POLE, HUNT + WARNER / PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
Valentine Warner is a cook, food writer and broadcaster. Training originally as a portrait painter he went on to become a chef in London’s kitchens for five years before running his own catering company. Saying the right thing at the right time (unusual) Valentine suddenly found himself on television, where his deep love of cooking, nature and travel has seen him make 7 series from Kent to Canada, whilst contributing to others. His appearances have spanned BBC2, UKTV, Nat Geo and Fox International, programmes into which he undoubtedly brings his strong sense of storytelling.
Val is widely recognised for his deep understanding of ingredients, both wild and cultivated and an ability to make something delicious with apparently little. Valentine has written four cookery books, three of which he illustrated. He would generally prefer to be found near a river or stove rather than an office and is most likely to be holding tongs, a fishing rod or a mossy stick.
He is also the co-founder of the Moorland Spirit company, the producers of HEPPLE GIN.
THE KNIFE MAKER
Ed Holsworth Hunt is one of Britain foremost knife makers. He has spent much of the last 15 years living in Spain where he and his wife built and ran The Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, as well as honing his skills as a knife maker. Ed first trained as a leather worker, going on to establish a successful leather goods business and then trained as a chef at Prue Leith’s in London. Ed started making his own knives about seven years ago when a much-loved knife he had had for many years broke, so he decided to create something to replace it. From that point on making knives became a passion as he experimented with different blades and different materials.
Having returned to the UK Ed is now a full-time maker and one half of British company Pole and Hunt who’s unique and original approach to knife making is gaining them popularity within the cooking and field craft scenes. All their materials are sourced from within the UK and are entirely made by themselves. They are currently working with apple wood from storm damaged trees found in the Burrow Hill Cider orchard.
Alex Pole is a blacksmith, blade smith and axe maker and has been working at the forge for over 25 years. For many years he worked as an artist blacksmith and in 2006 Alex Pole Ironwork was established to deliver high quality functional products for the home and garden. He now specializes exclusively in hand forged kitchenware, utensils and tools. Only traditional techniques are used at the forge and all work is made by hand with - wherever possible - materials sourced from the local area. Alex and his team run regular courses in blacksmithing from the forge in Somerset and he is also one half of British knife making partnership Pole and Hunt.
How to keep traditional crafts alive and making blacksmithing relevant to modern living are his driving force and Alex spends much of his time demonstrating and talking about this ancient craft.