Posted tagged ‘Cornwall’

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 <!–

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Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw lead line-up at Padstow Christmas Festival in Cornwall

November 19, 2014

Celebrity chefs Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Nathan Outlaw, Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix will face the public as they perform their skills at this year’s Padstow Christmas Festival.

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The four-day festive fiesta from December 4 – 7 sees chefs and local producers take over the streets around the town’s harbour for an event that includes 64 cookery demonstrations and workshops.

This year it includes a head-to-head cook-off between Phil Vickery and Brian Turner on Saturday December 6, presented by Fern Britton, aka Mrs Vickery.

Event organiser Tina Evans said: “This is our biggest event to date with more than 40,000 visitors expected to join us for the festival.

“Alongside a packed schedule of demos, we’ll have a spectacular fireworks display, lantern parade, Narnia-inspired grotto, activities for children, pop-up food stalls and live music.”

More information and a programme of events can be found at www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.

Penpont Brewery’s Creation ale wins Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) award

March 25, 2014

Penpont Brewery‘s latest beer, Creation pale ale, has won two Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) awards.

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The light golden beer from the brewery in Altarnon, in east Cornwall, won a gold award in its product class and a silver in the overall Champion Keg Beer competition.

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Archaeologists discover 100-year-old St Austell Brewery beer at St Piran site in Cornwall

March 22, 2014

Archaeologists unearthing the secrets of St Piran’s Oratory in the shifting sands at Perranporth, Cornwall have discovered a bootle of local beer more than 100 years old.

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The green bottle of Walter Hicks ale from St Austell Brewery is thought to date from around the time of the encasement of the oratory in 1910.

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Rock Oyster Festival on Camel Estuary in Cornwall announces 2014 date

March 12, 2014

Rock Oyster Festival is set to return to the millionaire’s playground on the banks of the bivalve-friendly Camel Estuary in Cornwall this summer on Saturday July 12.

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The festival is now in its fifth year and returns to the idyllic grounds of Dinham House, near Wadebridge, as a midsummer celebration for all the family with music, entertainment and, of course, oysters.

And for the first time this year, the festival will include a farmers’ market.

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Relaunch for Fat Hen’s wild food cookery school in west Cornwall

March 10, 2014

A ground-breaking wild food cookery school re-opens its doors in west Cornwall this spring, with a course celebrating the Cornish coastline.

Fat Hen’s Fish and Shellfish Day on April 19 will be led by Mark Devonshire, formerly head tutor at Rick Stein’s Seafood Cookery School.

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The course will combine the sourcing, preparation and cooking of some of Cornwall’s best-loved seafood, with an insight into the local, foraged ingredients which partner them so perfectly.

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British Cheese Awards wins for Cornish Yarg maker Lynher Dairies with new “Stithians” cheese and for Woolsery Cheese’s Nanette goats cheese

September 10, 2013

It seems that Lynher Dairies, the makers of Cornish Yarg, are a bit stunned with their British Cheese Award for their new cheese, Stithians.

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The  2013 Best English Cheese is named after the village in Cornwall close to the dairy where it is made, but please don’t inundate them with requests – it wont be going on sale until next year!

Dane Hopkins, the dairy manager, said that it was entered into the competition essentially to gauge the opinions of the judges and see where they were with the cheese and its development.

It promptly came away with the Patrick Rance Trophy for the best English cheese, suggesting it’s pretty much there.

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