8:30 a.m. June 13, 2022
Su Carroll experiences the fine dining on offer at Hotel St Enodoc.
Any chef worth their salt understands the importance of using local produce and Chef Guy Owen of Hotel St Enodoc in Rock is no exception. From his vantage point overlooking the Camel Estuary, he can see the Porthilly Shellfish oyster and mussel beds where the bivales that end up in his kitchen begin their lives.
The hotel was purchased by the current owners in 2019 and is run by family members Lucy and James Strachan. Chef Guy joined the team to run the kitchens of the Brasserie and the new gastronomic space, Karrek, which opened ten days before the start of the lockdown. Instead of tasting menus, Guy and the team produced tasty menus for nurses, doctors and healthcare workers. In all, they prepared over 8,000 meals thanks to fundraising and great supplier support.
Now that the memories of lockdown are fading, Guy is back to doing what he loves – looking after residents and providing a special dining experience.
“To be special, a restaurant has to do everything that makes you feel good,” he says. “We always say we take food seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We want people to see this as a home away from home, but we also have enough technical skills to satisfy a foodie.
“The menu is very locally focused. Cornwall is field to fork and there is really good food here. Most of the garden contains food we can eat, from the tiny honey-sweet leaves to the three types of Asian limes we grow.
Today, we’re all aware of food miles, but Guy says other environmental issues are also important. “We have taken a step back from the notion of food miles. We prefer to say “well cooked local food”.
“The meat comes from Made-Well Farm in Hatherleigh in Devon. That might mean more ‘food miles’, but it’s a nonprofit with a cafe that supports people with disabilities and we get our beef and lamb here. During the lockdown, all of our guys went there to help with the lambing. They wanted to go back this year!
“We are also working with one of the local vegetable suppliers to use hemp or jute bags. We don’t want anything to go into plastics.
Guy’s parents ran a bistro and as a teenager he went to work at The Salamander in Mevagissey where Steve, the owner, took him under his wing. At the Rising Sun in St Mawes, Ann Long told him he needed more experience and so he went to work in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen. “I spent about four to five years in London and moved to Devon to work with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park,” Guy explains. “I had a job offer to go to Australia but needed a hand operation. So I went to help a mate at the Cornwall Hotel, met my wife and… well, I’m still there !
Guy arrived in St Enodoc via The Driftwood Hotel and The Idle Rocks. Here he has two spaces to play – the Brasserie (where breakfast is also served) and Karrek (a Cornish word meaning rock). He seems a happy man.
“I have two young children and I live in a county where people come here for the lifestyle. I do what I love. We have a great team and I feel very lucky.
Karrek Tasting Menu
Cornish Snacks: “We have a small bite of fish and chips and a mackerel taco – it’s like being by the sea,” says Guy.
Cultured Butter Pretzel: The sticky sweet and salty taste of a pretzel with soft, doughy bread.
Scallop Diver, Sauce Jacqueline, Carrot, Caviar: Who would have thought carrots could have such a special taste?
Cornish Crab Quiche: “We put seaweed in the batter and we use the whole crab with white crab inside and a brown crab mousse. We try to be cheerful. It’s a crab quiche on the menu!
Oyster and mussel risotto: “A very safe dish, but textures are important. »
Mum’s favorite bouillabaisse: “Everywhere I worked, my mother asked me to put bouillabaisse on the menu. She likes it with big chunks of fish. So I put it here with a different style and concept – a thick sauce full of flavor and with a piece of fish on top.
Roast Duck, Shiitake, Rhubarb: “It spends 24 hours in seaweed brine. It is torched, roasted and torched again and brushed with honey. A lot of work goes into this dish but it’s worth it. I love the savory taste of rhubarb.
Cucumber, Lime, Mint, Lemon and Honey: “The concept is pretty clear with these. We prepare your palate for the next course.
“Vienetta” with rhubarb and white chocolate: “Retro. And funny.’