Chefs and caterers from across Devon who have lost business as a result of the pandemic, are being offered the chance to be part of a ‘kitchen takeover’ on the Dartington estate.

Tara Vaughan-Hughes, Estate Food Lead, will be surrendering her kitchen, well as some of her staff, for three days every week this autumn.

Each week a different chef will be able to step in with a ‘pop up’ restaurant to showcase their menu.

“This pandemic has meant that many talented food professionals have lost work, either because it’s not viable for them to open with limited numbers or the simple lack of events like weddings and festivals,” she said.

“What we’re offering is a great way for them to show what they do in a very communal way.  We’ve got lots of space here on the estate and we can seat people safely in a socially distanced way.”

Tara is going to make the kitchen at the White Hart restaurant available complete with front of house staff, kitchen equipment, crockery and even someone to do the washing up.

The chefs will pay £75 for the use of the kitchen for the three days.  They will be able to keep all of the first £500 they make over the period – any money they make above that, they will give a small percentage to the estate.

“It’s a really sweet deal for them to come and use all our facilities in a really flexible setting,” said Tara.

“It also great for diners – maybe it will encourage people to try new things and broaden their taste horizons.”

“Most of all this is a time when we need to remember the importance of our community and support each other and our chefs and food producers are a big part of that.”

Tara is already in discussions with a selection of chefs who serve Persian, Indian and vegan food but she says she welcomes any kind of cuisine.

The only condition is that they are like-minded in their thinking and use local, sustainable and responsibly sourced ingredients.

Tara has been closely involved with food at the Dartington estate for almost a decade.  She joined the team cooking in the Schumacher College kitchen in 2011.  Three years ago she spearheaded the successful launch The Green Table Café since it opened three years ago.

Originally from Vermont in America, she insist she has always been a passionate foodie and has and cites her favourite flavours as lemon, parsley and olive oil.

“I was just born that way.  I have always loved to eat.  It’s my favourite time of the day.

“I think in Vermont, like the UK there was a food revolution that happened in the late 70’s early 80’s where we all began to be interested in food from other countries and I think our palettes have changed and we’re much more adventurous now.”

If you’re interested in a Kitchen Takeover, please contact Tara Vaughan-Hughes for details on how to apply: 01803 847110 /

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