Chef’s Special: The Loop Restaurant at Retallack Resort and Spa

Crispy Fried whole line caught Sea Bass with chilli and tamarind sauce.

Stephen Lloyd

Crispy Fried whole line caught Sea Bass with chilli and tamarind sauce.

Recipe by: Stephen Lloyd, Head Chef, The Loop Restaurant at Retallack Resort and Spa

After ten years working as a chef in Australia including a number of years in the ‘Spirit House’, an award winning South East Asian restaurant in Queensland, Stephen Lloyd’s cooking follows a method of pure Asian food. “A million miles from the ‘fusion style cooking’ people talk a lot about,” he says, “or ‘confusion’ which it can easily become. I learnt completely different techniques, while working in a South East Asian kitchen, using very different flavours and produce.”

He took on the role as executive chef at Retallack Resort last August and it’s natural that he would want to introduce some Asian dishes to his new menu for coming season. Stephen also has plans for special menu events, Thai evenings, weddings and functions and it is hoped that local people will also recognise his unique dining experience in Cornwall.

“My food is very much in the style of the street hawker markets in the region where fresh ingredients cooked to order. It is traditional for many different dishes to be eaten at the same time. Of course in the restaurant they are presented in a much more refined way.” Stephen’s dish might appear deceptively simple to cook, however the recipe has large portions of sea bass that, without an industrial sized fryer or large wok, can be difficult to cook at home.

“Cornish line caught sea bass also shows complete traceability; the fish has a log number tag that will show who the fisherman was who actually caught it. However, bass is expensive so farmed sea bream can be used as an alternative. All the Asian ingredients: the tamarind, coriander root and palm sugar can be purchased from the Lana Thai supermarket in St. Austell.”

“This dish is ideally shared by two people and eaten, picking the pieces off the bone, by hand. It makes a dining experience that is actually quite intimate and romantic,” Stephen explains. “Chillies have something in them that is known to release endorphins and feel pleasure, however the tamarind sauce is a well-rounded balance of spicy, sweet and sour in one. It takes out most of the heat leaving a pleasant tingling sensation. I’m keen that people should try something new,” he adds, “but I want to keep it friendly and not scare people away by being too different.”

The Loop Restaurant offers relaxed dining in a bright, vibrant and fun environment. Using locally sourced ingredients, Stephen Lloyd creates simple, delicious, quality dishes at reasonable prices. As a family friendly restaurant, the menu caters for all ages from gourmet burgers to locally caught fish dishes. Continue reading


Crab and Parmesan Tarts and Clotted Cream Truffles!

At last! Something delicious and savoury to use up my over-buy of Rodda’s cream this Christmas as I can’t bear it going to waste.

This tart is full of the flavours of the British Seaside. If you are off for a picnic make 6 individual tarts.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes plus chilling time Cooking Time: 20 minutes Serves: 6

375g pack ready-rolled short crust pastry For the filling: 100g watercress, stems removed and finely chopped

250g mixed crabmeat, fresh or defrosted 3 eggs 113g Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream 113g Rodda’s Cornish crème fraiche

1⁄4tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp lemon juice 100g freshly grated Parmesan seasoning

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C, 400°F/Gas 6 and very lightly grease a 22cm loose bottom flan tin. Place the tin onto a baking tray.

Roll out the pastry until it’s big enough to generously fit the tin. Ease the pastry into the corners of the dish leaving excess pastry falling over the sides – don’t trim at this stage. Prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Trim the excess pastry using a sharp knife. Bake the pastry case blind for about 15 minutes – remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Continue reading

I’m thinking lobster for Christmas…?

Fish For Thought selection box.

I’ve had superb fresh Cornish fish from Fish for Thought before, so I can thoroughly recommend both the quality of the fish and the service.

We are sharing Christmas this year with my vegetarian (but she does eat fish) sister-in-law and her two non-meat eating children.  So I’m seriously thinking that this year we should ditch the traditional turkey and have a royal feast of fish. We won’t even be in Cornwall this year, but I’m confident that it won’t make a jot of difference. Fish For Thought assure me that they can deliver freshly caught Cornish seafood direct to where ever I happen to be. So, if we chose to gather somewhere remote and unorthodox for the festivities, if shouldn’t be impossible at all.

