Chef Spotlight

Chef Spotlight: Meet Dolton Lodge of Bearslake Inn, Dartmoor

Posted by
Food Drink Devon
Posted on
23 May 2024

We’re delighted to be chatting to Dolton Lodge of Bearslake Inn for this month’s Chef Spotlight.


Dolton was born and grew up in Exeter and began his career at The Galley in Topsham where he worked his way up from KP to Head Chef, learning as much as he could along the way from the likes of Scott Paton at The Horn of Plenty and now at Acleaf, and Luke Fearon at The Treby Arms.

These experiences gave Dolton the drive and passion to open his own pub, The Lamb at Longdown, and to continue his dream at The Bearslake nestled on Dartmoor and surrounded by Devon’s amazing larder.

He loves to champion local game, meat and fish on his menus, allowing star flavours to shine through, complimented by local seasonal produce and foraged ingredients.

What prompted you to become a chef?

I’ve always had a passion for cooking, but I never considered it a career until I started as a KP back at The Galley in 2008. I just fell in love with the fast paced environment and creative flair of kitchen life. Plus, I’ve always loved eating, and I’m forever hungry so it’s natural to always be surrounded by Devon’s amazing produce and bring joy to diners. There’s nothing better than seeing empty plates and happy diners.

What has been your greatest achievement/proudest moment in your career?

If you had asked me this a few years ago I’d have said it’s an easy one, opening my own pub at 25 – which had been a life goal from the beginning of my career.

But now I’d have to say it’s a culmination of things that have happened all along my career, from the people I’ve worked with to the produce I get to work with every day.

What makes Devon such a great place to work as a chef? 

The local produce, the people and suppliers. Being able to look out of the kitchen and see the moors, or on my drive to work just seeing fields of cattle or produce. I’d love to work in London (as most chefs would) but I think I’d miss Devon’s rolling green hills and fresh air.

Where would you go to dine out on a night off?

I very rarely dine out anymore, but when I do I have a ‘bucket list’ of places I’m working through, slowly. It’s usually places I’d drive to/make a special journey to because I find them inspirational. I prefer to support small, independent businesses as they’re a bit more personal and unique.

What is your favourite Devon ingredient/product to use in your dishes? And why?

This a tough question as Devon has so many amazing options! Ruby Red Cattle from Pipers Farm all the way to the fantastic Brixham fish market alongside some more unique things like Forest Fungi in Dawlish.

We are so lucky in Devon, and it’s just such a joy to create local sustainable menus where the star ingredient is so fresh you can just let it shine and show diners the importance of being local and seasonal.

For more about Bearslake Inn visit their website HERE. 

The Bearslake Inn

Located between the small market towns of Tavistock and Okehampton, Bearslake Inn is one of the best pubs on Dartmoor from which to explore the delights of the local moors and tors of the National Park.

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