Ben Ebbrell

Co-Founder & Chef - SORTEDFood

SORTEDfood is one of the worlds largest food and cooking communities, created by a group of old school friends whose ethos is, entertain, inspire and ‘accidentally educate’. Since its launch in 2010 SORTEDfood has grown into a YouTube sensation with 2.2 million subscribers, four cookbooks published.

Ben will opening the festival on Saturday morning at approximately 11.30am and doing a demonstration at 13.45; check out SORTEDfood for a taster of what to expect!

Dez Turland

PR & Marketing Chef - Saunton Sands/Brend Hotel Collection

Abbfest's Saturday kitchen will be hosted by the incredible Dez Turland.

Dez began his career at the Ritz Hotel, alongside Michael Quinn MBA and Andreas Antona, before he returned to Birmingham to work at the highly acclaimed terrace Restaurant Metropole NEC.

Dez then moved down to Cornwall, where he worked as sous chef alongside Alan Vickops from The Ritz, at the Michelin recommended Alverton Manor. He then went onto become Head chef at the 2 rosette Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth. 3 years on, Dez moved over to the Royal Duchy Hotel, first as Head Chef, and then promoted to Group Development Chef.

Now based in North Devon’s Saunton Sands Hotel, Dez is actively involved in the PR and Marketing side, and promoting the Brend Hotels AA Hotel Group name and brand. 

Dez was a finalist in the British Culinary Chef of the Year 2010, 2012 and 2014, semi finalist in the Craft Guild of Chefs, and semi finalist in National Chef of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Dez will be hosting our Abbfest kitchen as he welcomes our brilliant 2019 chefs!

Tom Browning

Head Chef at Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton

Tom has worked at the beautiful Lewtrenchard Manor for 5 years, working his way up to Head Chef in August 2018. Tom's passion for cooking came from his Grandparents, with some of his earliest memories being spent in their kitchen. 

His dishes are proudly ingredient and seasonal-led, so join us on Saturday 21st September to see what he puts together as we move from Summer to Autumn at Abbfest!

Colin Wheeler-James

Ground Up Cookery School

Having grown up in a fishing and farming community on the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, Colin has always been surrounded by the finest seasonal ingredients and driven by the necessity to make the most of them. Over 30 years as a professional chef has seen Colin work in a variety of different roles from charter yachts and boutique hotels to leading catering companies. 


Having spent the best part of 30 years living in Devon he decided to open Ground Up Cookery School on the North edge of Dartmoor earlier this year. It is a family business born out of a lifelong love of food and drink, from growing it and finding it to preserving it and cooking it.


On their courses they use traditional cookery methods including pickling, infusing, fermenting and curing and also embrace modern techniques and equipment to complement classic techniques.


Learn what is available and growing around you throughout the year, share that passion and make the most of available ingredients. Ground Up want to engage, enthuse and empower their students to make better food decisions.

Paul Berry

Head Chef at The Swan, Bampton

Paul is Head Chef at the multi-award winning pub The Swan, in Bampton which he co-owns with wife Donna. Having taken on the pub in 2011, Paul and Donna's approach to high-quality, seasonal and regional dishes have earnt them a strong reputation in the industry. 

The Swan has a AA Four Star Gold Inn award, two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence, and since 2017, have been names as ‘Estrella DAmm’ Top 50 Gastropub. 2019’s ranking saw them hit the number 20 in the list! In yet more recent success, The Swan was names by the AA as the nations ‘Inn of the Year’ in 2019-20.


In 2017 The Swan was awarded a Gold Tourism Pub aware in the Devon Tourism Awards, won Best Dining Pub in the Trencherman Awards, and in 2018 were given the title of Gold Tourism Pub of the Year and the South West Tourism Excellence Awards. So no pressure on the incredible dish Paul will be serving up at Abbfest 2019!

Jim Fisher

Head Chef / Tutor & Co-Owner, Exeter Cookery School

Chef proprietor and Head Chef / Tutor at Exeter Cookery School, Jim Fisher is an entertaining and engaging demo chef who has honed his skills during an extensive culinary career. A former MasterChef semi-finalist, Jim first started his cheffing in the kitchens of Exeter’s White Hart Hotel, where he first met his now wife and business partner, Lucy. After winning a Rick Stein cookery competition, he then went on to cook alongside Rick Stein in Padstow, Alistair Little in Notting Hill and Tony Tobin of Ready, Steady, Cook fame, before upping sticks with Lucy and their then eight-year-old daughter, Jenny, and heading to the Dordogne to open up a residential cookery school. Despite the locals’ bemusement at the idea of an Englishman teaching anyone to cook, not least in France, CookinFrance became a huge success taking students from all over the world – including France!


Fifteen years later, Jim and Lucy followed their roots back to Devon, and are now making a huge success of their exciting new venture on Exeter’s thriving quayside. Now nearly three years old, Exeter Cookery School has blossomed and not only teaches the classic techniques and dishes so popular at Cook in France, it has also expanded into exciting global cuisines – from Indian cookery courses to sushi-making and Vietnamese or Mexican Street food.


New for 2019, Jim and Lucy are collaborating with chocolate-maker extraordinaire, Mark Tilling, with a series of chocolate masterclasses at Exeter Cookery School, and the queen of risotto and pasta: the much-loved TV Chef and cookery book writer, Valentina Harris. See Exeter Cookery School’s website for all their latest news, recipes & courses.

Stuart Crook

The Woodland Cafe, Bickington

Stuart has 20 years of experience as a professional chef and has spent much of the last two decades working all over the world, from Spain to Singapore, but now calls Dartmoor home. Previously Stuart has worked with the Ready Steady Cook team, multi award-winning Chef and presented Kevin Woodford, and will be presenting two exciting Ready Steady Cook sessions at Abbfest. Having cooked for the Royal Family and presented a multitude of masterclasses across the globe, Stuart is very much at home in the kitchen and on stage. With a passion for local produce, and having lived in Spain for over a decade, Stuart will bring a touch of the mediterranean and a big smile to the stage.

Eastern Eye

Indian Cusine

One of Eastern Eyes chefs will be demonstrating how to make a traditional Indian dish!

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