When you arrive at your Cornish Secrets property, we're confident you won't want to leave in a hurry. But as you enter holiday mode, and those tummies start rumbling, cooking may be the last thing you want to do. From charming country kitchens with period features to large contemporary cookhouses with the latest gadgets and gizmos, our properties kitchens are well equipped for your gastronomic endeavours.
With Cornwall's home-grown larder at your fingertips, there's a whole host of produce to whet the appetite. And much like our wonderful selection of eateries, we've got some rather talented private chefs in this part of the world, too. Preparing delicious home-cooked fodder straight from your holiday home's kitchen without the need of a designated driver or babysitter... and hey, they'll even do the washing up.
By opting for a private chef you get the best of both worlds - making the most of your wonderful holiday home while grazing on delectable Cornish plates cooked to perfection. Here, we round up our favourites.
Dave Sargent, Chef Sargent
Born and raised in North Cornwall, you don’t get much more local than private chef Dave Sargent. A passion for cooking began bubbling from a young age, and Dave has always worked in the south west. In 2007, his food journey took a new turn as he began his dream job; creating bespoke gastronomic events, bringing the restaurant into people’s homes. Travelling across Cornwall, chef Sargent lives and breathes Cornwall, living along the rugged coast line he personally sources all the ingredients. As you’d expect, on his creative menus you’ll find an abundance of fresh fish caught that very day. Covering the whole of the UK, Chef Sargent has also been known to travel abroad for clients if the occasion is right.
Natasha Osborne, Chef Natasha
Natasha began her career as a chef as soon as she left school, working here in Cornwall but her talents have seen her as far flung as Australia. Progressing very quickly as a young chef, she found herself at the top of the kitchen in her early twenties. Natasha decided to move out of the restaurant game and became a private chef five years ago, covering around a 50 miles radius from St Ives, where she’s based.
St Ives is a wonderful location for any chef’s pantry. Natasha can’t get enough of the seafood available in these parts, buying as much fish as she can straight off the boat from the fisherman. So it’s no surprise that her star dish is her lobster bouillabaisse, with her scallops coming a close second. Delicious!
Craig Barrett, Duchy Chef
Working as a private chef for over three years, Craig Barrett moved to Cornwall 13 years ago, working as the head chef at the 5-star Lugger Hotel in Portloe on the Roseland, which held 2 rosettes for its food. Before that Craig worked his way through the ranks in London and Kent holding several rosettes along the way.
Now working privately across the county, as a chef Craig feels spoilt with the wonderful Cornish produce, with one of his favourites being butcher and grazer James Kittow beef which is a crowd pleaser whatever the season. But like all good chefs, their dishes are inspired by the seasons. Craig believes his standout dish for autumn has to be cauliflower elements, hake and hazelnut brown nut butter with sea vegetables, claiming it to be the dish that sings in the autumn.
Ana Marie, Ana’s Kusina
Ana Marie was born in Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, to a Filipina mother and a Cornish father. Ana has found herself back in the Duchy after spending over two decades on the Bristol food scene. Relocating to a village between Wadebridge and Padstow, Ana’s Kusina – which translates to kitchen in Filipino –now offers culinary delights in the shape of kitchen takeovers, home cookery school, luxury ready meals, and your very own private chef.
A unique offering, Ana’s food blends her two heritages together. Diners can expect kamayan platters – a communal-style Filipino feast – dim sum, bao buns and spit-roasted meats, all with a Cornish twist. Popular bites are the likes of lechon baboy a rotisserie rolled crispy belly pork, slow cooked short rib rubbed in spices and marinated in banana ketchup, and plenty of locally-sourced fish such as Cornish crab and hake. Predominantly covering North Cornwall, Ana’s Kusina is known to travel further afield for the right gig. anaskusina.co.uk
Daniel Rouncefield, The Cornish Chef
Launching The Cornish Chef in April 2020 just before the first national lockdown, Daniel Rouncefield soon built up a reputation with holidaymakers fleeing to Cornwall as soon as the opportunity arose. Having worked in the food industry since he was 14 years old, cooking has been Daniel’s life. Working in a variety of local restaurants in St Ives, he admits he owes many of his skills to The Seafood Cafe on Fore Street under the the mentoring of Richard Asquith and Steven Smith. With Daniel’s father being a fisherman in St Ives, he’s got great access to some locally caught produce – with seabass and mackerel often on his menu. But his standout dish, which sticks to his philosophy of combining great produce with simple methods, is The Cornish Chef’s sticky toffee pudding.
Based in Beacon, The Cornish Chef has good access to all three of the Cornish coasts, while he finds himself in St Ives the majority of the time, he’s able to take his delicious food across the county.
Robert Michael and Nicholas Sowden, Flavour & Wine
When a duo consists of an award-winning chef and a wine specialist, you know you’re in for a dining experience to remember. Robert Michael and Nicholas Sowden launched Flavour & Wine in 2020. With 28 years of culinary experience in the home counties, Robert has also cooked in kitchens in Australia, Thailand and India. More recently Robert has built up a reputation in Cornwall’s award winning cafes, Porthminster Beach Cafe and Porthgwidden Beach Cafe. Demonstrating how to heighten the food on the plate with the perfect wine, Nicholas has a passion for pairing.
Fishing around the Cornish coast with his brother when growing up, led Robert to his career, wanting to learn how to prepare the fish he’d caught. And this passion is still very much alive, often cooking fresh seafood dishes. So it’s no surprise his blow-torched mackerel fillet (served with rhubarb and black pepper compote, labneh and spiced nuts) is the talk of the town.
Cornwall's at-home food scene just got a lot more exciting, as it welcomes back Ana Marie, a half Cornish, half Filipina chef and owner of Ana's Kusina. Cornish Secrets' editor Rebecca Moore witnesses the chef in action and finds out how her two heritages collide in her latest cooking venture...
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