THE FOODIE DIARY: APRIL
As Cornwall anticipates the arrival of visitors, locals’ winter deals are on the way out and new menus are being launched, packed full of salads, young vegetables, fresh fish and spring lamb. The local asparagus is nearly ready. Beachside shops and restaurants are emerging from hibernation and the aftermath of winter’s stormy weather. Cafés are polishing their outdoor furniture and stocking up on ice cream – we will soon feel the warmth of the sun on our faces.
There are food festivals galore, plus don’t miss these charity events, ideal for guilt-free dining, knowing that you are selflessly eating for a good cause.
#FISHMISHBASH AT THE MULLION COVE HOTEL
The Mullion Cove Hotel and Head Chef Fiona Were are hosting the first #Fishmishbash to raise much needed funds for the Fishermen’s Mission.The #Fishmishbash features a five course sushi-inspired dinner, sea shanty singers, fundraising raffles and a grand auction. All funds raised will go to the charity.
The Fishermen’s Mission is the only national charity specifically providing emergency and welfare support to UK fishermen and their families. Over the winter, the severe weather meant that many fishermen were unable to fish for weeks on end, and many are struggling to make ends meet; added to which, much of their valuable and essential fishing gear has been lost or badly damaged. You can donate online.
WHEN: Friday 4 April
WHERE: Mullion Cove Hotel
PRICE: £45 per person, including drinks at the table. £25 from each ticket sale will be donated to the Fishermen’s Mission.
RESERVATIONS: booking essential, call 01326 240328 or email [email protected] – reservations are being taken for tables of 8 or 10.
The Fishermen’s Mission is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England and No. 24477, Registered in Isle of Man No. 694. The Fishermen’s Mission is a registered charity, Charity England & Wales No 232822 and Scotland No SC039088, Registered Address:- Mather House, 4400 Parkway, Solent Business Park, Whiteley, Hampshire, PO15 7FJ
YOU COULD BE ON CLOUD NINE AT PORT ELIOT
The award winning, sumptuous marshmallows are made on the Port Eliot estate, with some of the flavours including lemon meringue, crème de violette, salted caramel peanut and double raspberry (pictured).
Port Eliot Festival runs from 24 to 27 July, and is a magical event comprising literature, music, food and art, well worthy of such a Dahl-esque competition.
The 2014 Porthleven Food and Music Festival kicks off with a Friday night fundraiser starting at 6.30pm, featuring live music from Ben Waters and an indoor street food market. Tickets, £10 each, available online or from Nauti But Ice in Porthleven.
The main festival day programme starts at 10am on Saturday 26 April with all the well known cooking and food stalls dotted around the whole of Porthleven harbour. There will be street food stalls and a bar serving alongside live music throughout the day. There is also a film festival and children’s entertainment.
The chefs’ theatre programme is jam-packed, with Antony Worrall Thompson opening the festival with his demo at 10.15am. See the full programme.
On Lazy Sunday you can enjoy live music on the Harbour Head with an all day bar and street food stalls to keep you fed and watered.
WHEN: Friday 25 to Sunday 27 April, with main festival day on Saturday 26 April
ZACRY’S OPENS AT WATERGATE BAY
Executive Chef Neil Haydock and Head Chef Carl Paparone are serving a classic, yet contemporary, menu of American inspired dishes. I can highly recommend the rock shrimp and octopus starters and the charcoal oven added a wonderful smokey flavour to the venison.
The restaurant has zig-zagging banquettes and zinc tables, with stunning oak and tiled floors. There are private dining areas, my favourite being a round table tucked away in the corner.
Open to non-residents. For reservations, phone 01637 861231 or book online.
AFRICAN FEAST AT AMANZI
This 17 course African feast is guaranteed to excite your taste buds, with dishes such as Malawi sim sim balls, Cape spiced calamari, Moroccan Chermoula crispy fish and Chakalaka. For the full menu please see their Facebook page.
WHEN: 6pm, Wednesday 2 April
WHERE: Amanzi, Falmouth
COST: £34.95 for all 17 dishes
RESERVATIONS: phone 01326 312678
Join the local oyster men on their last weekend of the season to celebrate the harvest of the Fal Oyster! Visitors are invited to see oyster fishermen in action, and even join them on a boat trip on the Fal.
Sample some of the freshest seafood you can get at the local seafood market and enjoy the culinary delights cooked up by chefs, including locals Dale McIntosh from Merchants Manor and Mark Apsey from Idle Rocks as well as London’s Masaki Sugisaki who is renowned for his contemporary Japanese tapas.
