Chef’s Special: The Bay Restaurant at Hotel Penzance

Ben Reeves

Slow Roasted Primrose Herd Belly Pork



Slow Roasted Primrose Herd Belly Pork, Crushed Cannellini Beans, Smoked Bacon and Vegetable Dressing.

Recipe by: Ben Reeve, Head Chef, The Bay Restaurant at Hotel Penzance

Ben is a local boy returned. Schooled in Hayle, trained in Camborne, and then he left to travel far and wide. He’s worked in Australia, France and all over Britain including spending 5 years in the capital. However, he never thought he’d ultimately spend his life working in London. Six years at The Bay has been a welcome return. In Cornwall he now feels properly at home.

“In the last 10 or 15 years the standard of food has become incredibly high in Cornwall. When I first started, it was necessary to move out of the county to learn how to cook to the highest standard. Now it is possible for any new apprentice to train locally; as we’ve inspiring restaurants and talented chefs right here.”

Ben’s describes his cooking as ‘modern English fine dining’. “The food style is lighter and there are no so many cream sauces…” It is a move away from times when dinners felt were too stuffed to enjoy dessert. “Our aim is for people to be able to eat and enjoy three courses comfortably, so I write my menus with this aim in mind.”

“Primrose Herd pork is from Gloucester Old Spot pigs which is quite a sweet meat. In part the flavour is from the breed but particularly in the way the pigs are raised and fed. The trick is to cook it very slowly, which keeps it succulent and juicy, enhancing the flavour with garlic and herbs.”

The Bay restaurant is soon to launch an open ‘all-day’ dining concept. Keeping the standard of food just as high, but allowing for a more informal feel where customers can enjoy the restaurant at all times of the day, from breakfast, lunch, teas, through to fine dining in the evening. Continue reading


Chef’s Special: Rosewarne Manor, near Hayle.

Iced Ginger-bread Soufflé

Phil Thomas

Recipe by Phil Thomas, Head Chef, Rosewarne Manor, Connor Downs, Hayle.

Phil Thomas uses an ‘Italian’ meringue base for his dessert, which he describes as “the most technical of meringues to make”. An ‘Italian’ meringue is much underused even by other chef’s, “but it is the ideal base for any iced parfait. Simply add the puree, or fruit puree, of your choice to lightly whipped cream and the meringue. Once you have overcome the fear of making it,” he adds, “you will find many uses for it in stunning desserts. The advantage is that it keeps its shape; it can be frozen without going rock-solid, it can also be dried out like ordinary meringues but won’t collapse and go sticky and it makes a versatile base for many desserts from ice-creams to a lemon meringue pie.”

The Rosewarne was a popular West Cornwall dining venue in the 1980’s, where they regularly served between 200 – 300 meals a night in the summer time.  It was also where Phil had his first taste of his career on a work experience placement. Reopened in December 2007, with a complete refurbishment, the Rosewarne is set to rebuild its reputation and Phil found he had come full circle by returning as Head Chef. Continue reading

Chef’s Special: 2 Fore Street, Mousehole.

Pan fried Gunard with saffron curried mussels

Joe Wardell

Pan Fried Gurnard with Saffron Curried Mussels

Recipe by Joe Wardell, 2 Fore Street, Mousehole

Chef and restaurant owner, Joe Wardell opened his restaurant in Mousehole, overlooking the harbour, in April 2007. Having worked for Raymond Blanc at the Le Petite Blanc in Oxford his food is certainly influenced by Raymond’s simple French cooking which relies on good ingredients and not too much embellishment.

“I literally phone every single morning to find out what local fish is in and what is good,” says Joe. Such is the advantage of being this close to the boats when they land the fish. Local people also like to bring in the surplus produce form their garden or fish from their catch from time to time. Continue reading