Wild Harbour

Sustainability is a priority here at the beach. We are continually pushing the boundaries in an attempt to neutralise our impact on the environment and, wherever possible, to have a positive effect on our surroundings.

One example is our policy on sourcing fish. We have done our best to research the most sustainable options available, and have built our menu around seasonality, life cycles and an evolving understanding of local fish stocks.

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One company we are lucky enough to work with is Wild Harbour. Based in Hayle just across St Ives Bay, Wild Harbour supply 100% sustainable fish from their own boat and other small Cornish fishing vessels. Each fish is traceable back to the fisherman who caught it, as Wild Harbour is part of the Southwest Handline Fishermen’s Association which operates a tagging scheme. The company is also commited to paying fishermen a fair price for their efforts.

Wild Harbour was the brain-child of Saul and Abi Astrinsky, who explained their relationship with Porthminster:

“The Porthminster Beach Cafe has been part of the journey for Wild Harbour right from the beginning – from before we existed actually!  When Saul was fishing full time he used to drop Mick some Sea Bass from time to time and it was the enthusiasm of Mick and his team for the quality, freshness and most of all our sustainable roots, that made us think that perhaps Wild Harbour could become a reality.”

It’s fantastic to work with a local business who share our ethos so perfectly. Abi from Wild Harbour explained further:

“We believe that the sustainability and traceability of our fish is of the utmost importance.  We only supply wild, sustainably caught fish from the local inshore fleet and every individual fish or shellfish is traceable back to the fisherman who caught it.  We also believe that our handpicked, in shore fishermen are special! They keep their fish to such a high standard, that we choose to set a fair price for their fish and keep this throughout the year.”

Respecting the breeding seasons of certain species and relying on less intensive fishing methods means that our menu has to be adaptable to change. Daily specials allow us to make the most of a fresh haul, whilst we take species off the menu if stocks are low and therefore in danger of not being properly replenished.

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Our Sea Bass, Mackerel, Pollock and several other species are supplied by Wild Harbour. We hope that by supporting the sustainable fishing industry, Cornwall’s fish stocks can be managed responsibly to meet the needs of locals and visitors, at home and in restaurants, to enjoy in years to come.

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‘The New West Country Cook Book’ Launched

On Monday 2nd December, a ‘culinary collective’ of the South West’s top chefs gathered at Watergate Bay for the launch of photographer David Griffen’s The New West Country Cook Book.

The book aims “to showcase the region’s culinary talent and high quality produce through beautiful photography and home-cooked recipes.”

wccb-mick-smith-01David has been documenting the burgeoning food scene in the South West for over 10 years, becoming an influential figure in the industry himself along the way. “Working with David is always exciting and reassuring in equal measure,” said Porthminster Executive Chef Michael Smith. “He is knowledgeable and passionate about food. David’s work shows off each chef’s creativity and individuality, which is what makes this collection of images and recipes so exciting.”

David explained how he first dreamed up the idea of bringing the culinary talent of the South West together. “The idea for the book came from watching the chefs working together at festivals and demonstrations; in quiet moments backstage they were talking as a group and to each other and sharing ideas and experiences – there was a real sense of mutual support.”

The book features recipes from 17 chefs including Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Caines, Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix, Tom Kerridge, Chris Eden and Porthminster’s Michael Smith.

Focusing on key ingredients that can be found or foraged locally, the recipes emphasise the flavours of food in a uniquely West Country style, all of which is captured through stunning photography.

wccb-mick-smith-02Nathan Outlaw, who has won two Michelin stars for his restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, said: “Over the last ten years the camaraderie amongst the chefs of the South West has increased. I enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking with other chefs, and I think it is good for the chefs who work with me to see other styles. It’s great to have these extra influences in the kitchen.”

David added: “The brief given to each chef was the same – no fancy techniques, just honest home cooking, with a focus on the region’s produce.”

Tom Kerridge, who grew up in Gloustershire and runs the two Michelin starred Hand Flowers in Marlow said: “The standard of cooking in the South West over the last few years has risen dramatically, with the increase of a number of home grown South Western chefs opening their own places or becoming head chefs in their own right in some fantastic venues.”

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 The New West Country Cookbook is now available to buy at Porthminster Beach Cafe, alongside our very own cookbook.

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming and at Porthminster we’re looking forward to the busy festive season. Our Christmas and New Year opening times can be found here (please book early to avoid disappointment!).

If you can’t visit us to make merry, why not order a copy of Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book?

More than just a recipe book, you will find inspiring images and ideas to help you recreate the fresh flavours of Porthminster at home.

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We wanted the book to capture the joy of cooking and living in such a remarkable location.

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Look out for foraging tips and a tour of our much-loved garden, which sits just next to the Café.

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We parted with some recipes for iconic dishes, including our famous Monkfish Curry, Tempura Courgette Flowers and Sticky Asian Pork.

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Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book has fast become an emblem of Cornwall’s rich and diverse food culture. To buy online click here.

The book is also available to purchase at the restaurant.

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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.

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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!