Food heroes: Bruce Rennie
PUBLISHED: 09:46 29 April 2014
Flying the flag for fresh ingredients using classic French techniques with a Cornish twist, of course...
Head chef for almost five years at The Gurnard’s Head, Bruce Rennie is no stranger to awards: as head chef at Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh he earned a Michelin star and four AA rosettes while also finding time to open a cookery school there. He also earned a Michelin star at Shanks restaurant in Northern Ireland and was at the helm of Gary Rhodes Brasserie which earmed a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
The Gurnard’s Head describes itself as a dining pub with rooms. So how does Bruce match his menu to the awe-inspiring landscape that surrounds him?
How would you describe your food style?
Freshly cooked food with strong classical French influence using as much local produce as possible.
Who has been your greatest food influence?
Martin Wishart: for what I learned about understanding flavour control and combining.
How important is seasonality in your menu?
Very important: that is when the produce is at its very best which is what all chefs should aspire to serve to the guests. It also allows the produce to be controlled and its maximum sustainability to be realised.
What is your favourite flavour of Cornwall?
There are too many to choose from – Cornish Duck company, Primrose Herd rare breed pork, Duchy Game...
What was your most memorable meal?
My first meal in a small restaurant in the north of France. Dessert was crème caramel and it was sublime!
Why did you become a chef?
I studied architecture then sound engineering but had no money to continue my education. I was working front of house so decided to try my hand in the kitchen at a large hotel. I didn’t last long as I wanted to push my learning curve and work in the best places I could (hence my starting salary of £6,000 a year!)
What is your food heaven?
Probably scallops, served any way really – ceviche, tartare, fried, baked, ‘en croute’.
What is your idea of food hell?
Fast food in general. Greasy, unhealthy options.
What’s going to be big in 2014?
‘Superfoods’ products. It looks like there is a bit of a revival of ancient grains in modern cookery exploring different starch options alongside other foods high in antioxidant properties.