1. Tell us a little bit about your culinary background.
My passion for cooking really started when I left school at 16, when I completed four years at catering college back in Yorkshire whilst also working in the local pub on weeknights and weekends. After college, I moved on to work in a hotel and fine dining restaurant on the outskirts of Rotherham for a couple of years. I was lucky enough to have worked under some incredibly talented, award-winning head and sous chefs throughout my early chef life, which gave me a great skill base with which to build on.
When I turned 22, a new and exciting adventure presented itself with a move to Cornwall. My first job in the county was at the 2 AA rosette Idle Rocks in St Mawes, where I worked my way up the ladder to become Senior Sous Chef. That was followed by a short stint at the Talland Bay Hotel before getting my big chance to make a name for myself here at Trevalsa.
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself – what do you get up to in your spare time?
I regularly went on family summer holidays to Newquay when I was younger, which was where I picked up the surfing bug! Now, come the spring and summer months, I love nothing more than heading to the North Coast and catching a few waves. I am also a massive football fan so any chance of watching my beloved Rotherham United, or any other matches for that matter, is a bonus!
3. How would you describe your food style?
My style has always been to create interesting yet simple food with slight twists. I like to let the flavours speak for themselves and always focus on the customer having an enjoyable experience.
4. What’s your favourite dish on the Trevalsa Court Hotel menu?
Being a Yorkshire lad, nothing can beat a piece of feather blade beef in the Autumn and Winter months. We marinate it for 24 hours and then slow braise it for 10 hours, before serving it with a fondant potato, greens, and lots of gravy made from the braising stock.
Come the summer months, one of my personal favourites is Cornish Duck breast, which we source locally from the Cornish Duck Company. We serve it simply with fresh raspberries, a raspberry vinaigrette, sweet potato, purple sprouting broccoli and fresh local mixed leaves.
5. How much does the hotel’s amazing location influence the menu?
Cornwall is renowned for its seafood, and with so much local, fresh and excellent produce at just a stone’s throw away we really are spoilt for choice. I talk to my fish supplier bright and early every morning, so I can order the freshest and most exciting seafood for that day’s delivery.
Plus, our kitchen window overlooks the entire bay – definitely the best work view I’ve ever had!
6. Why is being a chef in Cornwall different from anywhere else?
Quite simply, because of its produce and surroundings. From fish in the sea to the game up on the moors, Cornwall’s surroundings make it a wonderful and very diverse place to find inspiration.
7. What’s your favourite Cornish delicacy?
It has to be the humble Cornish pasty. It works on so many levels; after a day of surfing, after a few drinks with fellow chef friends or even for staff dinner before a busy evening shift.
I am also partial to a cream tea with thick jam and a good dollop of Rodda’s clotted cream. Cream on the top mind…
8. What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with?
It’s another nod to my Yorkshire roots – creamy British butter. It’s just such a universal product; from cakes and sweet treats to savoury tarts or flavoured butters to go with our steaks and seafood linguine. You just can’t beat a bit of real butter.
9. And finally, what’s your dream meal?
It might sound a little corny but I really enjoy a simple bit of Cheese on toast with grilled tomato and a dash of Worcester sauce. It’s ideal for cosy nights in, relaxing in front of the TV and enjoying quality time with my partner.