Posted tagged ‘Padstow’

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.


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


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.


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.


10th South West Chef of the Year competition – judged by Michael Caines, James Tanner, Simon Hulstone, Mark Hix, Nathan Outlaw and … are you crying yet?

August 15, 2013

It’s important you don’t get intimidated in competitions, but entrants into the 10th South West Chef of the Year competition would be allowed a whimper when they see the judging panel includes Michael Caines, Nathan Outlaw, James Tanner, Simon Hulstone, Mark Hix, Nathan Outlaw and more.

Entries are now open for the competition aimed at experienced pros, up and coming young chefs and amateur cooks.

A new class is being launched this year, the Junior Class, aimed at children aged 11 to 16.


Everything you wanted to know about Cornish pasties but were afraid to ask

April 8, 2011

The latest addition to the collection of amusing books on your coffee table that you’ll never read has been launched in the form of The Little Book of the Pasty.

It has been launched by the The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) to cash in….sorry celebrate the gaining of protected geographical indications (PGI) status for the humble pasty. This means to be called Cornish it has to be made in the duchy to a specific recipe, which I have written about before.

The book is, the CPA say, “full of tasty facts and the history of Cornwall’s most iconic food”. And they are right. This is a book seemingly solely aimed at tourists who enjoy the odd proper pasty on their annual visit to Cornwall and whose knowledge of what they are chomping is probably very limited.

Alan Adler, Chairman of the CPA, said: “After receiving PGI status, the CPA wanted to leave a legacy for the Cornish pasty. The Little Book of the Pasty is an absorbing account of the history of our region’s most famous food product and it truly demonstrates the Cornish passion for pasties. The book is full of quirky pasty facts and we hope it will be enjoyed by many Cornish pasty fans across the country.”

For the native eater (and me), most of the legends and facts may be old hat, but there are enough amusing and interesting old pictures in it to make it worth spending time thumbing through it. Not sure I’d buy it at £5.99 mind you, though that could just be because I am a massive cheapskate.

Only one other thing to note. The journalist in me noticed that while it was nicely written, it needed to be better proof-read as there were some noticeable punctuation errors and the like. I realise the irony of me pointing out such mistakes when this blog is littered with them of course.

Over all, I can see it gracing a few lounges in the South East and London as an object d’amuse. The press release mentioned the possibility of a second edition and I would advise the CPA, if a second edition is released, to have it proofed again. But enough of my bah, humbuggery.

The book is available to buy and order in independent bookstores and tourist attractions in Cornwall, on Amazon and in selected Waterstones. RRP is £5.99.

New home for Rock Oyster Festival

March 26, 2011

A boutique food and music festival is to move to a new venue on Cornwall’s north coast this summer.

Taking place from 17th to 19th June, the Rock Oyster Festival will bring together the best of Cornish food and produce, quirky music acts and family entertainment – and raise thousands of pounds for charity.

20110326-114210.jpgLast year’s festival

Event organiser Charlie Anderson said: “Last year the event was a great success, and we’re thrilled to announce that the 2011 festival will be held at a stunning new venue, Dinham House, right on the banks of the Camel Estuary near Rock.

“We’re a not-for-profit festival, and we raised over £4,000 last year for our nominated charities the RNLI and St Minver School. This year we’re delighted to be supporting Cornwall Hospice Care and The Army Benevolent Fund and really want to raise as much money as possible.”

The move to Dinham House affords organisers more space, and for the first time on-site camping will be available within the grounds.

The three day family-orientated festival begins on Friday evening with Circus Berzercus and Bentley Rhythm Ace Live.

Saturday and Sunday showcase oysters and seafood from top chefs including Nathan Outlaw (chef and owner at Cornwall’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant) alongside food stalls selling affordable local produce, and a hotly-anticipated oyster shucking competition between the chefs present.

The festival features some cult musical acts such as The Destroyers. Described by Q Magazine as a “15-piece polka orchestra led by a short grandad in a fez who talks like a pirate,” the gypsy jazz band will return to play the event on the Saturday night.

Said Mr Anderson: “We’ve also lined up an internationally renowned band who are jetting in all the way from New York for the Saturday evening headline slot. New musical acts, chefs and entertainment are being added to the website all the time so make sure you keep checking for the latest information.”

Helen Vincent from The Army Benevolent Fund said the money raised at the festival will make a real difference to the lives of ex-serviceman.

She said: “We are extremely grateful to the Rock Oyster Festival for choosing ABF The Soldiers’ Charity as one of its charities this year. The money raised from the event will be used to help soldiers, former soldiers and their families in times of need.

“This could be for adapting a house for a wheelchair or a walk-in shower, education bursaries, care home fees or respite breaks. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has seen a 30% rise in cases over the past two years and that need continues to rise.”

Tickets are on sale now from with a limited number of early bird weekend tickets available at £28. On site camping is also available priced £10 with spaces limited to the first 100 tents.


