The head chef of Fowey’s Old Quay House talks foam faux-pas, fresh fish and the joy of classic-led cooking with Rosanna Rothery
What’s the one kitchen item you couldn’t live without?
My Thermomix – it’s a very versatile machine, making life in the kitchen much easier. From cooking out crème anglaise to making smooth purees, it’s an all-round great machine.
What’s your earliest food memory?
Fishing with my father. Catching a very fresh fish and taking it home and cooking it within the hour taught me the advantages of using the freshest ingredients.
Where do you like to eat out?
I don’t really get the time to eat out often. I like to go home and cook for my family and have a sit-down dinner. Family time is important and having a home cooked meal is perfect.
What do you wish you’d known 10 years ago?
With the industry chef shortage, I would have liked to be a part of a plan to make the kitchen a more exciting place to work, offering a better work-life balance.
The Galleon in Fowey – it’s on my walk home and after service I pop in for a quick pint. It has an amazing view of the estuary and is a relaxing place to unwind.
One food trend you’d rather forget?
Lecithin foams. Everyone – including myself – had a go at making foams for every dish. It was style over substance.
Pet hates when eating out?
Large menus – there’s too much to choose and too much to get wrong. I’m also not a fan of seeing the front of house team carrying more than two plates at a time.
Like to have supper with?
Daniel Clifford: watching the passion he showed to get a perfect score on Great British Menu has stayed in my mind. He has a great little restaurant [Midsummer House in Cambridge], which is something I hope to achieve in the future.
Most memorable day of your career so far?
Achieving three AA rosettes while working as a head chef on the Isle of Skye.
What’s hot at the moment?
Going back to basics; classic-led cooking produces simple food at its best.