Posted tagged ‘Cornish’

Cornish campers get a pizza the action with Kernow Forno and its mobile wood-burning oven

June 7, 2015

As land-locked Midlanders, my husband and I are always keen to escape to the coast. A recent jaunt took us to the Meadows campsite in the Pentewan Valley, just outside St Austell for a weekend of coastal walks, plenty of food, and some good old Cornish cider.

Child-free, dog-friendly, and recently featured in the Guardian in a list of 15 ‘pitch-perfect’ campsites, The Meadows was perfect for us. Even more perfect when they announced that on the Saturday night, we would be treated to a visit from a cocktail van, and pizza experts Kernow Forno. Pizzas? On a campsite?

  
Yes, indeed. All will become clear.

Kernow Forno is a mobile pizza-making mecca, taking a wood-fired oven to all sorts of events across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. Husband and wife team Simon and Sarah Pryce (who in a previous life clocked up a joint 32 years with the RNLI) set up the business in what they describe on their website as a “you only live once” decision. They upped sticks, moved to Cornwall, and started their travelling wood-fired pizza oven business.

  
With a menu ranging from traditional margherita to more speciality toppings, and even dessert pizzas, they boast of using an authentic Italian dough recipe to get a thin, crispy base and pizzas that cook in less than two minutes in the 500-degree oven.

  
Eager to see their handiwork, we arrived back at the campsite from a long, lovely coastal walk to find the pizza-cooking well under way and fellow campers trotting back to their tents with their delicious-looking dinners.

In a confession that will indicate that these pizzas are really rather good, I have to admit that while we started of planning to order two between six of us (since we had a full barbecue dinner planned as well), but ended up buying four more after we’d tried them. The best-laid plans hey!

  
This pizza overload was due, in part, to the great offerings on the menu. As well as a simple but tasty margherita we couldn’t resist the meat feast, topped with sausage, Cornish salami, home-cooked ham and roast chicken. We also couldn’t walk away without trying the Cornish line-caught mackerel marinated in soy, horseradish and ginger, with red onion and chive. The mackerel was fresh and tasty, its flavour enhanced by the oriental marinade.

  
With all of the pizzas the dough was light, thin, and just the right level of crispy round the outside. Nowhere was its quality more obvious than in the form of irresistible garlic bread. 

  
The smell alone was enough to make you nod your head helplessly when asked if you’d like one, while the taste was simply out of this world. I mean, who doesn’t love cooked garlic for starters? But mix with salty butter, all soaking into a light pizza base. A true winner.

Kernow Forno isn’t just about the quality of its food, much of which is a showcase of what the south west has to offer. This is theatre at work, and no doubt one of the reasons these guys are so popular at festivals and fetes. Simon rolls and tosses the bases while you watch, bringing an open-kitchen style to the whole affair, while you can peer into the wood-fired oven to see the roaring flames as you loiter with intent waiting for your pizza.

And the piece de resistance? They appear to have some control over the weather, at least at the Meadows anyway. As Kernow Forno arrived, so did the sun (something Simon assures me has happened before when they’ve staged one of their pop-up pizza nights), meaning we could bask in the heat, munching on our pizza and sipping on cocktails.

In an age where pop-ups and street food are all the rage, Kernow Forno are cashing in on a trend that looks unlikely to wane anytime soon. But they’re not just doing it, they’re doing it well, and stand out from the crowd. Bravo Simon and Sarah, that decision was certainly worth taking.

Ellen Branagh is a journalist who blogs about food rather well at www.eatwithellen.com <!–

Pilchards in Clouds, aka a recipe for Cornish sardine moussaka by Prosenjit Sanjay Kumar

August 12, 2013

Prosenjit Sanjay Kumar, head chef at the Headland Hotel in Newquay Cornwall, is passionate about bringing the flavours of Saudi Arabian Kitchens to Cornish produce.

One that didn't get away

One that didn’t get away

Having gathered cooking experiences from around the world, Sanjay champions healthy eating. Through cooking demonstrations Sanjay aspires to introduce a new generation of chefs to the joys of cooking.

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Cornwall’s first butchery school to open

January 8, 2013

Press Release:
Etherington’s Butchery Academy opens this month and is the county’s only butchery school. Students will be taught a variety of butchery techniques including boning and jointing different types of meat.
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Pie time, winter in the city…

November 19, 2011

A few years ago, if a chef on TV suggested people make and eat a pie, the viewers would have had a coronary. You may as well have suggested they melt lard in a frying pan and then inject it intravenously into their bodies.

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But it seems the humble pie (no pun intended) has been forgiven, rather like the biblical prodigal son.

Perhaps it is a backlash against people being told what to eat, perhaps it is about a relatively cheap yet filling meal during a time of economic shit/fan interfacing. Who knows.

Tacked onto this is the rise in popularity of pies as fast food. I’m not talking about Pukka Pies chomped as you slurp a bovril at the football, I’m talking pies that are being served at food festivals, with decent ingredients and local pedigree.

You may be familiar with Bristol behemoth Pieminister and Devon’s own Tom’s Pies – maker of an excellent vegetarian pie with mushrooms and spinach incidentally.

Now the Cornish have decided to get in on the act. Two self-proclaimed “grumpy old men” have launched a new range of savoury pies.

Grumpies of Cornwall was founded in January 2011 by Trevor Shea and Mark Carne at their bakery in Launceston and they launched their range at the Cornwall Show in June, with boxes adorned with their cartoonish alter-egos.

The pair already run the Cornish Patisserie, which supplies cakes, gateaux, and desserts to hospitality establishments across the UK.

According to their press spiel, the pair live by their ethos of “serious about food” and use the best Cornish ingredients including local vegetables, Cornish ale, and meat from Philip Warren’s, a prize-winning Launceston butcher.

The range of six pies also avoid artificial additives, preservatives and processed ingredients to “create products with a home cooked quality”.

So, have they succeeded?

Well, what is “home-cooked quality”? In my case it means the pastry is burned and the lid doesn’t fit the rest of the pie.

But the Grumpies pies are good, both as a party food or as a quick and easy supper on a Friday. Twenty minutes in the oven from chilled and they are done, served with a lie of mash the size of North Korea (mentioned only for the search engine hits from fruitloops).

The current range includes four meat options: steak and ale; lamb, mint and potato; chicken, gammon & leek; and pork, apple & cider.

There are also two vegetarian varieties: homity pie, an open pie topped with potato, mature cheddar, fresh parsley, leek, onion and garlic; and a blue cheese, mushroom and walnut pie with tangy lemon and a béchamel sauce.

Of the six, four stood out: the two veggie pies and the pork and chicken and gammon ones.

The blue cheese pie was tangy and well balanced and was a great example of non-dull veggie food. The homity pie gets a mention because it was good but also because it was great to see it in the range in the first place.

The pork pie, as it were, was also well balanced, not too overpoweringly appleish and the leek, gammon and leek was really very nice, merging all three flavours well.

As for the other two, there was nothing wrong with the steak and ale pie but perhaps I am just too fussy and eaten too many of them in the past, because I couldn’t get excited.

The lamb pie, sadly was a disappointment. I have to hold up my hands and say this is partly my fault as I hate mint sauce with my lamb. So you can work around that. But there was also the fact that a large chunk of the lamb in the pie was gristle, which was a shame as it rather put me off.

Overall though, a good addition to the range of pies being made by producers in the South West.

The pies are available from selected farm stores and delis across Cornwall and online at http://www.foodfromcornwall.co.uk, priced at 6 pies: £6.50, 12 pies: £7.50 and for 18 pies: £10.00.

Christmas party food anyone?