2015 June

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Meet: Charles Inkin

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Meet Charles Inkin who runs the Gurnards Head, a gorgeous dining pub on the beautiful, unspoilt West Penwith coastline. And across the moor The Old Coastguard a cosy seaside hotel overlooking St Michael’s Mount in the quaint fishing village of Mousehole.
Charles, describe your average day?
Wake up to the dawn chorus in Cot Valley, the finest view in Cornwall. Breakfast with Otto (my 2 year old); drop him off to school ASAP. On to The Gurnards Head for 9am, where I tend to see those guests who have stayed the previous evening. A quick round of ‘Good Mornings’ to the team in the kitchen & FOH, then to my desk and a catch up with Belinda who looks after our bookings and daily figures. Strong shot of coffee at 10 and time for a few phone calls, usually a catch up with Edmund, who runs the business.  By lunchtime I’m heading over to our other site in Mousehole. The Old Coastguard to see how things are there. Sometimes a quick lunch with a guest or up to my desk where I get on with the afternoon business. A catch up with all the teams there, kitchen, marketing & FOH. By 1800hrs it’s time for a pint with a one of our regulars. Home by 1930 to see Otto to bed & read him a story or two. Then to the stoves to get supper on, the wife can’t/won’t cook. To bed after the news.
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What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
It really depends on the season. When there’s game available, then I could live of it……pheasant, red cabbage etc. In the Spring I adore asparagus and am a child in toy shop when it first becomes available. We are so fortunate to have a tip top butcher in St Just, McFadden’s; their lamb is sublime, so at least once a week we have different cuts. Obviously fish is part of our staple diet; I will often swing by Trelawney’s in Newlyn and pick something up.
What inspires you about living in Cornwall?
The communities, the produce, the views, the history & the lack of traffic.
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 The rugged and stunning West Penwith coastline. Photo: Mike Searle 
What do you think about the Poldark influence good or bad?
Can do nothing but good for the county.
What’s your favourite season?
Spring and autumn.
Where’s your favourite beach?
Portheras, Morvah.
When you’re not working where do you like to hang out?
At home or in Wales (my real home).
Who would be on your dinner party wish list?
Keith Floyd, John Le Carre, Darina Allen, Alice Walters, Marco Pierre White, Augustus Escoffier.

The Gurnards Head www.gurnardshead.co.uk

The Old Coastguard www.oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk

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A Great Review

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“Inspirational” was how Martin Desp described the Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook. We were stoked with his review in this weekend’s Western Morning News as, “a book heralding a new age of food and drink west of the Tamar.”

Martin describes the once ubiquitous “cheap-fat-fryer” food scene of Cornwall’s past and the rapid change it’s undergone in the past decade. And evidence of the change from this ‘money-grabbing philosophy’ of yesteryear is the Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook, “it’s nothing short of inspirational”. Nowadays instead of fat-fryers, there’s “cookery schools with attitude, pub cooks who go the extra shoreline mile, wood-fired pizza purveyors working out of old vans, and street-food chefs inspired by their Far East travels.”

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This is what we wanted to capture in the Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook, the passion of the exciting food scene and people doing amazing things in Cornwall., “The theme here seems to be imagination and flare married firmly to Cornish ingredients” which doesn’t mean celebrated chefs in hotels and restaurants but a “new breed of foodie-folk who have chosen Cornwall as their home for the lifestyle the place offers”.  And our lifestyles are linked inevitably to the sea and for everyone who is in the book or who worked on the book, it’s the common connection which ties everything together.

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Martin said the recipes were “inspirational” – great praise indeed for everyone in the book! And he picked a couple which grabbed his attention, Confit Rabbit Legs with buttered sea greens and peppered blackberry sauce by Thom Hunt and Matt Vernon at 7th Rise on the River Fal and Harissa Smoked Pheasant with Pork Belly by Scott Eggleton at Wood Fired Food in Mawgan Porth.

