February 2017 Newsletter


The new year has started with a bit of a whirl for us here at Creative about Cuisine; there have been a number of projects in the pipeline for a while now and one in particular has just come off.

There is a book on its way!

Many of you who read the blog, follow on Twitter, etc. will know that books have always been a hugely important thing for me. I have always said that reading Pierre Koffmann’s book La Tante Claire was the catalyst to a career in professional cooking and all along the way books have continued to influence, delight and inform. Different books mark milestone times in my career and I still love the sensual, anticipatory pleasure of running my thumb down the opening page of a new book. I relish learning new things and books have been hugely important in that area.

To write a book has been a long held ambition, one that, with co-author Jon Haley, is now going to be fulfilled!

Jon and I were introduced over eighteen months ago now by good friend James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat. Jon had been making a range of seasonal pestos as an adjunct to his full time job as a lawyer, and a website and blog were part of the business. You can take a look at the website here – all about seasonal food, seasonal living and cooking.

To cut a long story short, Jon felt there was the basis of a book in the content of the website and, after the introduction from James, we began to work up a pitch. Now, thanks to our efforts and those of our agent Georgina Capel Associates, we have a publishing deal with London-based publishers Head of Zeus.

My cooking has been driven by seasonal ingredients for years now so Jon and I make a great team. We both love the countryside, share an enjoyment of fishing, the outdoors in general and simple seasonal cooking. Equally we bring our own voices and areas of knowledge to the mix. Jon is writing about seasonal activities, ingredients and festivals, many of which have strong food links and he is educating me about many of them. I am working on recipes and the photography for the book, featuring dishes that are rooted in the seasonality and have some of my chef’s flair but are about cooking at home for family and friends. For both Jon and I, food is all about making people happy. There is crossover, of course, and we have had long discussions about the key ingredients to feature and what, this time, we sadly have to leave out!

Publication is hopefully going to be in March 2018 and we have plenty to get on with in the meantime. We hope to take you on the journey with us and will keep you updated with little teasers from behind the scenes! Click on this link below for a recipe, not one going in the book but an idea of what we are up to!

In other news;

I am delighted to be back at Taste Brasserie in Dorchester for a couple of guest chef nights on March 31st and April 1st 2017. The menu is below and bookings are directly with Taste – please telephone 01305 257776.

Canapés and a glass of fizz

Amuse bouche

Cauliflower velouté with seared scallop



Salad of blood orange, chicory, prosciutto and mozzarella, chilli dressing



Potato gnocchi with wild garlic pesto



Roast loin of venison, crispy venison, potato purée, thyme and juniper jus



Forced rhubarb, ginger cheesecake cream, streusel crumb

£55-00 per person


Padstow Christmas Festival 2016

Photo callLast year I did a demo at the Padstow Christmas Festival courtesy of a guest spot with local legend Adrian Oliver, my first time at the event. We were down in Cornwall for a few days and, as many people do, we had the dates in our diary for this year before we left.

The festival is quite phenomenal; if I counted correctly there were the holders of thirteen Michelin stars on the demo stage on the Sunday. The line up of chefs, sommeliers, beer experts, producers and so on is mind-boggling, even to me when I am lucky enough to class some of these people as friends.

Simon Hulstone   Sat Bains and Tom Kerridge getting into the festival spirit   Sat Bains and John Freeman  Nieves Barragan Mohacho Barrafina

Neil Borthwick and Angela Hartnett   L to R Adrian Oliver, Rick Stein, Sat Bains, Mark Sargeant and Paul Ainsworth   Brian Turner and Nigel Howarth   Food forum
Queues for tickets to the demos are inevitably long but they are free, as is entry to the festival itself, and there are worse ways to spend time queuing than looking out over the harbour while munching on something delicious from one of the food stalls.

Wild Bake PizzaCornish Duck truck on the jubilee QueenWild Bake wood fired pizza, burgers from the Cornish Duck Truck and a dirty Mexican from El Loco Burrito all went down well with us. Of course, you need something to wash the food down with and the find of the festival for me was the Sharp’s brewery new release, Camel Valley Pilsner. The result of a collaboration with the Camel Valley vineyard, the pilsner is seeded with Camel Valley’s Brut yeast for a final bottle fermentation.

Food and drink are at the centre of the festival but the Christmas market, music and a harbour side firework display all add to the atmosphere and it is really that atmosphere that makes the event.

A fine flat white   Duck, Simon Hulstone   Pigeon, Anton Piotrowski
Padstow has a justifiable reputation for its food scene and there is real quality on offer, from a Cornish pasty or fish and chips right through a whole range of pubs, cafés and bistros to the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at No 6 and the iconic Seafood Restaurant.

The Seafood Restaurant

A weekend in or around Padstow at any time of year is going to be good but a visit for the Christmas Festival is certainly special. And yes, next year’s dates are in my diary!

Padstow Christmas Festival

Sharps Brewery

Paul Ainsworth

Rick Stein’s Seafood Café

The Old Mill Bistro

Bin Two

Wild Bake

And on Twitter


Sourdough Blog link


The Caterer

Delighted to make the front cover of the Caterer magazine with my article on Ben’s Cornish Kitchen.

Upcoming Events

Friday and Saturday November 24th and 25th
A Winter Feast Guest Chef dinner at Taste Brasserie in Dorchester, details TBC, please email to register your interest. To book, please contact Taste directly 01305 257776.

Padstow Christmas Festival
Friday the 8th of December
Come and see me demo at Padstow Christmas Festival 4.15pm in the Festival Theatre. The Padstow Christmas festival is always a fantastic event with a whole host of activities going on. See my blog about last years festival here.

Saturday, December 9th

A Guest Chef dinner at Margot’s at Trevisker just outside Padstow with my good friend Adrian Oliver and Henk de Villiers. Click the image on the latest blog to see the menu.


Sign up to Russell’s Newsletter!

* indicates required

Whether you have a passion for food, a desire to learn, are an industry professional, the owner of a catering business or a lover of writing and photography I hope my site is somewhere you will want to explore. Creative about Cuisine is a showcase for my consultancy, writing, teaching and photography. It is however much more than that! Diary dates for forthcoming events such as demonstrations and cookery courses, regular blogs not just by me but a fantastic collection of guest bloggers and video all feature. Make yourself a coffee or pour a glass of wine and take a look around, let me know your thoughts and I will do my best to make Creative about Cuisine somewhere to return to time and again.