PUBLISHED: 16:27 10 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:04 30 August 2017

Photo 23-05-2013 03 32 02

Photo 23-05-2013 03 32 02

TV chef James Strawbridge brings us some mouth-watering foodie ideas: festival food

TV chef James Strawbridge brings ussome mouth-watering foodie ideas: this month festival food.

I’ve spent many years cooking outside on all different types of stoves, BBQs and rustic ovens and I find it’s the best place to gain instant feedback about your food as a chef because there is nowhere to hide. Instead of being hidden away in a kitchen you have the chance to talk to the people you are feeding and soak up the atmosphere. I also secretly use events like this to try out new food and drink concepts or recipes - there’s nothing better than hungry guinea pigs for gastro experimenting...

We have an incredibly rich and vibrant food and music festival scene here in Cornwall and I am constantly impressed by the huge variety of gourmet food options being served up outdoors. Some of my personal favourites include Inkie’s Smokehouse, Rum & Crab Shack, Good Game, and SAMs. This month I’m running my own pop-up restaurant again at Port Eliot Festival in St Germans 31 July - 2 August and these are a few of the dishes I will be serving. Other dishes include kebabs, Posh Pasties, cream teas, charcuterie, Kernow escargots, and lots of Cornish iced tea cocktails using Tregothnan Tea and local spirits.

Port Eliot Festival

Situated on the ancient family estate of the St German’s family this is my favourite festival in Cornwall with a range of great children’s activities, literary talks and chefs demos, a cool music line-up and of course a superb food and drink selection to choose from. I’d highly recommend attending if you have the chance as it’s a truly magical festival that captures the intimate yet completely relaxed vibe that I love. In particular the line-up of chef’s demos attracts some star celebrity chefs and it’s an excellent opportunity to try out loads of trendy new street food.

Squid and Mussel hot salad

Serves 4

The key to this dish is a very hot fast cooking griddle and I can think of nothing better than using a Muurikka pan. This Scandinavian-made griddle collects all of the juice in the centre due to it’s concave design and can reach impressively hot temperatures in no time at all. The couple who sell and distribute these superb cooking griddles in the UK actually live in Cornwall and it is a joy to cook with! My signature recipe makes the most out of two of my favourite Cornish ingredients: Fowey Mussels and line caught squid. It is simple and can be adapted in so many ways but in my eyes is the perfect Cornish dish for summer.


500g squid

500g mussels

250g samphire

300g vine tomatoes

50g roughly chopped coriander

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

Juice from 4 - 6 limes

1 large red chilli, finely sliced

Cornish Rapeseed Oil


Start by heating your oil so that it is very hot and then add the garlic, chilli, squid (chopped into even rings or scored so that it will cook evenly; include tentacles), mussels, samphire and tomatoes. Cook this all together, keeping it moving and add the lime juice and fresh coriander after 3-4 minutes. When the mussels are all open the dish is ready to serve. Bread on the side is yummy to soak up the tomato and lime juice.

Seaweed Butter Grilled Lobster

I came up with this dish last year and have adapted it to include the Cornish Sea Salt company’s new range of seaweed products. The seaweed gives a real sea breeze to the rich butter and the Cornish pastis from South West Distillery cuts through the meaty tail with anise tones balanced by lemon. If you want a real treat then serve with caper focaccia and a green salad.


2-4 lobster tails

100g salted butter

1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon

1 tsp Cornish seaweed

1 tbsp Cornish pastis or Pernod


Start by butterflying your lobster tail. This is a relatively simple thing to do yourself: all you need is a strong set of kitchen scissors to cut down the back of the lobster tail until you get to the tail feathers. Next slice the flesh down through until you can turn over and crack the under carriage by pressing firmly down. Next place onto a hot BBQ grill with the flesh facing up. Brush with melted butter infused with tarragon and seaweed. Turn over once the shell of the lobster has turned pink to give the meat a bit of raw flame. Finish by drizzling pastis over the lobster tail and garnish with lemon juice and extra seaweed.

To serve:

I like this dish to be served either with sautéed samphire or a green salad full of texture - try courgette spaghetti, radishes, sugar snaps and little gem tossed in a horseradish and lemon dressing.

Fish Burger

Serves 4

This is essentially my gourmet fish cake that works really well in a toasted bread roll with some harissa mayo and slaw. It’s easy to make, can be prepared in advance and is fast to cook whilst being full of flavour.


150g smoked salmon roughly cut

1kg new potatoes boiled and bashed and cooled

4 spring onions, sliced coarsely

2 red chillies, chopped into rings, seeds and all

100g pitted olives roughly chopped

1tbsp roughly chopped capers

Juice and zest of half a lime

3tbsp roughly chopped coriander

Half a beaten egg

2 tbsp flour

Rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper


Place the potatoes, salmon, spring onions, chilli, olives, capers, egg and coriander into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the flour over and mix it in. Take handfuls of the mixture out of the bowl form them into balls and place them on a baking tray. They can be kept for several hours in the fridge at this stage if necessary. When ready to cook heat a generous portion of oil in your frying pan then add your balls of fish mixture leaving enough space between them so you can squash them and make them into cakes. Once you have your pan full gently press the balls flat with you fish slice. They will not be perfect circles and the ragged appearance due to the lumpy mixture means some bits will be lovely and crunchy. It’s worth giving the pan a gentle shake to ensure the burgers don’t stuck. then leave then until the first side is golden brown – about five minutes depending on the heat. Turn carefully and cook the other side. These fish burgers can also be cooked on the BBQ but delicately...

To serve

I like to toast a small focaccia and spread harissa mayo on one side then place the burger of top followed by a quick pickled slaw made with grated carrot, mandolin fennel and grated apple plus some toasted cumin seeds and cider vinegar.

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