RESTAURANT REVIEWS: GOURMET FOODS

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:36 30 August 2017

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Review: Chapter 1

Fine dining in the centre of Newquay. It’s a bold move, but if anyone can make it work, it’ll be Tom Mackins. At just 26-years-old the chef has ambition coming out of his ears. Fortunately, he’s also incredibly talented.

Born in Wiltshire, Tom grew up in South Wales where he fell in love with the countryside and the produce it brings with it. After a stint as a kitchen porter, Tom spent years travelling up and down the country honing his skills. In 2011 he came to Cornwall where he worked alongside some of the county’s best chefs.

But ultimately, he had his own vision. And so Chapter 1 was born ().

Inside the restaurant is cosy chic decorated in muted greys with pine furniture. I’m a particular fan of the rustic rope lighting and handwritten menus. I’m told the latter take hours upon hours to create (and so quickly move it far away from my drink)!

We started with oven-warm bread - the onion rolls were incredible - served with olive oil, butter and a selection of plump olives. It was tempting to finish the lot off, but in hindsight I’m glad I saved myself.

For starters I ordered the tomato with goats curd, pickled raisins and basil and it was as pretty to look at as it was enjoyable to eat. My dining partner enjoyed pork with parmesan, olive, thyme and parsley which he couldn’t get enough of.

My main course was the leek risotto with olive oil and pistachio and was easily the best risotto I’ve had in recent years. My dining partner had the lamb with anchovy caramel, shallot and salsify, which he hasn’t stopped harping on about since he finished it.

After dinner, Tom tells us he is hoping to be included in the annual Michelin Guide and – fingers crossed – even score a star. And after such incredible food I think the young chef and his innovative new restaurant are well and truly deserving of such an accolade. Star or not though, Chapter 1 should go on any foodies Cornwall To Do list. You won’t be disappointed.

Abby Driver

Brewery takeover

St Austell Brewery has bought fellow West Country brewer and pub company, Bath Ales Limited.The deal, completed for an undisclosed amount, includes: The Bath Ales brewery, situated between Bath and Bristol, its portfolio of beer brands and its 11-strong pub estate. For a long time Bath Ales has been a company I have admired and this exciting acquisition provides the coming together of two like-minded businesses,’ says chief executive James Staughton.

New head at The Gurnard's Head

Max Wilson returns to Cornwall thas become Head Chef at The Gurnard’s Head after successfully lead ing the team at The Felin Fach Griffin for the last 18 months. In his place, Ben Ogden has been promoted to Head Chef at The Griffin having understudied Max as Sous Chef since June 2015. He will bring a slightly lighter style to The Griffin’s food, influenced by his career around the UK and his travelling.

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