The event also includes a local producers’ market, an Aussie marquee with Skinners bar, live music and The Little Yellow House Studios hosting nautical and local artists.
WHEN: 10am – 10pm, Friday 28 – Sunday 30 March
WHERE: Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth
GENNARO DINNER AT FIFTEEN
Celebrated Italian chef and Jamie Oliver’s mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, will be hosting a special dinner at Fifteen Cornwall, alongside head chef, Andy Appleton. This mouth-watering five course tasting menu will include dishes such as as octopus carpaccio with blood orange and Florence fennel, and an Amedei chocolate tasting plate.
WHEN: Monday 28 April
WHERE: Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay
COST: £70 per person for five courses. Optional £45 five course wine pairing.
RESERVATIONS: Phone 01637 861000
THE IDLE ROCKS REOPENS AFTER WINTER STORMS
Less than a year after re-opening following its much-praised refurbishment, The Idle Rocks re-re-opens after being battered by the winter storms. With waves taking out most of the lower windows and filling the hotel with water, another unplanned refurbishment was in order. We’re delighted to see that the new look hotel and restaurant is opening its doors again on 11 April. Head Chef Mark Apsey’s menu features super-fresh fish and seafood and who can fail to be tempted by their Idle Sundays?
TREREIFE EASTER FOOD AND CRAFT FAIR
The beautiful Trereife House is hosting its fourth Easter Bank Holiday Food and Craft Fair, with a series of cookery and craft demonstrations and a programme of entertainment.
This year larger marquees will house a wide range of some of the finest local food producers as well as a selection of high quality art and craft. Children are well catered for with a Grand Easter Egg Hunt set within the woods and walled garden, storytellers and a Funky Food Workshop.
For up to date information about the event, keep an eye on their Facebook page.
WHEN: 10am – 5pm, Friday 18 – Monday 21 April
WHERE: Trereife House, near Penzance
ADMISSION: Adults £3.50, children £2, under 5s free. Family tickets (two adults and three children) £11.
FOOD AND BEER TASTING AT SAFFRON
The team at Saffron in Truro have put together another wonderful sounding evening, with a mouthwatering seven course food and beer tasting menu. The food will be accompanied by carefully selected artisan craft beers, with the experts from The Beer Cellar on hand.
TANNER BROTHERS ARRIVE IN LOOE
March saw the arrival of Plymouth chefs James and Chris Tanner’s new farm shop on Buller Quay in Looe. Quayside Fresh sells fresh fruit and veg, dried goods, meat from Warren’s butchers and flowers from Anna the florist.
The brothers are currently fitting out their fish and chip shop, The Catch, along with Str.EAt, a street food outlet, both “coming soon” to Looe. Watch this space…
THE STABLE, NEWQUAY
With panoramic views of the surf on Fistral Beach, the latest branch of pizza and cider restaurant, The Stable, opens in Newquay on 4 April.
Proudly sourcing prime local ingredients, The Stable specialises in fresh, simple, delicious and preservative-free hand-made pizzas. With organic sourdough pizza bases (gluten free also available), vegans and vegetarians are also well catered for – try ‘The Billy the Kid’ with goats’ cheese, caramelised onions, field mushrooms, fresh spinach, tomato and roasted hazelnuts.
Alongside pizza, The Stable serves pies and salads and is renowned for its huge selection of local ciders, which will include Polgoon, Touchwood, Cornish Orchard and Healeys.
Having drooled over the sample menu I can’t decide between “The West Country Porker” (chorizo, tomato and mozzarella topped with peppery rocket) and “The Ruby Red Rustler” (marinated ground beef, chorizo, field mushrooms, roasted red onions, tomato and mozzarella, topped with smoked West Country ham). The kids’ menu looks fabulous too.
PAUL AINSWORTH ON SATURDAY KITCHEN
We’ll be glued to our tellies when Paul Ainsworth stars on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen on Saturday 12 April. His second appearance on this show could see him cooking this brand new dish of roasted monkfish, ‘marrowfat’ peas and potatoes cooked in dripping, as demonstrated at the Fifteen Cornwall Farmers’ Market in March.
CORNISH GOUDA NEEDS YOU!
21 year old Giel Spierings, founder of Cornish Gouda and 2013 Ignite business competition winner, is at full capacity with his small cheese maturing room. He needs more space to enable him to realise his ambition of producing 70,000 kg of cheese each year.
