Paul Ainsworth reveals his favourite flavours of Cornwall
PUBLISHED: 15:09 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 03 May 2018
Chris Hewitt Photography
Paul Ainsworth has a CV most chefs would get out their well-sharpened knives for - so what does Cornwall have that the Michelin-starred restaurateur can't find anywhere else?
Padstow is a foodlovers paradise: and Paul Ainsworth’s Michelin-starred No 6 is where the true foodies head.
Born in Southampton, Paul’s love of hospitality came from growing up in his mum and dad’s guest house. His career really began when he moved to London at just 18 where he gained tremendous experience working for Gary Rhodes at ‘Rhodes in the Square’, joined Gordon Ramsay at the 3 Michelin star restaurant on Royal Hospital Road and then on to work under Marcus Wareing at Petrus in the Berkeley Hotel.
He has since establish two successful restaurants and accommodation in Cornwall – Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Italian-influenced Rojano’s in the Square and returned to his guest house roots with six boutique bedrooms at Padstow Townhouse.
No stranger to the screen, Paul appeared on the BBC2 TV series Great British Menu in 2011. Competing against some of the nation’s top chefs, Paul represented the South West with his dessert ‘A trip to the fairground’ made it through to the prestigious banquet table.
Paul’s unique cooking was recognised with a Michelin Star, awarded in October 2012 and a 4th AA rosette in September 2016.
In 2014, Paul and his wife Emma took on their biggest project yet by converting an 18th century townhouse hotel into 6 individually designed suites. The ‘Padstow Townhouse’ opened in December 2015 and now completes Paul’s Padstow experience. The beautiful Townhouse offers spacious suites with luxury bathrooms, kitchen pantry/honesty bar and in room spa treatments. It has since been awarded 5 star AA Gold.
Paul and his team work closely with local farmers, fishermen and artisan suppliers to create the dishes at ‘Paul Ainsworth at Number 6’ and ‘Rojano’s in the Square.’
Favourite Cornish ingredient?
So many but the relationship we have with Philip Warren Butchers and all the work we have put into our 50-day age rib of beef has to be a stand out one for me.
What Cornish ingredient couldn’t you do without?
Our Cornish customers. The businesses wouldn’t survive without all the support we have from our local customers when the holiday makers return home and we never take that for granted.
Where’s your favourite place to eat, when not in your kitchen?
Most Sunday’s you will find me, Emma, Aricie and Flossie at Watergate Bay; we love the Living Space and then giving Flossie a good run on the beach.
What’s going to be big in 2018?
I think you will probably see a few more restaurants return to a classic way of eating, where customers will have the choice from an A La Carte menu rather than tasting menu.
What’s your all-time favourite comfort food?
A really, really well made pizza.
What makes Cornish food so special?
I think it’s down to the people, the passion, our climate here is milder which helps and the surroundings are just amazing.
How do you source your ingredients? What do you look for when choosing a local supplier?
We like to buy the best and we are so fortunate to have world class suppliers so local to us. We are also firm believers in great animal welfare, and having the passion and great relationship with our suppliers.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career? Who has inspired you the most?
My dad who sadly passed away in 2015 has always inspired me the most. I can remember I had just finished catering college and he drove me to Portsmouth to buy my first set of Knives. I had saved for a set of Global Knives and as I was buying them, he said: ‘You sure this is the road you want to take, you know chef’s work very unsociable hours and it’s a tough industry’. I assured him I was definitely sure and he said: ‘OK, well if you are sure, give it your all and make sure you only work for the best.’ That always stuck with me and I’ve only worked for three people in my career and make sure I gave them all absolute loyalty. w
Find out more about Paul Ainsworth’s Padstow experience at paul-ainsworth.co.uk