurant. Also shortlisted were Noel Corston from NC@34 in Woolacombe and James Bexter from the River Exe Café.

Best seafood supplier of the year was Dan ‘The Fish Man’ Garnett, who sells locally-caught fish across North Devon and beyond and is a passionate advocate of seafood. Also shortlisted were the Fish Deli at Ashburton and Brixham-based Devon Fish Box.

Best hotel restaurant went to the two-Michelin starred Gidleigh Park at Chagford. Also shortlisted were the Broomhill Art Hotel near Barnstaple and Two Bridges Hotel on Dartmoor.

Best butcher/meat producer was won by Pipers Farm, near Cullompton. Also shortlisted were Aune Valley Meat at Loddiswell and Lidstones Butchers of Kingsbridge.

Best gastro pub of the year was won by The Swan at Bampton. Also shortlisted were the Treby Arms at Plympton and the Nobody Inn at Doddiscombeleigh near Exeter.

Best independent food shop of the year was won by Darts Farm near Topsham. Also shortlisted were Churston Traditional Farm Shop and John’s of Instow.

Best tearoom/coffee shop of the year was won for the second year by Hele Corn Mill near Ilfracombe in North Devon. Also shortlisted were Vintage Tea of Totnes and Bumble & Bee of Exmouth.

Best drinks product of the year was won by Owens Coffee of Ivybridge. Also shortlisted were Lyme Bay Winery from Axminster and cider producers Ashridge from Totnes.

Best newcomer of the year was won by Two Birds Kitchen from Teignmouth. Also shortlisted were Exeter-based businesses The Tiny Marmalade Company and Sylvain’s Little French Cakes.

Best food product of the year went to Hockings Ice Cream based at Appledore. Also shortlisted were Burts Crisps of Plymouth and Blueberry & Lime Jam from Blueberry Brothers of Bovey Tracey.

Best Sunday roast was won by the Church House Inn at Churchstow, Kingsbridge. Also shortlisted were Caroline’s Kitchen at Churston and the Tom Cobley Tavern at Spreyton.

Best family friendly dining experience went to the Victoria Inn at Salcombe. Also shortlisted were the Landmark Theatre at Ilfracombe and the Pier House at Westward Ho!

Best bakery of the year was the Red Dog Bakery based at Black Torrington. Also shortlisted were the Exploding Bakery at Exeter and The Bakery at Royal William Yard in Plymouth.

Best farmers market was won by Crediton Farmers Market. Also shortlisted were TASTE at Kentisbeare and Tavistock Farmers Market.

The Devon Life food hero 2014 was awarded to the founder and chief executive of the Ashburton Cookery School Stella West-Harling MBE.

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