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Will Devlin

Will Devlin... one to watch

Will Devlin at The Small Holding (credit Severien Vits)

Will Devlin at The Small Holding (credit Severien Vits)

Will Devlin at The Small Holding has been named Chef to Watch in The Good Food Guide 2020

Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding in Kilndown, Kent has been named Chef to Watch in The Good Food Guide which has announced its list of top restaurants in the country and award winners.

Owned by Waitrose & Partners, the Chef to Watch award was chosen by the Guide’s editor Elizabeth Carter and is given each year to one chef who has shown excellence in their field and exceptional talent.

Elizabeth Carter says, “With a number of young chefs cooking to such a high standard, the Chef to Watch award was a tough judging assignment this year. But, ultimately, Will Devlin won our hearts. His is a simple formula: an instinctive feel for food, a refreshing down-to-earth approach with the emphasis on seasonality and quality - ingredients are grown in the restaurant’s own small holding or sourced locally.”

Will Devlin comments, “I am blown away to find out I am in the Guide as this year’s Chef to Watch. It’s an award that has been won by so many amazing chefs and people I really look up to. It’s great to have this kind of recognition in The Good Food Guide, I’m genuinely honoured.”

The Small Holding has been given a cooking score of 4 in The Good Food Guide. The entry says, “Striding confidently into its second year, Will Devlin’s restaurant shows no sign of slowing down, ‘a truly sensational experience’ is one fan’s heartfelt comment. The level of ingenuity generated by a kitchen on turbo drive, fuelled by its own smallholding, hen coop and piggery, is prodigious. There’s a feel for proper flavour in thoughtful assemblages of halibut with a classic beurre blanc sauce, Dexter beef tartare perfectly balanced with a slow-cooked duck egg, and in virtuoso desserts such as a strawberry and basil tartlet or a pear and miso combo. The whole show is fleshed out with brilliant bread, engaging service and a wine list that is gleaned from hands-on organic producers.

For more information about The Small Holding, interview requests or press reviews please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk or 07730 039361

Press enquiries regarding The Good Food Guide to Hayley Soper at Waitrose & Partner on Hayley.soper@waitrose.co.uk or 01344 824896

 

Notes to editors:

The Small Holding | Ranters Lane | Kent | TN17 2SG

Everything is home-made at The Small Holding, including sourdough bread and butter, yoghurt and ricotta or sourced hyper-locally such as Hinxden Cream which has a herd of pedigree Guernsey and Holstein Friesian cows in nearby Benenden. Ingredients are picked less than 10ft from the kitchen and when there’s a glut, the kitchen preserves, pickles and jars.

The September Full Acre sample menu includes dishes such as sweetcorn, mushroom and egg; beef, fennel and nasturtium; and plum, yoghurt and honey. There are full vegetarian and vegan menus available costing £60 per person with an optional 4 glass wine pairing at £40 and 6 glass wine pairing at £60. The Half Acre menu is £30 per person.

The Good Food Guide is compiled by coupling reader feedback of eateries up and down the country with anonymous inspections by a team of experts. The Good Food Guide is published by Waitrose & Partners on 12th September, available in Waitrose & Partners shops and online. RRP £17.99.

September at The Small Holding

Radishes at The Small Holding

Radishes at The Small Holding

September at The Small Holding

In early September, The Small Holding’s farm in Kilndown, Kent, is in full production with gluts of courgettes and tomatoes, and new season sweetcorn and beetroot.  There are autumn raspberries and damsons and blackberries from the hedgerows and woods. The first chanterelle mushrooms and Kentish cobnuts have been found and are on the menu. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks roam the farm and sheep for hogget and mutton graze less than half a mile away.  

Everything is home-made at The Small Holding, including sourdough bread and butter, yoghurt and ricotta or sourced hyper-locally such as Hinxden Cream who have a herd of pedigree Guernsey and Holstein Friesian cows in nearby Benenden. Ingredients are picked less than 10ft from the kitchen and when there’s a glut, the kitchen preserves, pickles and jars.

The September Full Acre sample menu is below, with full vegetarian and vegan menus available and costs £60 per person with an optional 4 glass wine pairing at £40 and 6 glass wine pairing at £60. The Half Acre menu is £30 per person.

