Food Heroes: Paul Stephens

PUBLISHED: 15:20 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:20 01 October 2013

The Alverton head Chef Paul Stephens

The Alverton head Chef Paul Stephens

Ewen MacDonald

How would you describe your food style?

Having worked in many different types of restaurants I don’t like to pigeon hole myself in a style of food. I like to take classical combinations of ingredients and put my own spin on it.

Who has been your greatest food influence?

My style of food and even my personality in the kitchen has been shaped and influenced by every top chef I’ve worked with in the past.

How important is seasonality in your menu?

This is really important to me and I work hard with all of my suppliers to find the best produce for each particular food season.

What is your favourite flavour of Cornwall?

It varies from season to season. At present it would have to be local Cornish strawberries, simply delicious.

What ingredient couldn’t you do without?

From a savory point of view it would have to be onions. They make up the base for most of my cooking as they are an excellent flavour enhancer.

What was your most memorable meal?

Whilst doing the stage placement at The Fat Duck I got to experience the amazing menu there. This has had a lasting effect on the way I cook.

Why did you become a chef?

Whist I was studying photography A level I did a project on food and got roped into helping out in the kitchen whilst I was taking photographs. It sounds corny but I instantly fell in love with the business and knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

What is your food heaven?

Every year on my birthday I treat myself to a breakfast of a whole lobe of foie gras on toast with poached eggs.

What is your idea of food hell?

Kiwi fruit. I’m allergic to it so it would probably kill me!

What’s going to be big in 2013?

For me personally, it will be retro 70’s dishes such as prawn cocktail and nostalgic battenberg, which I’ve included my own versions of these retro classic in the new Alverton menu.

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