The beaches. I love how small it is, I like the beaches, and I think it’s a really lovely place to raise a family.
Yeah, I often came home and the bath was full of crabs, and lobsters, and mum was complaining because his clothes were stinking out the kitchen; I have lots of fond memories of it! I got to dance around the Steeple when I was younger, because you can only do that when you’re a fisherman’s daughter. A couple of times I’ve been digging around in the harbour catching cockles, and I feel lucky being able to do stuff like that, and being able to walk to the end of the harbour and see what fish are about, because it’s not always the same thing.
People usually email me and ask me for a sample menu, and then we’ll work together, usually over a few weeks, sometimes months if they’ve booked a really long time in advance, until we’ve written a menu that they all like. Quite often I’ll send it to one person, they’ll send it to everyone else and then it might be that we’ll change this and that. The process of actually writing the menu is very important, so there’s a lot of contact between me and my clients before they arrive on their holiday.
Usually, a client will ask me to send a sample menu to get a rough idea of the style of food I cook, and nine times out of ten they end up picking something off the menu. I usually say to them, okay, does the person whose special occasion it is, do they have any favourite foods? Sometimes people will send it to you straight away and they’ll know exactly what they want and sometimes people have literally no idea and you might have to send a few ideas back and forth. I often ask if there’s a favourite pudding or a particular protein they want, and I’ll work with that and once I get a little bit of feedback I usually send them two or three options, usually of a fish, a meat, and a dessert, and then they’ll have a pick through and we go from there then.
No, just January is affecting my work! There’s not many people here in January. No, I don’t always work protein first, I just try to get a protein, whether it’s fish, meat or whatever and which way round they like it. I recently cooked for some guests, there were 16 of them, and they had a vegan, a meat and a fish course. That was actually really hard work, but they enjoyed it. I love vegetarian food myself, so I’ve got some amazing vegan desserts that I do. Anything is possible, is what I usually say.
I cook a lot at home. I love barbeques, we do so many barbeques in the summer it’s ridiculous! And I love cooking over a wood fire, that’s something I do a lot at home, and something I can do for clients as well.
My partner’s a very good cook as well, he enjoys cooking, so we do it together, and my son loves cooking as well, he likes all the baking side of it, so my kitchen is always full of life!
I’m just about to start up this year, alongside the private cheffing, a small wedding catering business. I’ve got a wedding booked in May for 27 people, and I think to do petite weddings might be a really nice thing. So that’s my next little project, which I’m sorting out a website for at the moment. It’s as Cornish as a wedding can be, you’re in Cornwall and everything you’re eating is Cornish, and I think that’s a very big part of it for people who want to get married in Cornwall. There’s a reason why they chose to get married here – it’s not just the beauty, it’s the beauty of what’s available as well. I don’t want to go too big with the private cheffing – I like the idea of being a small niche project. I like the fact that I’ve never over advertised myself – every phone call, every email, every single job I’ve had has been via recommendation.