Christmas feasting tends to go one of two ways: either it’s a massive over indulgence of food, which we groan at our stuffing or quickly regret; or it’s a taste treat of fine and special food. So, I’m tending towards the later, thinking of celebrating with Fish for Thought’s Cornish lobster, crab and scallops, to name just a few! Continue reading

Ten ‘Cornish’ best for the Christmas table.

Giving traditional Christmas Day dining a proper Cornish twist with unique food and drink specialities from the best local producers.

1. Apéritif:

Ninemaiden's Mead

‘Ninemaidens Mead’, Lanner, TR16 5TQ.

Mead, a sweet, honey-based alcohol and, was not invented in Cornwall, but has been strongly associated with the Duchy. Ninemaidens produce five different varieties: ‘traditional’, with a strong heather honey nose, and ‘spiced’, which makes an invigorating winter warmer. These could be just as easily drunk as a sweet desert wine.  ‘Apple’, ‘blackcurrant’ and ‘redcurrant’ are fruity, slightly drier but equally delicious. Honey is sourced from hives across West Cornwall and the best locally sourced ingredients are added during the brewing process.

For Christmas it can be warmed, mulled or added to a spicy winter punch. Alternatively, try their new ‘Gwires’, crystal clear distilled mead with a floral, honeyed bouquet; a great Cornish alternative to classic single malt.

Tel:(01209) 820939 / 860630 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

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Fresh Cornish Oysters

Nick Hodges

Nick Hodges, 38, was one of the first chefs to be involved in the Falmouth Oyster from its earliest inception in 1997. The idea was developed to celebrate both the start of the oyster-dredging season – one of the last remaining traditional oyster fisheries dredging by sail and hand punt – but also as a means to generate an off-season tourism boost to the area.  The aim was to highlight the local food scene and showcase the area’s local chefs and has grown into a 4-day festival.

Each year, a cookery master-class from a celebrity chef – this year Valentine Warner, food writer and star of BBC Two’s ‘What To Eat Now’ series – followed by a book signing, opens the festival. Packed with cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, oysters, seafood, wine and local ale, children’s shell painting, sea shanties, a town parade, and live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and marquees brimming with Cornish produce; the festival has become is a must for all oyster, seafood and maritime heritage enthusiasts. Alongside the festival, an increasing number of Cornish food and drink producers promote their quality produce alongside the longstanding craft fair stalls in the festival marquee. Continue reading

Chef’s Special: Rocks Restaurant, Seiners, Perranporth.

Monkfish and prosciutto

Brian Johnson

Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto with pesto roasted fennel, sweet potato mash and a clam and champagne butter sauce (Serves 4)

Recipe by Brian Johnston, Rocks Restaurant, Seiners, Perranporth

“Buy local,” is Brian Johnston’s watch word, “It is true that you might have to pay a little bit more for your produce, but it is not only important to support your local fishmonger and butcher, it also ensures that you will get a far better quality that from a supermarket.” Brian doesn’t dispute that there are also some excellent European products available, “for example a good chorizo sausage shouldn’t be ignored”, and his recipes make the most of the best foods and flavours to be had.

“Monkfish is a delicate and lovely meaty fish and, with the added bonus of being caught in Cornish waters, is one of my favourite fishes both to cook and to eat,” says Brian. “The local clams,” he tells me, “might be best described as a posh mussel.” I am curious to know why sweet potatoes should be baked first if they are to be made into mash. “Baking holds the flavour where boiling looses it,” he elucidates.

As Head Chef of a relatively new restaurant, Brian is very sincere about the quality of food he presents to his diners. Local produce and seasonality are clearly important; the menu changes and evolves in response to this and feedback from the clientele. “I believe in going out and talking to my customers and I am interested in what they have to say.” Diners say they have found a little gem in this Perranporth restaurant which offers exceptional fine dining in at a very reasonable price. Continue reading