Executive Chef at Porthminster Beach Café, Michael Smith, is launching a new book which will enable a legion of devoted local fans and visitors to recreate his best-loved dishes at home. Porthminster Beach Café – The Cookbook will make its debut at the launch party at the restaurant on Friday 17th May, coinciding with the start of the St Ives Food and Drink Festival.
Australian-born Michael sees his new publication as more of a lifestyle book, complete with gorgeous images of St Ives’ scenery and beautiful beaches, information on the locale, and of course the recipes that have become firm favourites at Porthminster Beach Café. It’s a case of seeing dreams in print for this chef, who has wanted to produce this book for quite some time now.
“The time feels right”, he says. “I have the people around me to make it happen. I have included some of the most popular dishes enjoyed at Porthminster Beach Café, simplified so that they will be achievable for anyone interested in food – the book should have a wide appeal. This isn’t a chef’s cookbook, but a lifestyle book for everyone that loves Cornwall, its breath-taking scenery and food.”
Michael goes on to explain: “Many of our ingredients are foraged from hedgerows along the coast path, on the beach, or from our garden. I use local suppliers wherever possible and sustainable fishing is a key part of the restaurant’s ethos and a commitment. I hope that those recreating the dishes in their homes will have easy access to many of the ingredients; growing them for themselves or shopping locally – encouraging low food miles and sustainable thinking.”
Michael trained as a chef at Donovans, on the lively beachfront of St Kilda in Australia’s cosmopolitan city of Melbourne. His travels across Asia have also influenced him and allowed him to explore the ingredients that now help make up his signature style, which he further developed in Edinburgh and then London – where he worked at the award-winning Sugar Club, serving delicious fusion cuisine. A slight Italian influence can also be seen in his cooking. 10 years ago he settled in St Ives, surrounded by finest seafood, and applied his own fusion style to the Porthminster Beach Café menu. The new book will cost £18.95 and will soon be available after the launch, in local bookshops and online at www.porthminstercafe.co.uk. It will also be on sale during the St Ives Food and Drink Festival, from the restaurant.