Spring is such an exciting time to be a food-lover in Cornwall, with loads of fresh local produce appearing, new dishes finding their way onto menus, and a busy calendar of events to look forward to. So, for my food experiences column this month, I’ve decided to give you a heads-up on my pick of the feasts, pop-ups, courses and festivals to put in your diary or book in the months ahead to help you make the most of it. Enjoy!
Wine Meets Architecture, Kudhva, Trebarwith Strand, 24th March
The venue for this event is Kudhva (Cornish for hideout) – a collection of off-grid, off-ground cabins secluded amidst an old slate quarry overtaken by nature. Take the opportunity to explore – or stay the night if you can – the site is designed to be an inspiring escape from digitally-saturated modern life.
Sommelier Debbie Warner, who created the Wild Wine Club to share her love of interesting wines and the stories behind them, will introduce five carefully-chosen bottles. Each is from a winery where architecture also plays an important role, such as Rocca di Frassinello in Maremma, Tuscany.
Spring Pop-Ups, 30th March – 2nd April, 27th & 28th April
You heard it here first! These are some of the most exciting ‘pop-ups’ around and always sell out quickly. East Quay Canteen is normally a prep kitchen for Ryan Venning and Emma Banks’ wedding and event catering company, but on certain occasions throughout the year it is transformed into an atmospheric quayside dining room – the stuff of dreams for food stylists and travel magazines.
Each event is given a food theme and these are yet to be decided, but with Ryan’s cooking pedigree (he was Head Chef at Porthminster Beach Café for many years) it’s bound to be great. Follow East Quay Canteen on Facebook to be in with a chance of booking a spot…
Run by sourdough maestro Ben Glazer, the newly-opened bakery at Coombeshead Farm supplies restaurants, hotels and farm shops around Cornwall as well as the general public. Ben’s Sunday bread-making workshops are suitable for all abilities. Starting at midday, a few hours of baking will help you work up an appetite for a hearty three course Sunday lunch.
Covering a range of breads, Ben will guide you through the complete process from maintaining your sourdough starter, to proving, shaping and baking your loaf. You’ll leave with the fruits of your day’s labour; baked loaves, doughs, a recipe booklet, and a proving basket as well as your very own sourdough starter.
Vegan Wild Food Cookery Course, 20th April, 22nd June & 15th September
Veganism is a growing trend and increasingly seen as a positive choice for individual health and the global environment. This course led by forager and ecologist Caroline Davey is for people who would like to learn how to incorporate wild foods into a plant-based diet free of animal products.
Caroline will lead a two-hour forage followed by a cookery session focusing on seasonal herbs, vegetables, seaweeds, flowers, roots, berries and fungi alongside other plant-based ingredients. The kind of dishes created will include Japanese dashi broth with seaweeds, sesame-crusted tofu with wild greens and seaweed, and wild kimchi.
The entire harbourside of Porthleven becomes a carnival of food, drink and music for this 3-day celebration which, for me, marks the start of the busy summer season. Spend a few hours perusing the many food stalls; shop for some great Cornish produce to try at home and sample as much as you can squeeze in from the plethora of eclectic street food vendors.
You may want to time your visit to watch your favourite chef give a demonstration (check out the festival website for details) or, if you’re just as interested in the bands and evening entertainment, consider making a weekend of it and booking camping or glamping.
This unique food festival makes the most of its amazing location – right on the sands of Porthminster beach. Bars, local musicians, produce stalls, street food and chef demos can all be enjoyed with a backdrop of the sand and sea of St Ives Bay, and the picturesque harbour across the water.
A food trail around the town, water sports activities, beach barbeques and evening music sessions make this a fantastic weekend to be in St Ives.
Also Look Out For…
I’m hearing rumours that experience dining company Woodfired Canteen are planning an epic event in one of Cornwall’s most jaw-dropping locations later this year. To be in with a chance of attending you’ll need to head to their website and sign up to the newsletter.
The Hidden Hut won’t be unveiling their 2018 Feast Night line-up for a little while yet, but it’s bound to be packed with mouth-watering themes. Keep an eye on the website for the date when tickets go on sale.
Yallah Coffee have promised that Brunch On The Farm will return this year. Craft makers and musicians join chefs and coffee-lovers for a long weekend of workshops, meals and entertainment at Yallah HQ near Falmouth. More news coming soon on social media…
Details weren’t yet available as we went to print, but Nancarrow Farm are planning to host a Spring Gathering 12th – 14th April. If previous events are anything to go by then this will be a 2018 food highlight. Sign up to the newsletter for the chance to join the feasting.
The Brian Etherington Meat Company are about to release dates of up-coming classes in their butchery academy. Courses will cover a variety of types and levels of butchery and will lead into summer barbeque workshops. Details will be published on the website.
Fancy becoming part of a community of food lovers and receiving invitations to regular events? Potluck Cornwall’s (pot luck because you never know where the next event will be, or what it will entail!) Chat & Eat Nights take place at restaurants across Cornwall, giving members a chance to enjoy new dining experiences. Simply join the mailing list on the website for in-box alerts.