Chef of the Week: Nick Eyre, Head Chef at The Godolphin Arms in Marazion, Cornwall

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I’ve worked at The Godolphin for three and a half years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion started at a young age, it came from learning from my mother. Then, as I was brought up in a pub, I spent my early years helping our chef. After school I did a BTEC 1st Diploma in Hotel Management. I then did an NVQ 2 and 3 at Westminster College. With those qualifications I went on to work in various hotels and restaurants in London.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I enjoy being creative and adding creative flair to the dishes I make. I love the seasonality of food. I enjoy the pressure of the kitchen and of course I enjoy eating!

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
That’s a tricky one, but it would have to be garlic, chocolate and good quality steak.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My radio!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I think street food is still massive. People want food with fusion and flair, something different and something authentic

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Turning off the appliances 5 minutes before closing… someone always comes in late, but I like to live life on the edge!

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Autumn is my favourite time. The season of squashes and root vegetables. I love comfort food and cooking stews and soups.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I’m very proud when I get porridge right at home for my daughter! It’s always too hot, too runny, too sweet, too thick.  You might have heard this one before!

How do you come up with new dishes?
I look in magazines to see what’s new out there. I look at what’s in season and what ingredients I can pair together. When I write a menu my sous chef Mitch Williams, my manager Laura Clerehugh and I sit and bounce ideas off each other. Then Mitch and I start cooking and tasting with the team.

Who was your greatest influence?
My old Head Chef Darren Thompson at Morgan & Stanley in Canary Wharf – Directors fine dining. He showed me how to put passion on a plate, how to make food look beautiful and how to serve it with finesse.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Marco Pierre White, Roux Brothers and Yotam Ottolenghi  – the way he puts flavours together is just magical.

What is your favourite cookbook?
There are so many, but White Heat is a classic with great insights into how a kitchen works. Also Yotam Ottolenghi NOPI for the amazing food and flavours.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I’m really enjoying watching the success of Paul Ainsworth. I love his food.  He’s come a long way and has achieved what he set out to do

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
It’s not new, but I love The Shore Restaurant in Penzance. Chef Bruce Rennie has worked very hard and he creates great food.