A new book brings together the best chefs in the South West
PUBLISHED: 13:11 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 June 2020
Many of us are rediscovering the delights of the kitchen – some of Cornwall’s favourite chefs have added recipes to a new digital book designed to support the decimated hospitality industry in the South West
Chefs, food and drink producers, and industry insiders from Cornwall have joined forces with their Devon counterparts to produce a new digital cookbook.
Featuring recipes from Cornwall favourites including Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Emily Scott, Chris Eden and Jude Kereama, the book aims to show of solidarity in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which forced the mass closure of businesses and left the sector and its employees facing an uncertain future. The digital cookbook is designed to inspire comfort in adversity and will be available through the JustGiving platform, asking people to give what they can in this time of financial hardship.
Comfort is described by its production team as ‘a snapshot of the unique and diverse food and drink culture we have nurtured here in the West Country, and the rich network of chefs, producers and entrepreneurs who together make the region a world-class gourmet destination.’
Everyone involved is giving their time and expertise free of charge, with all funds going directly to Hospitality Action, a national charity which supports hospitality workers and has launched a Covid19 Emergency Appeal.
“Our support has never been more urgently needed by so many people as it is now, and we need many more donations if we are to continue supporting people in acute need,” explains Mark Lewis, chief executive of Hospitality Action.
Other chefs included in the book are Ben Tunnicliffe, Elly Wentworth and Michael Caines – who took over The Cove at Maenporth in Falmouth at the beginning of the year and was set to open in March before the Coronavirus lockdown began.
Each recipe is designed to be easy to recreate in the kitchen using local, seasonal produce – with links through to websites where the ingredients can be purchased, helping to support South West food producers who have also been hit by the pandemic.
For a touch of extra luxury, each dish is matched with a suggested drink produced in Devon or Cornwall – the team is enlisting the help of wine merchants, vineyard owners, brewers, coffee roasters, mixologists, distillers and cider makers – and a resources section will include advice from local growers, foragers and food writers.
The project is a collaboration between writer Lucy Studley, whose PR and marketing agency Cornwall Content specialises in food and drink, Gabriella Dyson, who is editor of The Maverick Guide and food stylist, photographer and designer Ali Green.
Lucy Studley came up with the idea after speaking to clients devastated at having to close their businesses and tell staff to stay at home. “During the last few weeks I’ve been talking to clients every day who are heartbroken at having to close their doors just before Easter – it amounted to a collective cry of anguish.” she explains. “Business owners who faced losing everything repeatedly said to me, ‘if this saves one life it will be worth it.’ I wanted to do something to help – to create a positive story at this dark time and to financially support hospitality workers who face hardship.”
“I was a restaurant manager for several years and I know how hard people in the hospitality sector work. I know it will recover. But taking a snapshot of the industry at its most vital seemed like a good idea, in case we need a blueprint for rebuilding it.”
To raise the funds, people can pledge now on the JustGiving page which aims to raise more than £5,000. u
Emily Scott’s Lemon posset
“This posset is everything that a pudding should be creamy, sharp, sweet yet comforting. This recipe is simple and delicious. Dress it up or down. “Lemons are one of my kitchen essentials I would not be without. Like all citruses a winter fruit but to me they sing of summer and sunshiny days.”
• Peeled rind of 3 lemons, juice of 4
• 800ml double cream
• 250g caster sugar
Place the cream, rind and sugar in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the cream is steaming.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Pass through a sieve into a clean bowl to remove the rind. Stir in the lemon juice then pour the posset mix into French bistro glasses.
Place in the fridge to set.
Top with raspberries I think a dusting of icing sugar over the berries slightly sweetens and, further, adds a pretty finish.
Delicious served a Cornish fairing or shortbread.