The Old Quay House Hotel‘s new general manager, Julio de Carvalho, has joined head chef Richard Massey to take the Fowey restaurant’s dining creds to new heights
How did your careers bring you to The Old Quay House?
JC: I’ve spent most of my working life in Africa, igniting my passion for hospitality at The Hotel Polana in Mozambique. Since moving to England I’ve worked at some wonderful properties and have now settled down at The Old Quay House in Fowey.
RM: My career started pretty much as far away from Cornwall as you can get in the British Isles: at Airds Hotel and Restaurant on the west coast of Scotland. It was a great place to learn about quality ingredients and how to treat them. After that I worked all over Scotland until I got my first head chef role on Skye and secured three AA rosettes.
What can guests expect at The Old Quay House restaurant?
JC: Fowey River oysters, local scallops, West Country meats and Cornish cheese. Feeling hungry yet? We’re lucky to have a great team of creative chefs fashioning fabulous dishes from quality, seasonal and local ingredients which we serve in a relaxed and unfussy setting. Our small, cosy and welcoming lounge is a fantastic spot to sip pre-dinner cocktails and unwind, too.
RM: We try and let the food speak for itself, so expect enhanced flavours and local produce. And we’ve some stonking views over the estuary from the terrace.
What would you order if you were spending your evening off dining at the hotel?
JC: Richard has created a terrific torched mackerel dish which instantly takes me back to barbecues on the beach. Tucking into this dish on the terrace with a glass of champagne on a warm summer’s evening is a moment to savour.
RM: Grey mullet with jerusalem artichoke and confit pork cheek. It’s a real winter warmer but also surprisingly light. The pork comes from Kittow’s farm down the road in Kilhallon.
How are the front of house and kitchen teams working together?
JC: Fowey is a magical place to visit anyway, but we like to think that our marriage of innovative food, unrivalled location over the water and luxurious bedrooms makes us special. We can only pull this off by working closely together to create a seafront hideaway which doubles up as a refuge from everyday stresses.
RM: We’ve been working really hard to create a homely feel at the restaurant. Dining at a hotel as a non-resident can sometimes be a bit daunting, but Julio and his team have done a wonderful job of creating a relaxed vibe, while keeping up the high standard of service. We’ve also been working together to produce a stellar wine list to match the food – the front of house team always have some surprising recommendations up their sleeves.