Exeter Cathedral

What three things did we need to win GOLD at the Taste of the West awards?

Taste is really important to us and it’s why our customers keep coming back. Our curries taste totally homemade – we certainly don’t take any shortcuts and it absolutely shows in the taste.

It’s why I hired a master of spice to head up our kitchen. Khilesh is our new chef and he has spent decades cooking in some of the finest restaurant kitchens in London.

He knows exactly how to tease complexities of flavour from the myriad of spices we use and we’re constantly taste-testing to improve each dish.

Khilesh has tweaked our original recipes and now they’re even better than before (when I, a humble cook developed them). So good in fact, that each one of our range of South Indian curries has won a Taste of the West award.

Here are the results… in ascending order;

Root vegetable sambhar with mooli and a hint of chilli …HIGHLY COMMENDED

Cardamom scented chicken with seasonal squash …SILVER

Shrimp and coconut milk korma with crunchy cashews … GOLD

Lamb and black pepper meatballs with spicy coconut gravy …GOLD

And what were the three things that we needed to win? Well, the obvious fact that we use the finest ingredients we can find, coupled with a fiercely passionate team and of course a sprinkling of love, which goes into each and every dish. You don’t get that in a factory do you?

It’s an amazing feeling to have won! Everyone at Coconut Chilli is so thankful and we’ve just ordered shiny award stickers for our boxes. Our meal pots were blind tasted by the judges, so we know we’ve done well because of taste and nothing else.

Taste of the West is a prestigious food organisation championing local producers who make some of the finest British produce around. I wanted to learn from some of the highly respected and established food companies like Yeo Valley, Filberts Fine Foods and Thatcher’s Cider who are based here in the South West. Their advice has been invaluable to how I’ve developed my business so far.

It’s also really important for us to be a member of Taste of the West because they support artisanal products. The team champion us little guys, who place provenance & time honoured production techniques before automation or cost cutting measures. This is just one of the reasons that HRH Prince of Wales has been the patron for the last 25 years. He’s a champion of organic & sustainable farming and also owns the brand Duchy Originals, exclusive to Waitrose.

And next week, to celebrate, Taste of the West are hosting an extra special food fair – where only GOLD award winners have been chosen to trade. We’re excited to be selling our wares and sampling galore! I’m not sure if HRH is a curry fan, but I’m pretty sure those younger royals are. My next mission is to get one of those royal warrants! 

We’d love to see you next Tuesday on Cathedral Green in the centre of Exeter (next to Exeter Cathedral). The fair will be on between 9am and 5pm.

Finally, a huge thanks to Jon Shreaves, Evelyn, Belinda, Caroline, Emma and all the rest of the team at Taste of the West for inviting us. We love our awards & we feel so honoured to have received them. It shows that ingredients, passion and love are key to our meal pots & we’ll always stay true to our roots.




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