Here’s some really exciting news! Amazing chef and keen local food fan Jack Clayton is going to be contributing food articles to the Tamar Valley Vibe.
Jack’s cooking is well known and highly regarded by many in the Torpoint and Looe areas. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to eat his dishes you’ve really missed out. His food is delicious, his passion for using local seasonal ingredients is inspiring and he’s also a thoroughly nice bloke!
Here we find out a little more about Jack.
TVV: Tell us about your career so far
Jack: I started my chef career in 2009 in my hometown Nottingham, after leaving the Royal Marines due to medical discharge, and worked my way up in some of the best restaurants in the East Midlands.
My first time as a head chef was at The Red Lion Inn in Leicestershire, I achieved a Michelin Bib Gourmand 2013 and won the Good Food Guide Regional Dining Pub Of The Year award 2014. After these achievements, my partner Theresa and I decided to follow our dream and move to Cornwall.
Cooking fish is my passion and I couldn’t think of a better place to cook with such wonderful local produce on offer. I became head chef of The Gurnards Head in South West Cornwall and we were listed as one of the ‘top ten gastropubs in Great Britain’ by The Telegraph.
Two years later Theresa and I moved to The Carew Arms, at Antony on the Rame Peninsula. I became head chef and Theresa was the front of house manager. We started there as part of a new venture following refurbishment of the pub. The Rame Peninsula (and surrounding area) has so much amazing local produce on offer it enabled me to create menus with a strong field to fork ethos.
A year later, in 2018, we were awarded a Michelin Guide Regional Stand Out Award, an achievement we are hugely proud of. After being at the pub for two years, and with a little one on the way, we decided to move on and I took up the opportunity to become Head Chef of another new opening venture at The Old Sardine Factory, Looe.
Despite being open for less than a year, we have already become a confirmed entry in The Michelin Guide 2020 and The Trenchermans Guide.
TVV: How does local produce feature in your cooking?
Jack: We spend a lot of time in the Tamar Valley, taking advantage of the local produce for my menu at The Sardine Factory, whilst enjoying walks with the dog and our son Geoffrey.
Working in Cornwall I have established great relationships with local suppliers. There is nothing better than receiving fish fresh that morning from right on your doorstep! Using local produce allows me to create seasonal menus using the freshest ingredients.
With all my menus I aim to use produce within a 10 mile radius. We are so lucky in this part of the World with everything on offer from fish, game and foraged produce. These are some of my favourite ingredients and I am a keen forager often spending my spare time foraging with my dog Harley for the pub menu.
TVV: What’s the most important gadget every home kitchen needs?
Jack: It would have to be a Mandolin or failing that a good blender. My choice would be a Vitamix blender
TVV: Describe your Perfect Meal Out
Jack: With a little one we often go for lunch rather than dinner around Cornwall and Devon. We love getting lots of smaller dishes and sharing around the table. We choose places that use local produce and located where we can go for a nice walk afterwards.
TVV: Truth please! What do chefs eat at home and who does the cooking?
Jack: Like all chefs, food at home is often a grab and go between services. You are trying food from the menu throughout the day so you often don’t fancy a meal when your at home. On my days off I often cook fresh fish from Looe. When I am at work Theresa will cook and leave me something to have for when I get home at night.
TVV: Can you explode any food myths that really irritate you?
Jack: That people think that certain foods, like pork, cannot be served pink! I really don’t like it when meats and fish are overcooked as the all the protein comes out of the food!
More from Jack coming soon, in the meantime why not follow him on instagram?
Both images in this article were provided by and remain © Jack Clayton.