Sweetcorn, mushroom, egg
Hogget, cabbage, cheese
Onion, blackberries, seaweed
Cod, lettuce, lovage
Monkfish, tomato, parsley
Beef, fennel, nasturtium
Pork, radish, courgette
Apple, ginger, juniper
Plum, yoghurt, honey
Raspberry, tarragon, potato

For interview requests with Will Devlin, images, commissioned press reviews or to visit The Small Holding for a Farm and Forage tour please contact hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk or 07730 039361.

Ranters Lane | Kilndown | Kent | TN17 2SG

www.thesmallholding.restaurant
@the_small_holding_

August at The Small Holding

Trout, cucumber and horseradish on the August menu at The Small Holding

Trout, cucumber and horseradish on the August menu at The Small Holding

The Small Holding is a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders. The 26-cover restaurant was voted the best restaurant in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards and is set in one acre of land with raised beds, poly tunnels, pigs, ducks and chickens less than 10ft away from the kitchen. The restaurant’s own sheep, for hogget and mutton, graze less than half a mile away. The beds are heaving with lettuces, chard, beans and peas, tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries and blackcurrants.

Everything is home-made at The Small Holding for the Full Acre and Half Acre tasting menus, including bread and butter, yoghurt and ricotta or sourced hyper-locally such as Hinxden Cream which has a herd of pedigree Guernsey and Holstein Friesian cows in nearby Benenden. Ingredients are picked fresh before service and when there’s a glut, the kitchen preserves, pickles and jars. 

The August Full Acre sample menu is below, with full vegetarian and vegan menus available and costs £60 per person with an optional 4 glass wine pairing at £40 and 6 glass wine pairing at £60. The Half Acre menu is £30 per person.

[Images by Clare Winfield]

Cuttlefish, cauliflower, wild garlic
Courgette, yoghurt, chilli
Liver, onion, bacon
Trout, cucumber, horseradish
Oyster, kale, purslane
Tomato, ricotta, yarrow
Mutton, lettuce, potato
Buttermilk, bay, blackcurrant
Meadowsweet, raspberry, apricot
Cherry, fennel, woodruff

Cherry, fennel and woodruff; Liver, onion and bacon; tomato, ricotta and yarrow on the August menu at The Small Holding

June at The Small Holding

There are six varieties of strawberries being grown at The Small Holding this summer

There are six varieties of strawberries being grown at The Small Holding this summer

Asparagus, strawberries and ants at The Small Holding

The Small Holding is a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders. The 26-cover restaurant has been named as one of the best restaurants in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards and is set in one acre of land. The tasting style menus change daily using home-reared and home-grown ingredients from the farm, which is less than 10ft from the kitchen.

The ten-course Full Acre menu is a full experience of the farm and kitchen starting with home-made sourdough and butter, made on site with the rich yellow cream from a local Guernsey herd. This year The Small Holding is growing nearly 200 varieties of vegetables and fruits. During the peak growing months, the raised beds and poly tunnels are full of lettuces, chard, beans, tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants, plus the foraged bounty from the woods over the lane from the restaurant which offers wood sorrel, blackberries, wild garlic, chestnuts and mushrooms. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks roam the farm and there is a mushroom farm in one of the upstairs prep rooms. The five-course Half Acre menu offers a sample of the Full Acre menu, plus vegetarian and vegan Half and Full Acre menus with wine and non-alcoholic flight pairings.

‘The ambition and attitude of The Small Holding does genuinely feel like something new, a self-contained virtuous circle of excellent produce turning into top-quality dishes, all organic and self-sustaining, with wild plants and herbs growing alongside cultivated vegetables, with nothing to decide what makes it onto the menu other than what's the absolute best on the day.’ Chris Pople, Cheese and Biscuits

The June Full Acre menu at The Small Holding with full vegetarian and vegan menus available costs £50 per person with an optional 4 glass wine pairing at £40 and 6 glass wine pairing at £60. The Half Acre menu is £30 per person.

