Peter Gorton, an award-winning chef who made his name developing some of the best-known restaurants in the Westcountry, has become a director of Food Drink Devon.
Peter who has owned and run famous establishments such as West Devon’s Horn of Plenty and Dartmouth’s Carved Angel, says he accepted the invitation to join the board because he believes it will be vital for the West Country catering industry to pull together in a post-Covid era, and because he believes the produce of Devon is second to none.
“My heart is in Devon and I wanted to support members of this excellent organisation as best I can from my long experience in the restaurant industry,” says Peter, who lives in Yelverton. “All the directors at Food Drink Devon have a different skill and mine is from the catering side – so whether it’s talking to top hotels or to the local butcher, I am very happy to offer advice.
“We are very lucky to have such a fantastic larder down here and I want people to know and understand that,” added Peter, who now acts as a catering industry consultant both in this country and abroad. “The directorship is not really about me – I am just someone who goes around giving advice and now I am interested in how we support the food and drink industry after Covid.”
Food Drink Devon Director Tom Chartres-Moore commented: “The 270 members of our growing organisation are very fortunate indeed to have Peter come on board as he really does have a vast wealth of experience. Having run some of Devon’s top restaurant kitchens, he has been able to observe the whole spectrum of the food and drink industry.
“As a chef, and now a restaurant consultant working at an international level, he knows how to recognise the quality of ingredients and products – and so he will be able to offer plenty of advice to producers on the county. And in Devon he knows who is producing top quality and how and why they are doing it – so he is able to offer guidance to end-users like chefs and restaurateurs.
“Peter has recently been in Eastern Europe advising a major player on all these diverse elements of the industry – Food Drink Devon is enormously fortunate to have attracted his services on the board of directors for free.”
Peter Gorton said: “I agreed to be on the board so I could help make a difference here in the county and also because I do a lot elsewhere – both in this country and abroad – and I want to do what I can to promote Devon.
“When you run a restaurant, that’s all you focus on – when you leave and start working as a consultant, you see the bigger picture. After Covid we’re all going to have to band together in the catering industry and not just think as individuals. The sector has been hit harder than most and I’ll be doing all I can to help bring it back to where it deserves to be.”
Food Drink Devon is a not-for-profit membership organisation of food and drink producers, retailers, hospitality venues and related businesses dedicated to serving up the best produce from the county. With a focus on quality, sustainability and provenance, Food Drink Devon’s aim is to support and promote their members and raise Devon’s culinary profile as a whole.