The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery Cafe’s front of house manager Olivia Dennison Reed is brimming with enthusiasm for her work – she talks to food about all things local
Salty or sweet?
I’m a girl, so sweet! I love cakes, desserts and puddings, especially our lovely gluten-free lemon polenta cake.
Early food memory?
Cooking at home with my mum and nan. I learnt to crimp pasties at an early age and when we had parties I pottered around like a mini waitress!
Like to eat out?
For good, wholesome home cooking, The Woods Cafe in Cardinham Woods near Bodmin is a favourite.
Feeling inspired by?
I love turning fresh, local ingredients into amazing dishes and I get a lot of recipe ideas from our chef Richard Du Pille.
Wish you’d known 10 years ago?
I’ve always liked travelling and wish I’d been able to learn more about other cultures and their food. I love the South of France and French cooking, especially.
Most challenging time in your career?
I worked in a pub when I was younger and at the time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Then at 17 I became interested in cheffing and worked as a chef in a pub for a time. The chef here is much better than I ever was though!
The Rashleigh Inn in Polkerris. It’s right on the beach and does a great Sunday roast. In the winter there’s a log fire and in the summer you can sit outside.
Favourite way to cook?
I like to keep it homely. There are a lot of great fresh local ingredients here in Cornwall and of course, being by the sea we get plenty of fish. Roasted peppers with Mediterranean style fish and couscous is a favourite.
Like to have supper with?
Heston Blumenthal, but he’d have to cook! I’d learn a lot and I don’t think there would be any awkward silences.
Favourite weekend breakfast?
Salmon and scrambled eggs – but the bread has to be made by my husband. ON THE UP? Shopping locally. There’s so much fantastic local produce around that I try to avoid supermarkets as much as possible.
Duchy Nursery Cafe, Cott Road, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0HW