He has launched a Crowdfunder project to help fund a larger production and maturing area, including special cheese maturing storage racking. The shelves are made from specialist wood grown in snow – the slow growing wood has close wood lines meaning that the mould can’t grow so quickly, therefore the mould on the cheese grows slowly giving better quality cheese.
You can pledge your support through Crowdfunder – options include:
- £20 for 3 cheeses: 200g semi-mature, 200g fenugreek, 200g honey and clover.
- £30 for an 800g baby round cheese, ready for Christmas.
- £150 for a professional day of cheese-making, including lunch and detailed tasting.
NOMADA COMES TO THE BEACH AT BUDE
Chef Ruben Leona Costa is opening his new restaurant, Nomada, within The Beach Hotel in Bude on 1 April. Jason Brain (ex Fifteen and The Harbour) will be front of house. Watch this space for more details…
STUDENTS COOK UP A FEAST
Spires is a licensed restaurant offering a fine-dining experience and fresh barista-style coffee at a competitive price, all prepared and served by students on professional cookery and professional food and beverage service courses.
The second year students’ final major projects involve a restaurant ‘take-over’, in which they design their menus, organise the marketing, costing, staffing and decorations, run both the kitchen and front of house, while raising money for a charity of their choosing, in this case Macmillan Cancer Support. The final ‘take-over’ of the term is a Fine Dining Evening on 27 March.
Spires is open Monday to Friday 12pm – 1.30pm during term time and Tuesday evenings from 4.30pm – 6pm. The daytime menu is priced at £7.50 for 2 courses and £9.50 for 3 courses. The Tuesday evening menu is £9.50 for 2 courses and £11.50 for 3 courses. There is a fully stocked bar and carefully chosen wine list to suit the style of food. The restaurant can cater for up to 52 covers and can cater for meetings, private lunches, buffets and anything else that will help give their students a real feel for the industry. These students could be star chefs of the future!
SUPPER CLUBS AT BRE-PEN FARM
By night, the informal tea room at Bre-Pen farm shop becomes a relaxed restaurant with communal tables for their regular supper clubs. Kevin Viner will be cooking on Sunday 13 April and Leky’s monthy Thai Banquet takes place on Saturday 19 April.
£30 per person, BYO wine, no corkage charge.
To make a reservation call 01637 860420 or visit their Facebook page.
COOKERY COURSES AT PHILLEIGH WAY
Philleigh Way‘s cookery school is part of a working farm near Tregony. Brothers-in-law James Martin and chef George Pascoe run the school and take great pride in using the best, local, seasonal produce in their recipes. Students can watch demonstrations and learn through practical sessions and lunch is served around the large kitchen table.
Courses in April include Simple Suppers, Fish and Breadmaking. Thom Hunt (pictured), of River Cottage’s Three Hungry Boys, will be leading a foraging course on 30 April. Accommodation can also be provided. For more information phone 01872 580893 or visit their website.
COB OVEN BUILDING COURSE AT CAMP KERNOW
On this hands-on course you will experience all the stages of building an oven, from shaping the former, building the cob dome and applying an earth render. Full details on Camp Kernow’s website.
WHEN: 10am – 4.45pm, Sunday 11 May 2014
COST: £65 per person including lunch and refreshments
HOW TO BOOK: email [email protected]
LAUNCH OF GET FRUITY BARS
Get Fruity Foods Ltd was established by Davina Whiteoak in summer 2013 and they now have a fully automated manufacturing plant in Cornwall, producing fruit and oat bars in three flavours: Moist Mixed Berry, Scrumptious Strawberry, and Juicy Apricot, Orange and Ginger. We’ve tried them all and they are goooood!
The bars are made with real juice-infused fruit so they are moist as well as being healthy and, most importantly, delicious. They contain wholegrain oats and virgin coconut oil and only have natural flavours and colours, with no added refined sugar.
For more information, please visit their website.
WILDEBEEST VEGAN CAFE OPENS IN FALMOUTH
Wildebeest is a brand new vegan café/bar in Falmouth serving everything from noodle soups and tostadas to cupcakes and cocktails. The fully vegan, diverse menu has global influences, particularly Japanese and Mexican styles.
The café is a relaxed and informal, open six days a week for breakfast, coffee and cake, a meal or evening drinks.
On 6 April, Wildebeest is holding a vegan sushi night. Four courses for £18. Phone 01326 210602 to book.
Wildebeest, 13 Arwenack St, Falmouth, TR11 3JD
Add your tips for April in the comments section, or email Ellie with any suggestions for May or June.