Tuesday, 4 December 2012

'My favourite things...' with Michael Caines MBE

Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines is a big fan of the West Country - so we were keen to ask him about his favourite things to see and do...

Which is your favourite beach? 
Dawlish Warren – it’s a lovely long shore drift and I have many memories of late nights on the beach with friends. I also like the pebble beach at Budleigh Salterton for snorkelling.

Where is your favourite place to go for a day out with the family
Camping on Dartmoor - I love the slow pace of everything from setting up camp to cooking and sharing tasks with the kids.

Where is your favourite place to go for a walk? 
The River Teign from Fingle Bridge, in and around the valley – it’s beautiful and close to home!

Any other outdoor activities you enjoy? 
Cross country trail running, walking and sailing.

Where is your favourite place to eat (apart from Gidleigh Park, of course)? 
Dartmoor Inn at Lydford, it’s my ‘local’. I also enjoy Masons Arms in South Molton, Jack in the Green in Rockbeare, Petit Maison in Topsham and the Rusty Bike in Exeter.

What’s your favourite West Country show or event? 
The Exeter Festival of SW Food and Drink and other food festivals such as the Devon County Show, as well as great music festivals like Chagstock.

What are your favourite local ingredients in season at the moment?
There are so many fantastic ingredients around this time of year – like fabulous scallops, line-caught sea bass and ling, as well as venison and foraged mushrooms.

Any other favourite things about the West Country?
It’s where I was born, so it’s home for me. It’s a wonderful combination of landscapes – from the moors to the coast and the hills and pastures. It’s a beautiful place with something for everyone to enjoy!

Thanks, Michael!

Highly acclaimed Michael Caines is Executive Head Chef at multi-award-winning Gidleigh Park and has held two Michelin stars since 1999. Gidleigh Park Hotel (just along the country lane from our office in Chagford) sits in a magnificent 107 acres of Dartmoor National Park. The beautiful and everchanging landscape provides a wonderful backdrop to a range of exciting special breaks and events held throughout the year, such as the Garden Tours, Fungi Forays and New Year's Eve celebrations. From now until 21st December, there's a wonderful lunch offer: a sublime festive menu of 2 courses for £40 or 3 courses for £52 per person. A very special treat.
Visit the Helpful Holidays website to see our holiday cottages in Chagford.

Win a signed copy of the 'Taste of Relais & Châteaux - 36 Inspirational Chefs' cookbook...

Enter our Facebook competition for a chance to win a copy of this beautiful cookbook, signed by Michael Caines and packed with stunning recipes from Michael and 35 other exceptional chefs based at Relais & Châteaux luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants in the UK and Ireland. Great for the coffee table or as a gift for the foodie in your life.

Closing date for entry is Tuesday 11th December 2012.

While you wait to see if you've won, here's Michael's recipe for Mince Pies with Caramelised Walnuts for you to try. Enjoy!