Kale, Cod, Egg
Potato, Chive, Mustard
Asparagus, Lovage, Cheese
Hogget, Fennel, Chilli
Beef, Peas, Horseradish
Sea Buckthorn, Ants, Cream
Miso, Pine, Pear
Strawberry, Basil, Elderflower
Today’s Cheese

“Growing our own produce on the farm brings an understanding and honesty back to the kitchen, and vital freshness. Making the most of our harvests when the ingredients are at their prime – whilst also preserving and conserving them to use throughout the year, keeps us concentrated on the natural cycle of the land and helps us to create full flavoured and imaginative dishes.” Will Devlin

Will took ownership of The Small Holding in January 2018 and opened in April 2018. A former pub, which was run down and neglected, the site has been transformed into an open kitchen and bar with a large decked terrace looking out over the farm and views of the Weald of Kent.

The bar, run by Will’s older brother Matt, is fully stocked with interesting gins, beers and wines, many locally produced such as Greensand Ridge Gin and top English wine producer Squerryes, whose 2013 Brut won Gold in the 2018 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.

Will won Kent Chef of the Year 2018, beating other finalists, Dan Smith at Fordwich Arms, Fordwich and Rob Taylor at Compasses Inn, Crundale. The Small Holding is recommended in the Good Food Guide 2018. He lives in nearby Goudhurst with his wife and baby daughter.

For more information, images or for a press review visit please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR
07730 039361 | hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk

Seven of Kent's best chefs collaborate for charity dinner

The Ultimate Pop Up

The Ultimate Pop Up

The Ultimate Pop Up on 20 June

Seven of the region’s most sought-after chefs join forces for The Ultimate Pop Up at Hush Heath Winery to cook a six-course tasting menu to raise funds for children’s charity, Tree of Hope

Fresh from being crowned Kent Chef of the Year, The Small Holding’s Will Devlin will be cooking alongside star of the Great British Menu and Head Chef at Verdigris, Scott Goss and chef owner at The Compasses Inn, Crundale Robert Taylor. Former Kentish Hare and MasterChef the professional’s personality, Bobby Brown, chef-proprietor of The Michelin listed Wheelwrights Arms in Matfield for 6 years, Rob Marsh and Hush Heath’s Executive Chef, Fabio Vinciguerra will also be cooking while The Bicycle Bakery’s Jamie Tandoh will be making dessert.

Tammy Jackson, the Leigh based mixologist behind For Cocktail Sake, is creating a cocktail for the evening which will be served to guests on arrival along with a selection of canapes.

This one-off special event, sponsored by CCLA, will take place on Thursday 20 June and will raise funds for Tonbridge based charity Tree of Hope, who support families of disabled and seriously ill children across the UK to raise funds for treatment, therapies and equipment recommended by their healthcare teams.

Tree of Hope’s Fundraising Manager Kate Bourne, who is organising the Ultimate Pop Up comments “We are extremely lucky to be based in a region with a thriving food scene but the opportunity to indulge in a meal prepared by some of the area’s very best chefs using the finest local produce, in stunning surroundings is rare and we’re delighted that such a special night will raise funds for Tree of Hope. With over a million children now registered as disabled in the UK, we are so aware that the hundreds of families we currently assist is just a drop in the ocean. The Ultimate Pop Up will enable the charity to reach more families that so desperately need our help.”

The Ultimate Pop Up will take place on Thursday June 20th at Hush Heath Winery. Tickets can be purchased online https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/event/the-ultimate-pop-uk

To find out more about the work of Tree of Hope go to www.treeofhope.org.uk

Farm and Forage at The Small Holding

Will Devlin at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Will Devlin at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Farm and Forage at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the pretty village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders, has created a Farm and Forage day for guests to experience a day in the life of the restaurant.

Launching on Wednesday 1 May, the day will start with coffee and homemade pastries before pulling on wellies for a walk around the farm to learn more about the 200 varieties of fruit and vegetables being grown on site for the restaurant. After feeding the pigs and chickens, guests will venture down the lane to the woods and fields to go foraging with Will to find what’s in season including wild garlic, blackberries, elderflower, cobnuts, mushrooms and wild strawberries.  

On returning to The Small Holding, guests will be greeted with a glass of awarding-winning Squerryes’ English sparkling wine before being seated for a 5 course t tasting menu.

Launching on 1 May, the Farm and Forage days are only available on Wednesday and Thursdays throughout the Summer from May until 29 August, priced £145 per person, including a 5-course lunch and arrival drink and a goody bag with seasonal treats to take home.

