Updated: Aug 1, 2022
As a county that’s renowned around the world for its exceptional culinary offering, it’s fair to say that food is a key part of the ‘experience’ that visitors travel to Cornwall for.
This month, in time for spring, we explore an alternative way of sampling culinary Cornwall. That is, hiring one of the region’s private chefs to cook up a veritable feast for you and your family or friends in the comfort of your holiday home from home.
Hiring a private chef might seem like an extravagance, especially when Bude and the wider north Cornwall area are home to a myriad of exemplary restaurants, cafés and other foodie ‘must-visits’. But if treated like just another night out, for one night only you can drop the stresses of booking a table, the straw-drawing for a designated driver, and just enjoy the experience. It’s also a great alternative for those who love inviting guests over to entertain as, with a private chef, you needn’t worry about building a menu, or cooking, or cleaning down afterwards; instead you can become a guest at your very own party, socialising with your family or friends while the work’s done for you. Finally, because hiring a private chef is not something you’re likely to do every day, it becomes an experience that you and your group will remember for years to come, and surely that’s the definition of the ultimate staycation in Cornwall?
Sound good? If so, here are just five of the many chefs for hire that Cornwall has to offer.
1. Nicky Vereker Always happy to provide you with some top-notch home-cooked food during your stay, Nicky can either drop food off to you, ready to reheat at your convenience, or provide a full chef service complete with waiting staff.
She brings more than 30 years’ experience in the catering business to your event, including many spent catering for private groups and individuals, including business directors in the city, as well as private functions and even villa holidays abroad. Nicky loves adapting to individual needs and dietary requirements, and the food is especially cooked for each delivery of function. She offers a variety of cuisines, too, including modern British, French, Italian and Indian, and is constantly looking for ways to champion Cornish produce where possible.
2. Dave Sargent
Dave, or ‘Chef’ Sargent was born and raised in north Cornwall, his passion for food starting from a young age. In May 2007 he embarked on his dream and began a whole new culinary journey, creating wonderful events for those in search of a private chef and bringing the restaurant experience to their homes.
Dave personally sources all the ingredients himself; with the abundance of fresh seafood landed locally, and an array of quality local produce to boot, there’s really no limit to how decadent your experience can be. Together, he and the Chef Sargent team tailor each dining experience to your exact requirements, providing exceptional plates for groups big and small, be it for a family celebration, or a cosy night in for two. They’ll even set the table, serve food and wine, and most importantly, leave your kitchen spotless – just the way they found it.
3. The Aussie Smoker
Here at Elite West Holidays we’re proud to offer holiday makers an exceptional portfolio of properties, many with plenty of outdoor space in which to while away an afternoon beneath the Cornish sun. And what could be better on a sunny day than the alluring smell of a barbecue, around which you and your nearest and dearest can share some quality time al fresco whilst you enjoy the fruits of the grill. This is the driving force behind Pitmaster, Adam and his ever-growing business, The Aussie Smoker.
Growing up in Perth, Adam was surrounded by family, food and fun times, with almost every event having some sort of barbecue at its heart. Here in Cornwall, with more than 20 years’ experience of barbeque under his belt, Adam draws on tried-and-tasted family recipes to create a private catering experience for your group – one that comes highly recommended. And contrary to what you might think, Adam’s barbecue isn’t all about meat. His real passion lies in making sure that everybody experiences the true flavours of the grill, which is why he ensures veggies and vegans are extremely well catered for. It could even be argued that due to the diversity of his menu, many eat eaters are actually eating more veggies and salads than they used to!
Don’t take our word for it though. Check out Adam’s sample menu, or better still, get in touch and see how he can help you and your guests enjoy the ultimate al fresco feast. Even if you relish the role of ‘pitmaster’ for yourself, the Aussie Smoker Shop has plenty to help you add some Australian authenticity to your cook-out, while his blog has some tried-and-tasted recipes to inspire your menu.
4. Angels in the Kitchen
If you’re thinking of hiring a private chef to deliver you an evening of culinary excellence that’s completely tailored to you, then The Angels in the Kitchen might just be able to help. Founded on the belief that such an experience should be completely led by you, the client, Sarah and Kirsten’s approach to private dining ensures that no two events are ever the same.
When they’re not cooking, this entrepreneurial pair can be found at the beach with their families. This means that they understand what it means to lead the ultimate Cornish lifestyle, if only for a short time, and at the core of their business is a determination to deliver you the kind of Cornish foodie experience that will add the cherry to the cake of your perfect day by the sea.
Specialising in catering for large groups, it’s always worth calling this dynamic culinary duo to ensure availability before somebody beats you to it, especially as the demand for experiences such as these become all the more popular. If you do manage to secure a date, however, you’ll be able to indulge in the richest Cornish flavours, with fully bespoke menus taking full advantage of both coast and countryside. It could be canapés, a barbecue, a formal sit-down meal, a relaxed family celebration, or even a hen do; whatever you have in mind, Kirsten and Sarah pride themselves on impeccable standards and superior service, and take enormous joy from customer satisfaction.
5. Duchy Chef Led by Craig Barrett, a classically trained chef with a background that includes working for some of London’s finest establishments, Duchy Chef is founded on a philosophy that yearns to showcase Cornwall’s natural larder in all its glory.
Craig achieves this by creating exciting dishes outside of the restaurant environment, making finer dining accessible to all. He combines his formidable culinary talents and all-encompassing passion for food with a love for local, seasonal produce, and is proud to create vibrant, flavourful, beautifully presented plates that you and your guests will absolutely love. And because he and his team understand that every event is unique, they will work with you to build a menu that promises to delight your guests and make your evening as memorable as one spent in even the finest of restaurants. He can even provide waiting and bar staff for larger groups. Perhaps our favourite part of what Duchy Chef does, however, is how the chefs introduce each dish – highlighting the provenance of the ingredients and giving an insight into what inspired them to create it. It’s an immersive dining experience that proffers a true sense of occasion, the kind that even the finest of restaurants would struggle to compete with.