Eat, Drink, Sleep

Les Routiers recommends quality establishments in the UK and Ireland



Congratulations to Nick Cottrell at The Dolphin House Brazzerie for his recent Gold Award for Taste of The West.      

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What is Taste of the West

Taste of the West is a unique membership organisation for food and drink producers, distributors, restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels, farm shops and speciality retailers in the South West.  All of these organisations are passionate about the provenance and quality of the products they make, serve or sell. Established in 1991 Taste of the West is the largest independent regional food group in the UK and work hard to promote and support fantastic local food and drink from Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset.

Nick Cottrell Career Background

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At an early age, Nick Cottrell, son of Alan and Jacqueline Cottrell the owners of The Dolphin House Brazzerie, started helping his father in the kitchen preparing the vegetables and observing his father’s cooking skills.  Food is a family obsession.  Nick trained under Francesco Mercurio in Rome, who initially headed the Brazzerie before leaving due to illness.  Nick went to Agricultural College, studied Horticulture as well.  He worked in hotels and restaurants in Plymouth and Taunton and now he is the head chef at The Dolphin.  He has his NVQ level 2 certificate and in February passed his NVQ Level 3.  Nick is also a member of the craft guild of Chefs (semi-finalists graduate awards) and British Culinary Federation.

How Did The Dolphin House Get The Award

Taste of the West visited The Dolphin House as a mystery diner.  The diner was judging the food on how it is cooked, where it came from i.e. locally, quality and sustainability.  The Dolphin House wherever possible source locally produced product including exotic mushrooms which they get from Forest Fungi – they like to know where there food comes from. In just one year they have achieved a 3.5/5 rating with the Fish2Fork campaign for their sustainable, quality fish.


Fish2fork rates restaurants according to the impact their seafood has on the seas and marine life.  They believe sustainability is a vital ingredient of good seafood.  Plymouth has become the first blue ocean city for seafood sustainability.

How did you feel when you found out you had won Gold?


Nick replied “shocked – we have all worked very hard designing the menus, it is very overwhelming but at the same time delighted. Especially after winning the Les Routiers Restaurant of 2014, we got Highly Commended – reconnect award at the Big Plymouth Food event for responsible sourcing and of course our Fish2Fork rating last year.  This has become a bit of a catalyst for other independent restaurants, with others now getting on board and Plymouth has now been awarded the first blue ocean city for sustainable fish sourcing.  We are really pleased we could play our part.  The Gold award from such a respected body is something we can build on.”

What does winning this award mean for the restaurant? and Plymouth?  

Nick stated “it is a big step from where they first started to where they are now. It is good for Plymouth too to win this award it means we can put Plymouth back on the map for dining out as it has not been well known for its food.  Also hopefully more people will seek us out as we become better known.  We are in a wonderful position, but it has become a difficult trading area over recent years so we need to let more people know what we can do.  It spurs us on to achieve even higher standards.  So, it can only be a good thing.  At the Big Food Event it was announced that Plymouth has put food at the heart of its city plan – so, more Good Restaurants doing Real Food getting acknowledgement the better.”

Where do you see yourself and the restaurant in 5 years?

Nick answered “This is our 3rd anniversary coming up this month so I hope the Restaurant can go from strength to strength – we are an innovative, creative, resourceful team and confident it will.  It is a family business so my interests are close to that mission.  Personally I would like to grow as much as I can in my profession.”



July 16, 2014 | Les Routiers UK

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