From education to employment

Exeter College Alumni Open Restaurant Offering Locally Foraged Food From Devon’s Shorelines, Hedgerows And Fields

Harrison, Declan and Oli, all recent Hospitality alumni of Exeter College

Opening to the public on 5th May, Gather in Totnes is surely going to be a huge hit with locals and visitors alike.

In the kitchen are Harrison, Declan and Oli, all recent Hospitality alumni of Exeter College.

Their vision is to use seasonal, local food from Devon’s shorelines, hedgerows and fields to create a unique dining experience.

The menu will change regularly to reflect the seasons, using ingredients that are locally foraged and often overlooked. “A lot of our friends and family are from a farming or fishing background, so why buy from abroad when we can buy locally?”

The idea for the restaurant came from walks on Dartmoor.

Harrison said: “James and I used to go for walks on Dartmoor, then we started talking about food and restaurants. We started doing pop up events and then Declan got involved and they went really well.”

The team have chosen Totnes in the hope that they will bring something extra to the “foodie” town. “It hasn’t really got anything like what we want to do. It’s a great foodie location with really good bakeries and cafes. People round here like their food.”

Front of house is James, Evie and Rose. Evie and Rose are also alumni of the college. James is keen to blur the lines between front of house and the kitchen, ensuring diners get to share in the chefs knowledge of the food they are cooking. “It’s about spreading the information, expertise and the knowledge…we want the lads to speak to the guests about their foods – because no one knows it better.”

The team are now bringing those skills they learnt in college into their own business. So, what key things will they be practicing in their own kitchen?

Declan said: “Being level headed in the kitchen. That college mentality that you can have a laugh in the kitchen as long as it gets done.”

For many students in this industry, the dream of running their own restaurant is a long way off. So we asked the guys how it feels to be on the cusp of opening their own place?

The answers included crazy and terrifying but there is definitely an air of excitement too. “Yesterday it was just an idea, and now we’re here doing it. In college we imagined working together one day and now we’re actually doing it. It’s cool but weird.”

The passion this team shares shines through in the food they cook and the way in which they talk about their future. We wish them every success in their endeavor.

Book your table today here.

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