Words by Chef Hylton Espey.
Every dish starts with an inspiration, it may be an experience, the season, a nostalgic memory, farm visit or an adventure in nature. I carry a notebook with me all the time as you can never predict inspiration or a creative idea.
Living within walking distance of the restaurant allows me to explore the surroundings and experience the season daily, watching for new growth, inspiration from the rolling hills cascade into the sea terroir and foraging within a mile of our restaurant. In this time I have made some great friends who deliver the best local produce to our door.
Once when mountain biking through Budock Water woods I stopped beside a tree and notice the first mushrooms emerging, chestnuts on the ground and Pennywort on the trees. On my return to the kitchen we presented Budock Water a starter of mushroom mousse, chestnut crumb, Bertha roast chestnuts and Pennywort
When I met with Steve the lamb farmer over in Porthleven I was fascinated by the foliage on the outside of the pasture, the sheep were eating all the greens within the pasture and the Cornish hedgerow was abundant with remnants of their diet. As you travel from the 400 year old farm house, across the pasture, down the sea cliff and into the atlantics there was a natural progression of produce and flavour. We created the Trewithick Pasture; Cornish Lamb, Slow Roasted in hay from the farm, hedgerow herbs, sea vegetables and crab – a Cornish Surf & Turf.
This organic approach to planning a dish has created some wonderful pairings that would otherwise not be considered as compatible. We have now put a formula together for all our dishes which has seen us grow from strength to strength.