Axminster chef named local food hero

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes the title after a hotly fought contest with Rick Stein and Michael Caines

AXMINSTER’s River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been named the south west’s Local Food Hero.

He won the title after being shortlisted for the award alongside Padstow-based Rick Stein and top Exeter cook Michael Caines.

They were representing eight of the region’s finest foodie businesses which received top accolades as part of Food magazine’s inaugural reader awards.

The winners and runners up gathered at Abode Exeter where Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall’s award was collected on his behalf by colleague Simon Dodd.

Judges said the local food hero category had been hotly contested but Hugh had taken the title because of “his endless energy and campaigning, whether taking on the poultry industry and supermarkets or leading the fight against fish discards.”

Winners and runners up were:

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Local Food Hero (sponsored by Fermoys):

Winner: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Axminster.


Rick Stein – Padstow.

Michael Caines MBE – Exeter.

Best Restaurant (sponsored by Frobishers):

Winner: Allium – Fairford, Gloucestershire.


The Muset By Ronnie – Bristol.

Wild Garlic – Nailsworth.

Best Foodie Pub (sponsored by Darts Farm).

Winner: The Victoria Inn – Penzance.


The Jack In The Green – Rockbeare, Nr Exeter.

The Gurnard’s Head – St Ives.

Best Cafe (sponsored by Brian Wogan Coffee):

Winner: Duchy Of Cornwall Nursery Cafe – Lostwithiel.


Relish – Wadebridge, Cornwall.

Archie Browns – Penzance.

Best Local Chef (sponsored by the Hartnoll Hotel):

Winner: Adam Fellows, Goodfellows – Wells.


Rick Stein – Padstow.

Dale McIntosh, Bustophers – Truro.

Best Drink (sponsored by Michelmores):

Winner: Luscombe Organic Drinks – Buckfastleigh.


Camel Valley Vineyard – Bodmin.

Thatchers Cider – Sandford.

Best Local Food Product (sponsored by Total Produce):

Winner: Trevaskis Farm’s Strawberry Jam – Hayle.


Mendip Moments ice cream – Wells.

BakerTom’s Bread – Truro.

Best Foodie Hotel (sponsored by Lex PR & Marketing):

Winner: Browns Hotel – Tavistock.


Hotel Tresanton - St.Mawes.

Combe House Hotel and Restaurant – Gittisham.

Best Retailer (sponsored by Berkmann Wines):

Winner: Darts Farm – Topsham.


Ullacombe Farm Shop – Bovey Tracey.

Riverford Farm Shop – Totnes.