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Hot on the heels of the Oscars, a touch of Hollywood graced Padstow yesterday as the South West's foodie elite gathered for the official unveiling of the Trencherman's Guide 2011/2012.

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Hot on the heels of the Oscars, a touch of Hollywood graced Padstow yesterday as the South Wests foodie elite gathered for the official unveiling of the Trenchermans Guide 2011/2012.


VIP guests were chauffeured to Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant before rubbing shoulders with the regions leading chefs, including Rick himself, Michael Caines, Nathan Outlaw, Simon Hulstone and the Sanchez-Iglesias brothers. A stunning 5-course lunch followed, with Rick then painting a picture of the South Wests unique dining scene and the importance of the Guide to the industry.


Now in its 19th year, the Guide is the holy grail for anyone seeking South West dining at its best, only including those dining establishments achieving consistently high ratings across top international publications such as The Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and the AA Restaurant Guide. Having met the strict criteria set by a panel of leading food and drink experts, establishments are then formally invited to be part of this prestigious annual food and drink guide. All establishments in the guide from across the South West are listed in editors notes below


The introduction to this years Guide is by Daily Telegraph and Stella magazine food critic
Zoe Williams, who says, See this years Trenchermans Guide as your trusty satnav: utterly accurate and bang up to date. And of course, it has the added advantage of being mouthwateringly evocative on every page.


New this year will be a selection of dynamic innovations and, for the first time ever, more than 100 of the regions finest dining and restaurants with rooms will be featured. As Director Jo Rees explains, The Trenchermans Guide has long been the most important guide to dining in the South West, and this year it has been taken to another level, featuring 101 restaurants from across the South West, as compared with last years 55 restaurants, including of a new section of Rising Stars.


A concept developed with Michelin starred chef Michael Caines, the Rising Stars are those businesses not yet represented in guides such as The Good Food Guide but are worthy of inclusion in the Trenchermans Guide, based on their excellent offering for foodies. The guide has also undergone a facelift, with a smart new perfect bound format and beautiful cover artwork by South West artist Liz Clayton. The artwork will be auctioned for charity Action Against Hunger at the launch.


Available through the featured dining and restaurants with rooms as well as other select high profile outlets, one of the most exciting innovations is a brand new website - www.trenchermans-guide.com. Unveiled today, the site lists all 101 establishments and will feature ongoing news and dining offers that will help South West visitors plan their stay, at the same time giving those living here a chance to discover the quality food and drink offerings right on their doorstep. A digital version of the Guide will also take centre stage on the website.


Of the Trenchermans Guide, Rick Stein said "Since Kit Chapman of the Castle Hotel in Taunton and Paul Henderson who started Gidleigh Park in Chagford, Devon, hit on the startlingly simple idea of creating a local guide which only included establishments recommended in all the best food guides, the Trencherman's Guide has been a completely reliable recommendation.


Every time I meet fellow hoteliers and restaurateurs in the guide, particularly at the Trencherman's Lunches, I'm conscious of the enormous amount of optimistic excitement there is about the great food in the area and the ever improving quality of it: from local line caught bass and pollack, through Cornish Blue cheese to fabulous meat and poultry, new wood fired sour dough bakeries, coffee importers and roasters, cider and Perry makers, wine, beer, fruit drinks, early spring vegetables and now even charcuterie to equal the best in France, Spain or Italy; the region is fizzing with great food and great places to eat it."


Yesterday launch wouldnt have been the celebration it was without some exceptional Partners including Moet Hennessy, Audi and Growfair, while a selection of the regions best food and drink businesses are busily involved including sponsors Ashburton Cookery School, Darts Farm, The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy, Feeding Your Imagination, Frobishers Juices and Hildon Water. Guests and chefs alike can also look forward to a wonderful lunchtime foodie experience thanks to Iber Flavours, Growfair, Premier Cheese, Matthew Stevens and Son and Origin Coffee.


Visit www.trenchermans-guide.com and view the 5 course launch menu here

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