PUBLISHED: 11:25 21 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:04 30 August 2017

The hunt for a brand new chef for a Cornish restaurant is charted in a brand new TV new series. Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial

The hunt for a brand new chef for a Porthleven restaurant is charted in a brand new TV new series. Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial.

The show sees Alex Polizzi take on the challenge of finding Head Chefs for restaurants that need to fill a unique vacancy.

Hiring a Head Chef can make or break a business. But hiring one who is an outstanding cook and can handle the pressure and the pricing is challenging for many restaurateurs, especially those with a need for something special owing to the unique nature of their business.

Over a week, the show follows candidates as they go through a rigorous interview process. As well as testing their technical cooking skills, all candidates will have a face-to-face interview and a chance to cook a signature dish that shows off their culinary abilities. But at the end of the week only one can get the job.

One of the four restaurants featured in the show is Amélies in Porthleven, Cornwall. Perched right on the harbour of the picturesque fishing village, Amélies is an intimate and relaxed seafood restaurant owned and run by Sam Sheffield Dunstan.

As well as the day-to-day cooking of a seafood-based menu in the restaurant itself, the successful chef will also need to be able to handle picnic preparation for Amélies Gourmet Picnics and cater for individual menus as part of the Amélies wedding service which operates both on site and as outside catering.

“We’re looking for a very special head chef to take on all the challenges this variety will throw at them,” explains Sam, “And that’s where Alex comes in. It’s not classic cooking, which can make it harder to understand. We need a chef who can prepare lots of different recipes to a very high standard – and who’s capable of delivering consistently for large numbers.”

“We’ve always used local produce, particularly our shellfish, however after the storms we really feel the need to shout about it even louder,’ says Sam. “Guys like Jeremy who is a fifth generation fisherman, work so hard against all the odds to bring us such fabulous seafood and it’s great to be able to share the spotlight with them.”

Alex Polizzi added: “Perched on the harbour of picturesque Cornish fishing town, Amélies, Porthleven is a relaxed restaurant providing the freshest seafood cooked and served simply and with style. With a busy stream of tourists passing by, it is now more important than ever for owner Sam Sheffield Dunstan to attract the right Chef to Amélies in order for this business to stay at the top of its game.”

Owner and entrepreneur Sam originally opened the doors at Amélies in March 2010 and the search for a new head chef represents the latest part of a major investment to reposition the restaurant as a top choice for visitors… as well as a nod towards her plans for the future.

“Rick Stein recently moved in next door which is great for Porthleven, but it also means we need to stay right at the top of our game,” says Sam. “My ultimate aim is to roll out the model and open other Amélies restaurants elsewhere in the UK and I’m really looking forward to Alex being involved in the next exciting stage of our journey.”

Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial is a 16-episode series that started on Monday, 20 April on BBC Two. Amélies, Porthleven will feature in four episodes later in the series.

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