Cornwall LivingIssue #77

Foodie feasts

With autumn upon us, we celebrate the fabulous produce coming into season with tips from the chefs, alongside some upcoming foodie festivals.

Once again it’s that time of year to enjoy the warmth of the woodburner, getting all snug and cosy as the nights draw in. But while we leave the longer days behind us for the year, there’s no need to resist the change of season – instead, positively embrace it! After all, it’s an opportunity to indulge in some hearty, warming food, stuff that’s great for both body and soul.

This month, as well as providing tips on seasonal culinary delights from some of Cornwall’s top chefs, we share a few highlights from some fantastic upcoming foodie festivals.

Bryok Williams, Head Chef at The Square at Porthleven, explains what he loves most about the changing season. “As the weather cools,” enthuses Bryok,

“my mind turns from the crisp, bright summer ingredients to think about earthy flavours, slow roasts and the deeper colours of autumn… Braised lentils, roast squash and caramelised apples to go with a lovely piece of pork, crackled to perfection!”

If that thought gets you salivating, click here to discover more about The Square at Porthleven.

Andrew Snell, Head Chef at Greens of Padstow, agrees that this is a time of year to champion from a culinary perspective. “Autumn for me is a great season!” says Andrew. “At the start, you can still get some of the great summer produce like the local Cornish salad veg. Then closer to winter the hearty root vegetables arrive, ready for some more warming dishes. This season is great for local fish too, with the water still warm enough to keep a lot of species around. We will be using hake on the menu throughout autumn.”

Andrew continues: “I love to go out blackberry picking with my family around the Cornish hedgerows, collecting the freshest berries. The best thing to do with them is a classic apple and blackberry crumble, served with clotted cream, and this will be arriving on our menu soon.”

Sound tempting? Click here to discover more about Greens of Padstow.

Tom Hunter, Head Chef at the Bedruthan Hotel, tells us: “We chefs love autumn! We see the beginning of the game season and root vegetables and mushrooms become readily available. What I also love about the beginning of autumn is that we have this great little micro-season where some of the summer vegetables like peas and runner beans are available at the same time as roots, squashes and pumpkins. This allows us to create dishes with ingredients that are only available at the same time for such a short period.”

If this plethora of produce has inspired you to get tasting, head to one of these Cornish foodie festivals where you can sample some delicious seasonal produce yourselves…

The Budelicious Food Festival

(22nd and 23rd September)

This wonderful foodie festival is supported by the Falcon Hotel, and led by celebrity chef Peter Gorton. Peter tells us what we can expect: “A weekend celebrating everything that is great about food in Bude and its surrounding areas, showcasing local chef demonstrations, talks from artisan producers and a chance to buy their wonderful produce.”

And what a wonderful range of Cornish produce there is! The festival will shine a light on some stunning seasonal produce, including wild mushrooms, sweetcorn, tomatoes, blackberries, elderberries, plums, greengages, chestnuts, and damsons. Of course, it’s not just vegetables to enjoy. Also coming into season around September are hare, mallard, partridge, rabbit, eel, mussels and oysters native.

Beer tents courtesy of St Austell Brewery will be on hand to keep everyone refreshed, while the range of artisan producers includes (at time of writing) Sue Proudfoot, Cornish Crumbly, Charcutier from Norton Barton, Cornish County Cordials, The Kernow Sausage Company, and Whalesborough Cheese among the many other delights.

The organisers are doing their bit to promote environmental issues this year, as they explain: “We want everyone to learn about Greener Bude, Cleaner Seas and what a great job they are doing.” What’s more, the festival is not just for the grown-ups, with a range of great activities laid on for families with younger children. They can have a go at decorating chefs’ hats, for example, and learn about different fruits and vegetables, finding out why they are good for you.

All producers, owners and chefs across Bude are encouraged to get involved with related events over the ‘Foodie Fortnight’, running between 15th and 29th September, at their venues. Details of all events can be found on the official website. So if you’re looking for your foodie fix this autumn, there’s no better time to visit Bude!


Falmouth Oyster Festival

(Thursday 11th October to Sunday 14th October)

One of Cornwall’s most popular foodie events returns to Falmouth this October. The organisers tell us more: “The annual festivities celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood.”

Across four days, you’ll be treated to a feast of cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls. “The vibrant programme includes Cornish food produce, arts and crafts, real ale and wine bars, oyster and seafood bars, working boat racing, a grand oyster parade and a most fiercely contested oyster shucking competition. Set to a soundtrack of live music and sea shanties sung with gusto, this four-day event is best enjoyed with a pint of local ale or a glass of fizz and, naturally, a freshly shucked oyster.”

Across its duration, the festival plays host to many of Cornwall’s finest chefs, including Ken Symons from Falmouth’s own Michelin-recommended Oliver’s. Proud Cornishman George Pascoe from Philleigh Way will be championing ‘proper Cornish cooking’, whilst adding his own culinary flair. Festival regular Nick Hodges, Executive Chef at the Greenbank Hotel’s award-winning Water’s Edge Restaurant, will be on hand to celebrate the freshest ingredients in Cornwall. Arty Williams from The Cove in Maenporth showcases local produce. And the Michelin-starred Chris Eden of the Driftwood Hotel in Portscatho will be sharing his secrets of success.

As you’d expect, there’s a whole host of fantastic seasonal seafood to indulge in, including monkfish, seabass, mackerel, hake, gurnard, crab, squid, scallops, and of course, Fal Oysters! If you fancy delighting in potted prams, fresh Cornish crab sandwiches, or perhaps an entire seafood platter, then Falmouth really is the place to be this October. We’ll see you there!


Discover More

There are many wonderful places to enjoy autumn’s larder across Cornwall. The Alverne in Penzance is an independent, family-run restaurant serving fresh seasonal food and tempting tapas. Turn to page 28 to discover more. Another to put on your list is The Lookout Restaurant at Retallack. And, of course, Rick Stein will be celebrating hearty autumnal dishes across his restaurants too. Also keep a look out for Jack Stein’s fabulous new book.


Discover More

Daytime entry to the festival is free. Evening tickets cost £5, and are available online as well as various outlets in Falmouth.


“my mind turns from the crisp, bright summer ingredients to think about earthy flavours, slow roasts and the deeper colours of autumn... Braised lentils, roast squash and caramelised apples to go with a lovely piece of pork, crackled to perfection!”