Cornwall will always hold a special place in my heart. I moved there when I was 12, met my wife there, lived there for over 20 years and I started cooking there.
We moved away in 1998 for me to take my first head chef’s job in Dorset and from then on visits were fairly fleeting. Opening Sienna in 2003 only compounded that situation!
Through my cooking and the power of social media, particularly Twitter, I have made lots of new friends, many of them in Cornwall and Devon, so the reasons and opportunities to go back fortunately have increased.
I cooked a lunch at the Wellington Hotel in Boscastle last year to promote the Boscastle Festival with then head chef Steve Marsh (now at the Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth) and returned a few weeks later to join a great line-up of chefs demonstrating at the Festival itself.
This year things dovetailed together even better. We did our last service before our holiday (and a shoulder op for me) on the Saturday, completed the restaurant closedown early hours of Sunday morning and then headed for Boscastle to join the Cornish Chefs Club for a Q&A session that opened the day’s proceedings in the demo theatre. Later I did a demonstration with Ben Prior from Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion.