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Cornwall Living

Fire up your food

Introducing Una Kitchen, providing a wood-fired Mediterranean menu that is sure to leave you wanting more.

In an interview with Head Chef Glenn Gatland, we hear all about his and the Una Kitchen story. Glenn trained as a chef at St Austell College in the late 80s and started out as a commis chef at The Wellhouse Country Hotel, where he learnt what it takes to maintain three AA Rosettes and worked his way up from commis to head chef. Glenn tells us: “In 2007, I left The Wellhouse and spent ten years on the Isles of Scilly. For the first five years I looked after Hell Bay Hotel restaurant on Bryher and was the first head chef there to receive three AA Rosettes. Then over the next five years I took up a developmental role looking after three fairly busy restaurants on Tresco Island and raised the level of food there too.” It was during his stint on Tresco that Glenn was introduced to wood-fired cooking: “Cooking at Ruin Beach Café with a wood-fired oven was when I learnt to make the switch from fine dining to wood-fired cuisine, that was six years ago and I haven’t looked back since! Wood-fired cooking takes it back to basics – real caveman cooking.”

“Wood-fired cooking takes it back to basics – real caveman cooking”

When Glenn first considered moving back to Cornwall, Una Kitchen was still in its fledgling stages and although there was talk of introducing a wood-fired oven during initial designs, it wasn’t a sure thing. “When I arrived in March last year the restaurant was a blank canvas, alongside the architects and designers I had input with the kitchen layout, and then in July they pulled the pin and installed a wood-fired oven. It was a bit of a leap of faith but now it’s the entire focal point of the restaurant.”

As you enter Una Kitchen, you’re greeted with the beautiful flickering flames from the wood-fired oven creating a warm atmosphere within which to enjoy your food and a mouth-watering menu to boot. Glenn continues: “They’re not just pizza ovens, it’s true that you can’t replicate a pizza that’s made in a proper wood-fired oven, but it also does so much more. 50% of our menu, including meats, fish and vegetables are cooked in our wood-fired oven. It adds a subtle smoky flavour that perfectly fits in with our Mediterranean vibe.” Plus the oven itself, as Glenn says, “is the Rolls Royce of wood-fired ovens”, made by a company called Gozney – it’s the elite in wood-fired oven design. Glenn continues: “It’s certainly a step up from the rustic French version I was using before and is an amazing piece of kit, especially as the winter months start to roll in, you can see the flames from reception as you walk in. It’s like walking into a pub with a roaring fire but it’s our Mediterranean version.”

Both in terms of cuisine and atmosphere, Una Kitchen embraces a relaxed Mediterranean vibe; there’s no stuffiness and you’re just as welcome in flip-flops and beach shorts as you are in your Sunday best. Una Kitchen has come an extremely long way since opening in March last year and the team’s main aim is to provide a tranquil place to escape the hustle and bustle of St Ives, especially during peak season.

When discussing other aspects of the restaurant, Glenn tells us: “It’s not just about the food, we also have a great front of house team, and we’re very aware that although food is important, how it’s delivered and how people are looked after when they’re here is also integral to our success. A lot of restaurants in Cornwall clean up the seasonal market and then close their doors in October but we aim to accommodate the local market as well.” With this in mind, Una Kitchen has an exciting events calendar over the coming months, commencing with a ‘St Ives Beer and Pizza Night’ on 18th October.

Una Kitchen provides a modern Mediterranean vibe and a warm and welcoming atmosphere that accommodates everyone, including man’s best friend. So, make sure to book a table to discover the delights of wood-fired cuisine, great service and a beautiful location on the outskirts of St Ives. 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

To stay up to date with all the happenings at Una Kitchen, make sure to follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Because the upcoming events are definitely not to be missed!

 

DISCOVER MORE

For a Mediterranean twist on tradition, check out the Una Kitchen festive menus.

"Wood-fired cooking takes it back to basics – real caveman cooking"