I can’t believe that we’re coming towards the end of the summer already. It dawned on me when I was flying back from London on Monday and I could see the colours of the trees turning from up above. Of course, my children have returned to school and there’s a definite nip in the air when I leave the restaurant late in the evening but it wasn’t until I sat down to work out some dates in my diary that I realised how little of the year is left…and how much I still have to do!
Two events that were a pleasure to attend recently were the Newquay Fish Festival and the Goodwood Revival. The Newquay event was great. It was the first time I had attended and I had a really good time. It was obvious that the Newquay community really understand fish and have a history steeped in the fishing industry. They made me really welcome and I hope everyone who came to watch enjoyed themselves.
Last Sunday I attended The Goodwood Revival as part of my partnership with Davidstow, for once promoting their cheese instead of fish! It was fascinating as the whole thing was based on a 50s theme; everyone really got into this and had dressed up for the occasion. Stalls were decorated as 50s shops which was very interesting if a bit strange. I had a great time.
So, back to business! The new restaurant at The Capital in Knightsbridge is now nearing its opening. Pete Biggs, who was head chef in Outlaw’s in Rock is now up at there and is bringing everything around to our way of doing things. New menus, new dishes, some new staff and by the end of September, new décor are all underway so that it will be ready for our customers when the doors open on 2nd October. All very exciting!
Another thing almost ready is Academy Nathan Outlaw at Cornwall College. Interviews for limited places will take place this week and the course is planned and ready to go. I’m overwhelmed at the amount of interest there has been both from young chefs applying for places and from prospective sponsors and supporters. In particular I am extremely grateful to those individuals and companies who are willing to offer some amazing experiences for these young chefs to take part in. It just goes to show that there is a realisation that education and industry need to work together if we are to produce high calibre young chefs in the future.
Here in Rock, Redas Katauskas, who came to the UK from Lithuania and qualified as a chef through Cornwall College, has taken over the reins as head chef in Outlaws, Rock. It’s always satisfying as an employer to see someone making progress through their career. Several of our employees have been promoted over the last couple of months and we have also welcomed another apprentice, Rory, who comes from Truro, into the fold as well.
Of course the coming of autumn brings our ever popular Master Class series. We are in the middle of two very special events at the moment. On 24th September, I was be joined by Paul Ripley, Matthew Fort and Daphne Skinnard for an evening celebrating Cornish produce as part of the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival (more about how that went next time!) and on Friday 2nd November, a special lunch event is being held in aid of Cancer Research as part of their ‘Turn the Town Pink’ campaign. A few tickets are still available so why not come along?