Sidmouth Grants for gold

PUBLISHED: 15:34 24 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 18 June 2010

GOLD will soon be on the menu of a Sidmouth restaurant which only a year after it opened has been dished a prestigious award.

GOLD will soon be on the menu of a Sidmouth restaurant which only a year after it opened has been dished a prestigious award.

Grants Café Brasserie in Old Fore Street won the top accolade in the 2009 Taste of The West Awards in the hospitality and retail category.

The restaurant, which was previously known as the Secret Café, was refurbished after it was taken over by current owner Mark Bonnin and reopened as a brasserie in September 2008.

Mark, who has 20 years experience in the food industry, applied for the Taste of the West Awards hoping for some recognition but did not expect a gold award in the first year.

He said: "It was definitely a surprise. We worked hard to achieve this and it was particularly appropriate because we make everything from scratch.

"I have always believed in working with fresh, raw, locally sourced ingredients and this is particularly what the Taste of the West judges are looking for."

Around 80 per cent of ingredients are sourced from within 10 miles of Sidmouth and Mark says the restaurant is attracting a good following.

But the credit crunch has affected the business and Mark added: "It has been extremely difficult but to have achieved what we have achieved in the first year, I am pleasantly satisfied given the circumstances."

The gold award logo is now on display in the restaurant and Mark is planning on re-printing the menus with the symbol emblazoned on them.

He added: "The award really was a group effort and everyone involved has to be congratulated."

The highest scoring Gold winners have been put through as contenders for the South West final awards and the results will be announced in December.

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