With restaurants closed, non-essential shops shut and the hospitality industry in hibernation, we seized the opportunity to catch up with the South West’s food and drink bods and find out how they’re keeping busy in lockdown.
First in the hot seat is Elly Wentworth, head chef at The Angel – Taste of Devon in Dartmouth
What’s your new daily routine?
It always starts with a good coffee – or two. In the morning I’ll head to my boyfriend’s (essential) shop in Dartmouth for a few hours to help out, which keeps me entertained. Then I go for a two-three mile walk.
What’s kept you sane?
I’ve been walking every day. In January I’ve pledged to walk 60 miles for a cancer charity I support – it’s something that’s quite important to me outside of my profession. It also gets me out of the house.
Most challenging part of lockdown?
Not working in my kitchen. I’m used to being in the kitchen early doors getting ready for lunch service. I miss the usual morning conversations with my team.
Which recipes have been on repeat?
I’ve been cooking for myself and my boyfriend every day. I try and keep it simple: a lot of curries and hearty soups. I’m loving veggie dishes at the moment.
I also love a quick and easy banana bread – it’s delicious served warm.
What TV, books or podcasts have provided the best escapism?
I’ve really got into podcasts: I enjoyed Paul Foster’s The Nightcap and now I’m onto Grilled from The Staff Canteen. I love listening to all the high-profile chefs talking about the pandemic and what they’re doing – it’s something all chefs should listen to.
What have you learnt about yourself?
I understand how precious time is. I’m thankful that I’ve had the time to write, read and exercise which are my three favourite things.
Have you taken out any food/drink subscriptions?
I haven’t yet but I’m hopefully going to order one of Sat Bains’ Momma Bains boxes – they look delicious and I love that type of cuisine [Punjabi].
Hopes for 2021?
That I continue to run a successful restaurant with my team. We have a few projects we’re currently working on at The Angel – Taste of Devon and we can’t wait to open again.