StreetSmart 2013 – Time to make a difference

StreetSmart is a national campaign to help the homeless through voluntary £1 donations from those dining in the country’s top restaurants during November and December. Porthminster Beach Café is taking part for the first time this year, in what is hoped will be a record-breaking campaign in Cornwall.

All money raised in Cornwall will stay within the county, as administration costs are paid by national StreetSmart sponsor Deutsche Bank.  Therefore every pound donated goes solely to the three benefitting local charities – St Petroc’s Society, the Cornwall Women’s Refuge Trust and the Cornish branches of Foodbank. Need is greater than ever, with foodbanks in particular now in high demand, and everyone involved is hoping that the public will get behind the campaign and help us make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people this winter.

Front of house manager Rebecca Symons said she hopes it is a successful campaign. “In December we are very busy in the run up to Christmas so hopefully we  manage to raise a good amount,” she said. “I think it will be a good thing – I don’t think people will mind donating £1.”

So, if your visiting us over the next few months please look out for table cards with more information. Your voluntary contribution is a very easy way to have a positive impact on troubled lives this festive season.

 

News Flash – Porthminster Shortlisted For ‘Best Restaurant’!

On the 8th October, the finalists in this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards were announced and Porthminster Beach Café is very pleased to say that we have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Restaurant’ category. This means that we will either achieve bronze, silver or even gold at the awards ceremony on the 7th November.

We were particularly happy to learn that we were shortlisted from a record number of entries, following a rigorous judging process involving a panel of industry professionals. Competition is tough though, as we are up against The Herring at Mawgan Porth and Outlaw’s at Rock for the top spot.

From the official press release:

“Presented by Visit Cornwall, the Cornwall Development Company tourism service, the Awards have a double purpose as Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, explains: “Cornwall is full of some amazing businesses who are continually developing and improving their offering. By recognising and rewarding this, the Awards celebrate and showcase excellence which in turn inspires quality across the industry.”

Thank you to all our fantastic staff for helping us get this far. Please keep everything crossed for us for the 7th November!

chloe

 

Autumn Cocktail – ‘The Ginger Tonka’

A recipe finely-tuned through the collaborative efforts of our own cocktail maestro Rowan (pictured below) and Exec Chef Michael Smith. The following is a great tipple to warm you from head to toe as the dark nights draw in.

*Tonka beans are an exotic seed. They are firm but a little wrinkley, and have a flavour similar to vanilla with subtle hints of spice and fruit. They are used sparingly to add unique undertones of flavour to dishes and drinks. You can buy the beans online or in good health food stores.

1. You’ll need to start by making an easy, flavoured sugar syrup. Add chopped ginger, a chopped chilli and a sprinkling of tonka beans to a warm solution of sugar and water. Leave this to infuse for 24 hours and then drain. Keep in the fridge.

2. When you’re ready to make the cocktail, pour 50ml of your syrup into a tall glass with lots of ice. Add 50ml whiskey, a dash of Cornish Orchards Cider and garnish with a slice of apple.

And that’s it – a brilliant seasonal cocktail with a unique flavour.

Do you have a winter cocktail for us to try? If you’ve created your own (and it tastes good) let us know and we’ll ask Rowan to road test it for the blog!

Rowan

Food Mag Readers Awards 2014

The annual food Reader Awards are voted for exclusively by the public, so they are a great reflection what is really going on right now in the food and drink scene across the South West.

Food Reader awards logo

In 2013 we were lucky enough to scoop the Best Cafe award, and we promised you we were going to try even harder to impress you this year! So, if you’ve enjoyed visiting us, please take a moment to vote for Porthminster Beach Cafe, either as your favourite restaurant or cafe, we’re not fussy. There are also awards for the best wine list and, don’t tell him we said this, but isn’t it time Michael Smith won Best Chef?!

Voting has opened for the shortlist and closes on November 21st. Then on December 1st the  finalists will be announced in each category and you’ll be able to vote for them until the end of January.

Ladies and gentlemen, cast your votes!

Autumn Forage & Feast Dates Announced

Last spring saw the introduction of our popular ‘Forage and Feast’ days at Porthminster Beach Café, in collaboration with ecologist and forager Caroline Davey of Fat Hen. The opportunity to discover the diverse wild food of St Ives Bay returns this autumn, as new dates have been announced.

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On the 4th and 18th November Caroline will once again be guiding small groups, exploring the hedgerows, footpaths and shoreline in the immediate vicinity of the Café. The route reflects the daily incursions of the Porthminster chefs, led by Michael Smith, as they harvest the bounty afforded by their unique location.

Participants will meet at the Café for coffee, before beginning their foray along the beach and coastal path. Botanical expert Caroline will guide the group through the secrets of harvesting delicious wild food full of flavour, whilst keen forager Michael will explain what his chefs look out for as they gather plants, herbs and seaweed from their immediate environment.

“Autumn provides a rewarding range of tastes and textures for the foraging enthusiast” says Caroline, who will be looking out for things like pennywort, sorrel, wood sorrel, nettles, pepper dulse, laver and cow parsley. “This day course is perfect for anyone keen to discover the amazing produce growing all around them, and how to use even just a small touch of these free ingredients to transform the way they cook at home.”

Once back at the Beach Café, Michael will cook up a feast. Using the results of the morning forage, he will create a three course meal. Participants will have the opportunity to see him in action, and learn about the techniques which bring those seasonal ingredients together. This late lunch will be served to the group in the café, overlooking the beach.

Foraging 024

“We forage daily around Porthminster Beach at all times of year,” explained Michael. “Each new season brings its rewards. At the onset of autumn our cooking turns towards warming, earthy flavours and foraging plays a key role in that seasonal shift. Harvesting food from our surroundings has become an integral part of what we do here at the beach and we’re keen to share our passion and give some of our secrets away.”

To book, visit www.fathen.org where you can find a booking form under ‘Courses and Events’.

Course dates – 4th and 18th November, meet at the Café at 10am.

£50pp including coffee and pastries, a two hour forage and a three course lunch.

Autumn Recipe – Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

This is a fantastic recipe for when the nights start to draw in, with its warming earthy flavours of cider, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle. The following serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.

Ingredients

400g Pork Cheeks – fat removed (you can ask you butcher to do this)

200ml local cider

Good quality apple juice, to cover

1/2 apple

1/4 fennel bulb

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

 

(Jerusalem Artichoke Puree)

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

25g butter

150ml cider sauce (see above)

10 small Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced

25ml double cream

A splash of truffle oil

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

Fresh oregano

Method

Add all the ingredients for the pork cheeks to a sauce pan, making sure the meat is well covered. Cover with a lid. Place on a very low heat and simmer for approximately one hour or until the meat is tender, keeping the lid slightly ajar.

Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside for later. Strain the liquid through a sieve, return to the pan and reduce until it lightly coats the back of a spoon.

For the puree, melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, coat in the butter, and add 150ml of the cider sauce. Cook out the liquid until the artichokes are soft and then blitz them to a fine consistency. Add a splash of truffle oil and the cream, stirring well. Season to taste.

Place a small portion of the puree on each plate, top with the pork cheeks (slice if you prefer) and garnish with the toasted pine nuts and oregano leaves.

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks