Chef/owner Dave Jenkins has joined the likes of Michelin-starred Michale Caines’ Lympstone Manor, Mokoko and The Wrecking Coast Distillery as one of the winners in food Reader Awards 2019.

Dave was invited to the awards ceremony at The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth, on January 28 where he was thrilled to pick up the accolade of Best Chef in what is one of the largest and most highly acclaimed food awards in the South West.

The awards were launched by Salt Media in 2012 through its publication food Magazine, with the aim of celebrating the very best independent restaurants, cafes, pubs, chefs, hotels, producers, retailers and cookery schools in the South West.

The voters are readers of food Magazine and, and this year saw 25,000 individual votes cast across the 12 categories.

Dave said: “It was such a great honour to win! It felt like all the hard work since starting up Rock Salt eight years ago and then Salumi, had been appreciated by our lovely customers. I’m so grateful to everyone who voted.”

This is Rock Salt’s second time win, who previously won Best Restaurant in 2017. The restaurant also holds two AA rosettes, is featured in the Good Food Guide publication and has had mentions in the Sunday Times Cheap Eats, Lonely Planet Guide and the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine.

food magazine editor Jo Rees said, “Dave Jenkins and all the finalists exemplify the leading, creative and groundbreaking food and drink businesses we have in the South West. It was a fabulous evening and we’re thrilled that Dave will now join our list of previous winners which includes Nathan Outlaw, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Rodda’s Cornish Cream, and Ashburton Cookery School.”

The coastal feast on the awards night was hosted by one of Salt Media’s founding directors, Jo Rees, along with Nick Hodges, executive chef at The Greenbank and sister hotel, The Alverton in Truro.

The team at The Greenbank treated guests to a sumptuous supper of paupiette of megrim sole, crab rosti and samphire shrimp, followed by Nanteague Farm seared beef fillet and glazed short rib. The meal was accompanied by beers from Sharp’s Brewery, and a wine flight courtesy of Enotria & Coe. Petis fours were served with The Wrecking Coast Distillery’s Honey Sloe Gin.

2019 Winners

Best Chef – sponsored by Sharp’s Brewery
Winner: Dave Jenkins – Rock Salt Cafe and Salumi Bar and Eatery
Grand finalists: Ashley Wright – The Horn of Plenty, Claire Moore – The Station Kitchen, Dan Moon – The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Best Restaurant – sponsored by Total Produce
Winner: Porthminster Beach Cafe – St Ives
Grand finalists: Bellita – Bristol, Brassica Restaurant – Beaminster, Harry’s Restaurant – Exeter

Best Foodie Hotel – sponsored by Trencherman’s Guide
Winner: Lympstone Manor – Exmouth
Grand finalists: Mount Haven Hotel – Marazion, St Michaels Resort – Falmouth, Ston Easton Park Hotel – Bath

Best Cocktail Bar – sponsored by The Wrecking Coast Distillery
Winner: Crocketts – Exeter
Grand finalists: The Milk Thistle – Bristol, The Old Grammar School – Truro, Tigermilk at The Duke – Plymouth

Best Cafe – sponsored by Frobishers
Winner: Mokoko – Bristol
Grand finalists: Soulshine – Bridport, The Almond Thief – Dartington, The Hidden Hut – Porthcurnick

Best Foodie Pub – sponsored by L George Butchers
Winner: The Rising Sun – Truro
Grand finalists: Bear Bar & Kitchen – St Agnes, The Bear and Blacksmith – Chillington, The Cadeleigh Arms – Tiverton

Best Drink – sponsored by Dartington Crystal
Winner: Wrecking Coast Gin
Grand finalists: Conker Spirit Dorset Dry Gin, Salcombe Gin, Wicked Wolf Gin

Best Foodie Product – sponsored by Impact
Winner: Baker Tom’s Bread sourdough
Grand finalists: Dorset Sea Salt, Purbeck Ice Cream, Extract Coffee Roasters Unkle Funka

Best Indie Retailer – sponsored by Salt Media
Winner: Chococo – Exeter
Grand finalists: Ashburton Delicatessen – Devon, The Cornish Food Box Company – Truro, The Bristol Cheesemonger

Best Cookery School – sponsored by The Greenbank Hotel
Winner: Ashburton Cookery School – Devon
Grand finalists: Lucknam Park Cookery School – Wiltshire, Manna from Devon Cookery School – Kingswear, River Cottage Cookery School – Axminster

Best Wine List – sponsored by Enotria & Coe
Winner: The Longstore – Charlestown
Grand finalists: La Cave – Falmouth, The Olive Tree – Bath, Woods Bar & Restaurant – Dulverton

Best Farm Shop – sponsored by Soil Association
Winner: Trevaskis Farm Shop – Cornwall
Grand finalists: Ben’s Farm Shop – Totnes, Greendale Farm Shop – Farringdon, Jon Thorners Farm Shop – Shepton Mallet


Dave Jenkins, who works at Rock Salt Café and Salumi, picked up the prestigious Best Chef award at the Food Reader Awards 2019 and now joins the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nathan Outlaw, who have previously received the award.

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