Autumn Menu: Paul Ainsworth – Roast grouse with pain au chocolat

September 11, 2010

Roast grouse, pain au chocolat, pomme cocotte and black berries

Fair game

Serves 4

4 medium sized grouse (oven ready)

4 croissants (cut into small pieces)

100ml milk

Thyme, bay leaf

100ml of dark sauce made with grouse bones

25g extra bitter chocolate (great quality 70% coco is the best for this recipe)

100g blackberries (cut in half)

50g of picked, washed watercress

25ml raspberry vinegar

4 large potatoes (cut for roasting)


Take the legs off the grouse, clean the leg bone and take out the thigh bone.

Season the legs roll them in cling film and poach at a simmer for 15 minutes.

Rub a little olive oil on to the crown of the grouse and some thyme wrap in cling film and poach for about 4 minutes take out and rest.

Make the croissant sauce bring the milk thyme and bay leaf to the boil and add the croissants stir all the ingredients together and leave to infuse for 20 minutes then blitz in a liquidiser until smooth and keep warm.

Par boil the potatoes, drain them off giving them a little bash in the colander season with mustard powder salt and pepper and roast in the hot duck fat.

Take a frying pan UN wrap the grouse from the cling film and sauté golden brown in a little olive oil and butter take out the pan and rest again.

Take the legs out the cling film and roast them in the same pan.

Once rested take the two breasts off the bone they should be nice and pink keep them warm.

Now plate up the breasts with roast potatoes croissant sauce and finish with the chocolate sauce, blackberries and water cress.

Enjoy this wonderful autumn dish with a light rioja.

Happy cooking


Paul Ainsworth is the director and head chef of Number 6 in Padstow, Cornwall.

Autumn Menu: Paul Ainsworth – Tongue ‘n’ Cheek

September 9, 2010

Tongue ‘n’ Cheek

French onions ~ carrots and swede ~ beef soup

The (ox) cheek of the man

Serves 4

For the ox cheek:

4 good quality ox cheeks (trimmed by your butcher and removed of all sinew)
2 carrots washed and peeled
3 sticks of celery washed and cut in half
1 large onion peeled and cut into six
1 leek washed and cut into 4 batons
1 bottle of good red wine
Rock salt and fresh white ground pepper
Thyme, rosemary, garlic and bay leaf
1 litre of beef stock

Pre heat your oven to 130C (266F – Gas Mark 1) .

In a thick bottom casserole pan add a little olive oil and get hot.

Season the ox cheeks all over and place into the hot pan, colour the cheeks all over, take out and place on kitchen tissue.

Place the carrots and onions in the same pan and get some colour on them and then add the celery and leek, a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary a bay leaf and a few crushed cloves of garlic. Keep on cooking until all the vegetable are beautifully caramelised.

Add the bottle of red wine and reduce down to a syrup of about 100ml. Add the cheeks back in with the beef stock and very gently bring to a simmer, place the lid on and in to the oven for about 2 hours, check them every 30 minutes or so. They they are ready when a knife slides through the meat like butter.

Take out and rest them in the meat juice. You have now made your soup at the same time, pass the liquid and reduce down to a tasty beef flavour.

For the tongue:

1 ox tongue
1 onion peeled and sliced
1 carrot peeled and sliced
1 celery stick trimmed and sliced
1 litre of chicken stock

Poach the ox tongue. Put it into a sauce pan with the vegetables and chicken stock top up with water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook for 2 hours until tender. Top up with hot water if necessary to keep the tongue submerged.

Remove the tongue from the poaching liquid and while still hot peel away the outer skin and gristle with a small knife. Leave to cool completely and cut in to ½ cm slices.

For the French onions:

5 onions peeled and sliced very thinly
Rock salt and pepper
Freshly picked thyme
15ml olive oil

Put the onions into a wide bottom pan with a little olive oil to get them very lightly frying.

Season lightly with the salt and pepper. Keep stirring them and allow the natural sugars to come out of the onions. Every so often you will see the caramelised sugars on the bottom of the pan – add a little warm water to this and it will lift off and turn the onions a wonderful caramel colour. Do this until they are soft and have a slightly bitter-sweet flavour.

Stir in the thyme flowers and allow to cool in the pan

For the carrots ‘n’ swede

4 carrots cut into 2cm dice
1 Swede cut into 2cm dice
200g duck or goose fat
Sprig of thyme,
1 bay leaf
1 clove of crushed garlic
Rock salt

Melt the fat in a sauce pan to about 65oc place the vegetables into the fat with the aromats a little seasoning and cook until soft. Leave to rest in the fat.

To finish

Warm all the finished ingredients to serving temperature.

Place the onions in the middle of the bowl, the beef cheeks on top.

In a frying pan lightly fry the slices of tongue and place on top of the cheek finish with the confit root vegetables around and serve with the piping hot beef soup.

A bowl of Cornish new potatoes or mash goes brilliantly well too.