Banbury’s Cornish Turkeys

They might not actually vote for Christmas but Banbury’s Cornish Turkeys certainly live the rural idyll, raised by three generations of the same farming family outside Padstow on the North Cornish Coast.

And this year for the first time Christmas diners across the land will get to savour the difference between these birds and their intensively reared relatives – via a new national delivery service from cornishfoodmarket.co.uk.

“We hand-rear free-range black and traditional white turkeys here at  Trembleathe Farm and they grow for much longer than mass produced birds so they develop that lovely deep turkey flavour,” says Richard Banbury whose parents  Fernley and  Nancy, wife Clare and little daughters Gracie Ann and Roseanna all play their part in the nurturing process.

“I think part of it is also that our natural environment is so clean and clear with fresh air off the Atlantic – we’re remote from roads and noise and commercial activity and the birds are raised as they should be – stress free.”

For nearly fifty years these turkeys have been enjoyed throughout Cornwall at Christmas time but now the Banbury family – like scores of the county’s best food and drink producers – are working with the team at cornishfoodmarket.co.uk to spread not just the word but the reality of best Cornish fare to the nation at large. Continue reading

Chef’s Special: Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot Belly of Pork and Pork Fillet, pea croquette with a black pudding crumb, pea rillette, sour apple coulis and pea salt.

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot

Aaron Janes

Recipe by: Aaron Janes, Head Chef, Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

Aaron lives, breaths and dreams food, such is his passion for Silks restaurant that he helped to create back in 2004. His desire is to bring cooking in Cornwall, well and truly into the 21st century by creating classic British dishes with the very best Cornish ingredients.

“I like using only two simple ingredients and do something spectacular with them,” he explains. “As with the pea and pork – cooked in a variety of different ways with the added the element of delight and surprise so that people say, gosh that really tastes of peas!”

“The Gloucester Old Spot for this dish come from Ballardsfield Farm (practically next door to where I live), It’s great to see exactly where and how the pigs are raised. That’s the fantastic thing about Cornwall, sea and farmland is so close by and variety of produce is abundant and when there’s a glut of top quality something in season, I believe it’s best to grab it when you can!”

“The dish is really not as complicated to create as it sounds.  Every stage is really very simple. There are no complicated techniques, it’s just planning and having all the elements ready to use in advance,” Aaron reassures. “Using a water bath ensures that the meat is kept tender, full of flavour and melts in the mouth when you eat it. Having the meat perfectly cooked beforehand means it is instantly ready to be given the last stage of the cooking to order.” Continue reading

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: The Brasserie at Roserrow

Pot Roast Shoulder of Cornish Lamb, Potatoes Dauphinoise, Thyme Jus

Head chef Ryan Tomkins

Pot Roast Shoulder of Cornish Lamb, Potatoes Dauphinoise, Thyme Jus

Recipe by: Ryan Tomkins, Head Chef, The Brasserie at Roserrow.

“Simple, local, unpretentious food cooked well,” best describes the cuisine Ryan aims to produce. “The lamb is sourced from Button Farm, up the road, and many of the vegetables are grown a stone’s throw from here.”  However the care in preparation shouldn’t be underestimated. This is a very popular signature dish for the winter that takes two days to prepare. It’s cut of lamb not commonly used, however after carefully marinating for around 24 hours and cooking for 7 hours; the resulting dish is elegant and very flavoursome. “Everybody loves it and it creates a fantastic reaction with our dinners.”

Ryan, who originally grew up in Cornwall, has 15 years experience as a chef from inside and outside the county winning many competitions including winning ‘Chef of the West’ in 2006. For the last two years Ryan was Head Chef at Viner’s near Summercourt (owned by Michelin starred chef Kevin Viner).

Roserrow’s Golf & Country Club is currently undergoing a real change and transformation in style and the aim is to turn the Brasserie restaurant into a fine dining destination choice in its own right. Ryan is keen for this new challenge. “It is far easier to take over as Head Chef where a restaurant has already an established name,” he says, “but to start with a blank canvass, working hard to achieve a new reputation for high quality dining, is an exciting opportunity for me.” Having already assembled a great team, many of whom he worked with before at Viner’s, and he aims to gain a couple of rosettes for this new restaurant in the next two to three years. Continue reading

Chef’s Special: The Nare, Veryan-in-Roseland

Carne beach, view from the Nare

Terras Farm Duck Breast

Terras Farm Duck Breast, Confit of Leg, Potato Cake and Sherry Creamed Lentils.

Recipe by Richard James, Head Chef, The Nare

There is a winterish feel to this dish. Comfort food at it’s best. “The Cornish Duck company supplies all our Duck which is reared on their farm at Grampound Road,” and according to Richard James “it is definitely the best duck around.” The breast has a lovely flavour which shouldn’t be complicated. However, “the confit of duck leg is the chefy thing we do. The meat is marinated in salt, sugar, herbs, Worcester sauce, basil and some balsamic vinegar for one or two days and then slow cooked for 3 hrs on a low heat. This draws out the fat and really intensifies all the flavours.”

As a Cornishman working in the restaurant business and climbing up through the ranks for 22 years, Richard has seen enormous changes, particularly in the last five years, in the reputation that Cornwall now has for quality of food. Our profile has been raised both by one or two exceptional chefs and increasing media interest. “Cornwall is fortunately blessed with fresh fish in abundance and a favourable climate for growing produce and raising livestock,” expounds Richard, “People are coming to understand good value in quality and the superb quality of our local produce is well worth paying a little bit extra for.”

The Nare’s Quarterdeck restaurant offers contemporary modern British food with a seasonally changing menu. “Local farmers often ring us up,” Richard says,” to offer what they have fresh that day.” The Nare has recently been awarded 4 red stars making it the best 4 star hotel in the county. The restaurant team have undoubtedly played their part in this achievement. Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: Trevaskis Farm Beef and Pork

Sometimes, a bit like in the January sales, you stumble upon a bargain that’s just too good to pass by. In Tesco, about a month ago, I bought the smallest piece of rolled pork shoulder I could find. It cost me under £8 however it was still big enough – I’m telling no ‘porkers’ here – to feed around fifteen people.

I have to hope this was what they call ‘a supermarket loss-leader’, the amazing deal that seduces shoppers into spending on superfluous food items with ‘celebrity’ names attached. So often to end abandon and barely touched, on kitchen shelves going past their sell-by-date, gathering dust and grease like maiden aunts…

We devoured the cut-price pig one Sunday lunch with applesauce, stuffing and lots of gravy. My stomach was filled but I wasn’t really satisfied. Poor piggy had yielded as little flavour on my plate, as its life had given ‘fat’ to farming.

Last Sunday, we had a similar meal. 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 www.cornwallsolar.co.uk/ninemaidens Continue reading