Celebration of the local food industry

FOOD glorious food was served up to thousands of visitors to Barnstaple Pannier Market on Sunday.

More than 8,000 aficionados turned out to sample the very best the region had to offer at the third annual North Devon Foodfest.

The event – sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers and organised by regional economic regeneration agency North Devon Plus – showcased more than 70 local food and drink producer stands, chef demonstrations, free tastings and live music.

The festival also provided the backdrop for the 2010 North Devon Food and Drink Awards, sponsored by Farm and Cottage Holidays.

The prize for best restaurant went to Zena’s, of Barnstaple. The Grove Inn at Kings Nympton won best pub; Cheristow Lavendar at Hartland won best caf� or tea room; best producer/retailer went to Lyndsey’s Cake Shop, which has businesses in Barnstaple and Bideford; and Lynton’s Esplanade Fish Bar picked up the prize for best traditional fish and chips.

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There was also a Super Service Award for Gavin Patrick, of The George Hotel, Braunton, while the Brend Hotel Award for Outstanding Contribution to North Devon Food and Drink went to Ann Wilson.

The awards were presented by former Masterchef winner James Nathan and North Devon Plus commercial director Robin Makeig-Jones, who paid tribute to the high quality of all the entrants.

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“We received thousands nominations from the public for more than 200 businesses and all of the finalists demonstrated a strong focus on local produce, high quality and excellent service.

“Of course the real winner here is North Devon. As an area we definitely have local food and drink worth celebrating.”

A Big Eat Raffle at the event raised �1,339 in aid of North Devon Hospice.

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