What a fantastic week we’ve had weather-wise! It’s been like the middle of summer here in Rock and our guests have been taking advantage of the glorious sunshine by having lunch or a cream tea out on the terrace. I’ve managed to get out there for a few minutes now and then just to take in the idyllic view and the wonderful, fresh sea air. Perfect!
On Monday I was in London, altogether a different story. In the city the warm weather just made things hot and sticky. However, I was pleased to be there because I was at a master class for winners of competitions sponsored by Davidstow, the cheese makers. I was able to spend the morning with some lovely people, talking about food and sharing tips whilst we cooked lunch together. The menu included Davidstow Crackler and Herb Mayonnaise which they hadn’t realised was such a simple recipe. Not one of them split the mayo – quite a feat – even though I’d like to think it was my tuition that did it! We followed that with Crab and Crackler Spanish-Style Omelette. This is a very tasty way to use crab and would be a lovely lunch for a summer day accompanied by Crackler and Rosemary Focaccia, which I also showed them how to make.
I love to see people who are passionate about food and cooking develop their skills. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is seeing youngsters arrive in the kitchens knowing very little and being able to nurture their interest so that they become accomplished chefs in their own right. This week, one of them, Tim Barnes, who is working in my fine dining kitchen at present, passed his NVQ level 2 chefs’ qualification and he can now officially call himself a chef. Tim has worked hard to gain this, cooking in both Outlaw’s, Rock and in Restaurant Nathan Outlaw during his time here. If you attended any of the festivals where I did demos last year, you probably saw Tim scurrying around in the background doing all my prep for me. He seems to like doing this and can be relied upon to have everything ready when I need it. Tim’s passion and flair lead me to predict great things for him in the future.
I am extremely proud of all my apprentices and of the training that we have been able to give them here. In all, we have ten chefs in the two kitchens, including myself, and seven of those are or have been my apprentices, gaining their qualifications through Cornwall College. It is extremely important for the industry and for our guests that young chefs are given opportunities to develop their skills and interests and I look forward to seeing them further their careers in the future.