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The Cookbook Stockists

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We’re spreading the word around Cornwall and you can now get hold of Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook in these lovely establishments. So call in, sit down have a coffee/plate of fish/gin & tonic and while away a pleasant hour or two. You’re in Cornwall…

North Cornwall
Bush Pepper, Newquay
Fistral Surf Co., Newquay
Jam Jar, Newquay
Laid Back Coffee, Porth, Newquay
MWM at Revolver, Newquay
No. 4 Bistro, St Agnes

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Scott and Babs, Wood Fired Food, Retorrick
Strong Adolfos Hawksfield, A39, Wadebridge
Tarquins Gin, Wadebridge
The Arc Hawksfield A39, Wadebridge
The Fish House, Fistral Beach
Trebarwith Strand Cafe, Trebarwith Strand, Tintagel
Watergate Bay Hotel, Watergate
Watershed, Newquay
Waterstones, Truro
Wild Bake, Wadebridge

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South Cornwall
Brew House, Porthleven
Earthworks, St Ives
Fat Hen, St Buryan, Nr Penzance
Good Vibes Cafe, Falmouth
Gurnards Head, Nr Zennor
Moomaid of Zennor Ice Cream, St Ives
The Old Coastguard, Mousehole
Seadrift Kitchen and Cafe, Porthleven

Photos by Mike Searle Photography

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Meet: Nola From No. 4

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Above: Adam and Nola at the door of No. 4. Photo: Kirstin Prisk
Nola Kinna runs No.4 located in the heart of Aggie’s tight knit surfing community with her partner Adam Vasey. The restaurant has attracted a huge following so it seemed right to find out more about the face behind the success story.
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Above: The sign over the door of No. 4. Photo: Nola Kinna
Nola, what inspired you to set up No.4?
We had been thinking about setting up a restaurant for sometime. When the Aggie surf shop became available for lease it seemed like the perfect place, so we moved home from London and cracked on.
Describe your average day?
We get up about 7:30/8am, quick shower and cuppa then Adam goes down to No.4 prepping from about 8:30am. Our menu takes a lot of work so there’s always something boiling away on the stove or in the oven. I sort the laundry from the night before and join him down here about 9:30. If we’re doing lunch that day we’ll prep together for a few hours, set up for lunch. We try to get half an hour to sit down and think about new dishes but that’s fairly rare! Marky (our other chef) gets in about 3pm and the rest of the gang at 5:30pm. I’ll try and get an hour in the office to sort through invoices, answer emails etc – then home to get changed for the evening. Service kicks off at 7pm so by 6:30 we’re all set up and ready to go. We generally finish here about 12am – home, quick bite to eat and glass of wine and whatever series we’re watching to wind down, then bed about 1:30/2am – start again tomorrow.
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Above: Inside No. 4. Photo: Nola Kinna
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
Something easy! Proper roast chicken and new potato salad, or ‘leftovers’ risotto. Last week I made sweetbread, asparagus & wild garlic risotto!
What inspires you about living in Cornwall?
Everything! We both grew up here so it’s easy to take the Cornish way of life a little for granted – but we also spent 8 years living in London so when you’re away for that long I think you appreciate it all the more. We’re so lucky with the produce that grows around us all year round – the fish we get comes straight from the sea, there’s very few food miles here!
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 Above: Straight from the sea to the kitchen at No. 4. Photo: Nola Kinna
Which your favourite season?
Autumn because Spring and Summer are exciting in terms of what you start to get growing but by September you get everything you’ve been waiting for. I love the calm September brings as well after a manic summer, the air smells different.
What’s on the up food wise?
People are far more aware now of where their food comes from, and how it got to their plate. We try and get our produce from suppliers with as few steps from the ingredient as possible. For example, our pork comes from Primrose Herd, from their pigs, on their land.
Who would be on your dinner party wish list?
Keith Floyd, Anthony Bourdain, Fred & Joe from Joe Beef, Fergus & Margot Henderson, Josh Holme & David Bowie.
And the motto you try to live by?
In the words of David from Joe Beef, “Art goes in your eye – food goes in your mouth.”
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Above: The glorious Cornish countryside. Photo: Nola Kinna