Head Chef's Blog

Off the menu

From locally-sourced food to mastery in the kitchen, Head Chef Hylton is here to take you through his favourite recipes, top local produce picks, and life in the kitchens at Merchants Manor.

Chef's Journal

Californian Wine Night

Tuesday 24th September The Snug at Merchants Manor 7pm Sample the delights of California. Taste an iconic collection of Biodynamic and Organically farmed wines from the Bonterra Vineyard, paired with a selection of Mezze nibbles from the …

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Our Bees

Shortly after arriving in Cornwall we went to a local food festival where I met a bee keeper who specialised in Cornish Black Bees. We got into a discussion about honey, the future of bees and all things related. Ever since that first meeting I …

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Scallops

My sous chef Aiden and I went for a trip to visit Jude at Kota in Porthleven to see his kitchen and have a chat. After doing the tour Jude opened his fridge and there were echoes of snapping and clacking under camouflage of a wet cloth, they …

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The Team

Team work makes the dream work and we have now developed an exceptional team in the kitchen and front of house. When you work in a kitchen you will spend more time with your fellow chefs than your Family, Partner or friends. It takes time to …

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Oysters

One of my fondest food memories was with my Dad and some friends on Arniston beach sinking ice cold oysters in the hot sun, I remember eating 45 of them that day age 9. A few years later we were once again in amongst the sand cliffs and aqua …

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A Taste of Home

Bobotie If someone were to ask me about an iconic South African dish it would have to be Bobotie. Nothing sums up our History and cultures quite like it. The dish originated from Holland, brought to Cape Town by the Dutch in the 17th Century, …

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London Calling

On a misty Cornish evening we set off for the bright lights of London via the A30 as our flight was cancelled due to the North Coast fog. Arriving after midnight we had the roads to ourselves as we made our way past Harrods, Buckingham Palace …

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Lowen

Early on in this balmy Cornish summer we set sail on Lowen, our 1978 Westerly Centaur, navigating in the direction of the Helford river. The crew for this voyage being my family and our Staffy Sally who proudly boasted her life jacket barking at …

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A Proper Cornish Scone

Try Chef Hylton’s Cornish gem of a recipe. Spread with a thick layer strawberry jam, lashings of Clotted Cream and a pot of tea.  Guaranteed to taste even better packed as a picnic and served at the beach. Scones Makes 12 480 g …

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Slow Food

We are proud to be members of Slow Food, an organisation that I have known of since I first started cooking. For me there has always been a connection to nature and food beyond the obvious. Food harvested and eaten on a beach will be the best …

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On the water

Living in Falmouth it is hard not to get into Sailing, the town has such a rich sailing heritage with near perfect conditions for the novice and experienced sailor alike. As a surfer I have spent a fair chunk of my lifetime in the sea and have …

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Westcountry Farm Visit

On a lovely sunny Cornish day, of which we have had quite a few lately, myself and two senior members of the kitchen team took a trip into the farm lands of Mylor. We met up with Sam from Westcountry Fruit sales in a lush field just outside of …

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TOG

For a chef, knives are the tools of their craft.  They allow the imagination to run wild in curating a dish and through mastering their skill they learn how to respect their produce.  Keeping his questions sharp and on point, Chef Hylton chats …

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Lady Killigrew

In April 2016 we took a foraging walk down to Swanpool beach and returned with an abundance of sea weeds. After playing around with them in different preparations we had an excess of sea lettuce or ulva lactuca. The pastry section were preparing …

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Story of Lamb

One day on instagram an image popped up of a young farmer tending his flock near Porthleven. I  contacted Steve (The Cornish Lamb Co) directly and went to the farm with my wife. I love Porthleven, it has a very Cornish feel about it and happens …

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Tony Bourdain

Words by Chef Hylton Espey In December 2002 I walked into a restaurant and asked for a job as a Commis chef. The owner offered me the position and said something I will never forget. ‘You start tomorrow morning, go buy Kitchen Confidential, read …

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Vinaigrette – Bramble

Last year’s blackberry season began unusually early which leads us to believe that given the recent hot spell we are likely to see the first fresh pickings in just a few weeks. Don’t be fooled into believing that blackberries are only for …

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Foraging

We have a foraging loop which takes us from the Manor on the hill down to Gyllyngvase beach, around to Swanpool and through a forest back to the restaurant. On this 1 mile loop we discover nineteen different foraged greens over the seasons.  

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A Top Tip to Explore

Words by Chef Hylton Espey. The coastal path walk or paddle to Maenporth from Falmouth is a must for any traveller. You have the option (depending on the weather) to explore the coast from land or sea. The walk is fantastic and you get away from …

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Food Philosophy

‘Nature inspired cuisine with a focus on the landscapes, flora and fauna’ – Hylton Espey From local foragers, butchers and garden marketers to the love Chef puts into every dish on the menu, we have one mantra in the Merchants Manor …

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Seasons

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 …

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Chef Patron – The Journey

After being seduced by the Manors devotion to using the finest, fresh local ingredients -Discover South African born and raised Chef Patron Hylton Espey. Now two years into his journey at Rastella, he talks openly about his passion for food, …

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Offers

Fill your senses with the spirit of Cornwall and indulge in one of our specially tailored breaks and offers. We look forward to seeing you soon.

11th September 2018

Flavours of Falmouth

Three night’s accommodation, a three course dinner at Rastella, and dinner and drinks at Rick Stein’s Fish. With our Flavours of Falmouth break, …

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24th April 2017

Drinks Inc.

Two nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast. Evening drinks included. Kick back and let the good stuff flow freely with this offer that includes two …

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31st May 2017

Taste of Coast & Country

Three night stay includes two nights’ dinner at Rastella, three mornings’ bed & breakfast and a £50 dinner voucher at Rick Stein’s. …

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Get 10% off room prices