Cornwall LivingIssue #144
A fresh start to 2024 with Jude Kereama
With a little guidance from chef patron, Jude Kereama, easing our way to healthier minds and bodies has never been so delicious.
With the indulgence of the festive celebrations well and truly behind us, many of us are looking to start the new year off on the right foot. Now that the feasting is over, it can be difficult to get back into the rhythm of a balanced routine, and as we seek out healthy habits to carry forward to 2024, I thought I’d share my thoughts on how good food can help.
The excess of the festive season soon takes its toll on the body, and at this time of year we all start making promises of a healthier diet and more exercise. In the restaurants, we always have healthier alternatives on our menus. For instance, at Kota Kai we have cleansing broths and warming curries that help give you a health boost. The food at Kota Kai has a lot of Asian influence and it is these spices and herbs that add a medicinal aspect to our dishes. Ingredients like seaweeds, chilli, ginger, garlic, citrus, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon and cayenne pepper (to name a few) have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Also, some of these ingredients are said to add nutrient absorption and reduce gastrointestinal discomfort as they stimulate digestive enzymes.
There is even research suggesting that curry consumption may help protect against age-related cognitive decline. I have always believed in healthy eating and making sure that we have a balanced diet. There is a lot of research into how we can eat ourselves to healthier minds and bodies and I will use this information to write some new dishes for the new menu.
At Kota, we are always using the best organic ingredients available to us, with dishes that cover all the best ingredients over our six-course tasting menu. Our vegetarian and vegan menus are available every day, but if you book and tell us a day in advance we’ll make sure to create and prepare your dishes to the best that we possibly can. We utilise similar base ingredients to Kota Kai, so those same medicinal properties will be in our dishes at Kota too. We also have an extensive range of ferments, seaweed and pickles in various forms that also add extra flavour and health benefits.
I myself will be trying to get back to normal after stuffing myself for the whole festive period, getting back to cooking healthy dishes like my brassica, cannellini bean and root vegetable stew with kale pesto (a real hearty dish) and just trying to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible through food. Shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters are absolutely delicious at the moment and provide lean protein which also takes very little time to cook, not forgetting that game birds are in season too – a real treat as they are so seasonal and again provide a tasty lean protein option. Cornwall has one of the best snipe and woodcock shoots in the UK and they are revered as the best and tastiest birds to eat.
With both restaurants having had a short break over January, you can expect exciting things when Kota reopens on 7th February and Kota Kai on 8th February after some major refurbishment – we can’t wait to see how everyone likes the changes as we start the year with a new look, new menus, new cocktails and a new style of service. We will also be opening a lot more than we usually do!
At Kota, the changes are behind the scenes as some new equipment adds a new style and flavour to the cooking with the addition of a Josper Grill. I have been trialling the Josper to see what it can do and I am thrilled with the results of the food I’ve tried so far. The Josper grill can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius and adds a wonderful smoky tinge to everyday dishes. I think it is going to be a game changer. We are also keen to utilise some new ingredients and techniques that we have been keeping up our sleeve for the new season, so it’s a very exciting year ahead indeed.
Don’t miss the 2024 reopening of Kota on 7th February, and Kota Kai on 8th February for new flavours and a fresh experience!
Kota and Kota Kai