Bookings can be made direct via www.thesmallholding.restaurant or by calling the restaurant on 01892 890 105.

About The Small Holding

“Homely village restaurant secreted away in glorious Kent countryside… simple, ingredient-led dishes are fiercely seasonal… triumphant standouts are the village reared pork – served as a cube of beautifully fatty pork belly, a tiny, offaly faggot, homemade blood pudding and a lovely, sticky gravy – and a dish of sweet strawberries with an intense basil ice cream and shortbread.” The Good Food Guide 2018

“A thoughtful, original and completely delicious meal. I loved the foraging walk with all the culinary tips and sage gardening advice. I will definitely be back for more. The L’Enclume of the South in the making in a beautiful Kentish setting.” Sudi Pigott, national food and restaurant writer

The Small Holding wins Best Restaurant at Taste of Kent awards

Will and Matt Devlin with Alisa Sweeny from Thomson, Snell and Passmore

Will and Matt Devlin with Alisa Sweeny from Thomson, Snell and Passmore

The Small Holding, a 28-cover kitchen with one acre of working land, has won Best Restaurant in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards. The judges commented that The Small Holding was a “unique experience, strong on its local sourcing with a good story and scored highly on its customer service”.

Organised by Produced in Kent since 2004, the Taste of Kent Awards showcase the best of Kent’s food and drink products. It is the county’s longest running and most prestigious annual awards, voted for by the public. The range of categories has grown year on year and now incorporates every product that Kent, the Garden of England, is renowned for including beer, wine, cider, apples and cherries.

Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells and Corner House, Canterbury were runners up in the Best Restaurant category.

Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, comments, “We’re thrilled to have won this award from Produced in Kent. Being voted best restaurant by the general public is a massive boost for the kitchen and garden teams. Everything we do at The Small Holding is about sustainability, traceability, growing and rearing our own produce and working with genuinely local suppliers and farmers. For a restaurant that’s not been operating a full year we’re really thrilled our hard work has been recognised.”

Farm, Food, Flavour at The Small Holding

Poly tunnels at The Small Holding, Kilndown

Kent Chef of the Year is a new client at The Dining Room

I’m delighted that Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, Kilndown is a new client at The Dining Room.

“Homely village restaurant secreted away in glorious Kent countryside… simple, ingredient-led dishes are fiercely seasonal… triumphant standouts are the village reared pork – served as a cube of beautifully fatty pork belly, a tiny, offaly faggot, homemade blood pudding and a lovely, sticky gravy – and a dish of sweet strawberries with an intense basil ice cream and shortbread.” The Good Food Guide

Will Devlin, 30, is the chef owner of The Small Holding, a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders. The 26-cover restaurant has been named as one of the best restaurants in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards and is set in one acre of land, permitting a unique connection between farm and table. Growing, foraging and cooking the best ingredients is at the core of The Small Holding, with daily changing menus, using home-reared and home-grown ingredients from the farm, which is less than 10ft from the kitchen.

The ten-course Full Acre menu offers the diner a full experience of the farm and kitchen starting with home-made sourdough and butter, made on site with the rich yellow cream from a local Guernsey here. This year The Small Holding is growing nearly 200 varieties of vegetables and fruits. During the peak growing months, the raised beds and poly tunnels are full of lettuces, chard, beans and legumes, tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants, plus the foraged bounty from the woods over the lane from the restaurant which offers wood sorrel, blackberries, wild garlic, chestnuts and mushrooms. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks roam the farm and there are plans this year for cows and goats. The five-course Half Acre menu offers a sample of the Full Acre menu, plus vegetarian and vegan Half and Full Acre menus with wine and non-alcoholic flight pairings.

Sample dishes from the March 2019 menu includes Nettle, Garlic, Black pudding; Skate, Dandelion, Sorrel and for pudding Gypsy Tart, Rhubarb, Cream.

“Growing our own produce on the farm brings an understanding and honesty back to the kitchen, and vital freshness. Making the most of our harvests when the ingredients are at their prime – whilst also preserving and conserving them to use throughout the year, keeps us concentrated on the natural cycle of the land and helps us to create full flavoured and imaginative dishes.” Will Devlin

For more information please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on 07730 039361 or hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk