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 were scallops, hand dived and the best I have seen.
We begged and begged for the contact but Jude would not budge on the details. The worst part was that these particular scallops came from our bay in front of the Hotel, it felt like they were teasing us every time we glanced across the bay.
One day there was a call to the kitchen and it was the scallop fisherman telling us that Kota told them we are looking for fresh scallops, I was so excited I almost dropped the phone. We immediately ordered some and waited (not so) patiently.
The next day there was a text ‘we have clacking from the fridge’, I hurried into work and hastily removed the dish cloth exposing the most amazing array of beautiful scallops shimmering with Falmouth bay water.
We cleaned these scallops so fresh they pulsated in our hands, we pan roasted a kitchen taster – hands down the best scallops any of us have had.
These are an exceptional item that we do not put on the menu as we want to only offer them at their freshest, we order them once a week, when they are gone, they are gone.
Words by Chef Hylton Espey.