BOOK REVIEW: SALTWATER KITCHEN COOKBOOK
CORNISH FOOD ADVENTURES FROM THE BEACH TO THE TABLE
By Louise Searle and Hayley Spurway
There aren’t many cookbooks you want to read from cover to cover, but the Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook is one of them.
Hayley Spurway and Louise Searle have put together a compelling gastronomic journey around the Cornish coast, with stunning images from Mike Searle.
The book celebrates Cornwall’s saltwater lifestyle; where beach life meets the kitchen.
The book is divided into geographical areas, e.g. Sennen to Marazion, River Fal and Mawgan Porth, in which the authors’ favourite cafés, restaurants and food producers are featured. Chefs have also provided a selection of their trademark recipes and culinary tips.
Throughout the book are “top fives”, including surf-style eateries, coffee houses, dog-friendly pubs and “swish fish restaurants”, plus useful information about things like preparing crab, holding your own feast night and how to make great coffee.
I really enjoyed reading more about the characters who have recently made a name for themselves in the Cornish culinary world, such as Lewis and Claire Cole (of Wild Bake, pictured above), Elsie Pinniger (of Newquay’s Jam Jar Café and Gilmore’s), and Nola Kinna and Adam Vasey (of No 4 Peterville in St Agnes).
There are some mouth-watering recipes, notably a beautiful raspberry and meringue cake (pictured above) by Mathilda Friström Eldridge (Strong Adolfo’s) which I am going to have to try out.
Also on my hit list is Elsie and Debbie’s party food, which looks very manageable, and delicious, with dishes such as fennel and celeriac salad with orange dressing, salmon mousse, and chestnut and brandy semifreddo with chocolate ganache.
There’s a fair amount of on-trend foraging and wild food, with articles about Thom Hunt and Matt Vernon at 7th Rise (above), and Caroline Davey from Fat Hen Wild Cookery School.
I like the look of Scott Eggleton’s (from Retorrick Mill) recipe for harissa smoked pheasant with pork belly – I always end up casseroling pheasants so I’ll definitely be trying this one out when pheasants are back in season.
All in all, this book is hugely readable and informative. As well as conveying Cornwall’s food scene in an exciting and original way, it also contains a collection of recipes which you can easily tackle in your own kitchen. It’s wonderful to see this generation of Cornish foodies going from strength to strength; long may the saltwater lifestyle continue.