Cornwall LivingIssue #143
A seat at the table
Sourcing local produce is at the heart of the food offering at St Michaels Resort, where an appetising culinary adventure awaits.
The food offering at St Michaels Resort is headed up by Executive Head Chef Darren Millgate. His culinary experience is venerable and includes training under Michelin-starred chef Ben Tunnicliffe before honing his kitchen craft in kitchens across the south of France. His attention to detail can be seen in each and every dish across a three-day rolling menu at the Brasserie on the Bay, which takes diners on a culinary tour of Cornish farms, field and seas. Drawing on the Duchy’s abundant local larder, Darren comments: “Whatever time you visit us, our local food heroes (and their produce) will be firmly in the spotlight, and you can be sure that even if there isn’t space to say it on the menu, pretty-well everything on your plate comes with a local story.”
A huge proportion of all fresh produce used in the kitchens is local and this is reflected in the Brasserie on the Bay’s rolling three-night menu. The ‘catch of the day’ is landed by local boats and comes fresh from Fish For Thought and Cornwall Fish Direct each morning; accompanied by the provenance of the very name of the boat which landed it. “One of my earliest memories was going out with my dad on our boat at Portholland to pull up the net and see what we had for dinner. Sometimes it was mackerel, or fiddly spider crabs, occasionally bass – the excitement of not knowing what would be in the net, that still guides me today,” adds Darren.
The Real Cornish Crab Company is Darren’s supplier of choice for this true taste of the deep. A family-owned business where all of the crab is picked by hand, landed at nearby Newlyn from fishing grounds off the coast of Land’s End, Pendeen, Zennor, Isles of Scilly and the Longships lighthouse. It’s not just the local ocean larder that is celebrated at St Michaels. Slow-reared pork from award-winning Primrose Herd comes from the hills of west Cornwall. The herd of rare and native-breed pigs are reared slowly and non-intensively, with the pigs spending lots of time outdoors. Primrose Herd also has long-standing relationships with other farmers and smallholders who share their values of natural, slow growth and plenty of space and freedom to roam. These traditional farming methods give both excellent marbling in the meat and a rich flavour.
Westcountry Farms supply fresh salad and vegetables, giving Darren exclusive access to local producers such as Canara Farm that experiment with growing heritage varieties and micro leaves. Under the watchful eye of the chefs, St Michaels take pride in presenting dishes that not only satisfy the palate but also reflect the rich culinary heritage of Cornwall, with an emphasis on quality, flavour and creativity.
The winter menu for Brasserie on the Bay includes a deeply warming braised venison ragout, Marsh Farm duck breast with a festive spiced-plum compote and, of course, the catch of the day served with a refreshing caper and gherkin salad, seaweed and herb butter and Cornish potatoes. The Garden Kitchen offers lighter lunches and tapas plates, perfect for enjoying post spa with a treat glass of bubbles. Whether indulging in a leisurely lunch in the Garden Kitchen or a romantic dinner overlooking the sea, guests can expect an appetising adventure that complements the overall ethos of the resort.
St Michaels’ cellar collection is no less impressive and, of course, includes some of Cornwall’s finest. Camel Valley Brut and Knightor’s Carpe Diem wines lead the local charge, closely followed by local beer and cider courtesy of The Harbour Brewing Co. and Cornish Orchards. For cocktail aficionados, Loveday, Tarquins, Colwith Farm, Pocketful of Stones and Rosemullion Distillery raise the bar with a full measure of Cornish spirit.
The food at St Michaels boasts big flavours and low miles, celebrating the local larder in each and every dish. Any pretention has been banished in favour of a laid-back dining experience that puts the ingredients centre stage. All you need do is take a seat at the table and enjoy.
ST MICHAELS RESORT
Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth TR11 4NB