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Meet Bruce Rennie of Rick Stein Porthleven

Published on December 9, 2014
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Formerly the head chef at The Gurnard’s Head, Bruce Rennie’s already a well-known face on the Cornish food scene. He’s now head chef at Rick Stein Porthleven. Food got the lowdown

Bruce Rennie, head chef of Rick Stein Porthleven

What are your plans for Rick Stein Porthleven?

Our Porthleven restaurant offers sharing plates of local and seasonal produce all inspired by Rick’s travels. We also have some exclusive dishes from Rick’s most recent travels from Istanbul to Venice on the menu. Porthleven is a growing foodie destination surrounded by great food and suppliers in a really beautiful location with fantastic harbour views – we are so excited to be a part of that.

Salty or sweet?

Salty … sometimes with a bit of sweet thrown in! If I had to choose, I’d go with savoury food but it’s all about balance on the palate; sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami.

Early food memory

The ones that spring to mind are visiting family in Belgium, shelling shrimps in the garden after a day on the beach and the salt fish in the markets in Bruges.

Like to eat out?

Yes, of course! Unfortunately life in the kitchen and the demands of raising a young family aren’t always forgiving. Any time I get a chance to get out, I do. Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Nathan Outlaw and Chris Eden up at the Driftwood Hotel are the most recent.

Feeling inspired by?

Living in Cornwall, going for walks, grounding myself with nature and the seasons. Appreciating the things we walk past every day and take for granted.

Wish you’d known ten years ago?

The pleasure in eating the simplest of dishes with the best of produce.

Most challenging time in your career?

Probably my time at Martin Wishart’s restaurant in Edinburgh. I learned a lot there from developing my palate and how I constructed dishes to developing a business sense and knowledge.

Fave pub?

I’ve got to say The Gurnard’s Head really (not just because I ran the kitchen for over four years!). It’s just down the road from my house and is in a really special location.

Favourite way to cook?

Impossible to answer. Cooking in the moment is the most satisfying, when you don’t necessarily follow recipes, but follow your instincts and tastes at that time.

Like to have supper with?

Wow. A list? I’d have to include Stevie Wonder, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Tim Minchin, Bill Bryson, Norman MacCaig, my wife and kids, and too many chefs to mention!

Favourite weekend breakfast?

Probably gauffres – thick waffles! But depending on my mood, dry cured bacon or porridge with salt and sugar.

On the up? 

I’ve got to say small plates. At the very least I think that dining out on the whole is becoming thankfully less formal and more fun with simpler honest food.

Mount Pleasant, Porthleven, TR13 9JS

01841 532700

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Make this recipe at home or head to Rick Stein's Fish in Falmouth to have the dish prepared for you by head chef Luke Taylor