Chef of the Week: Sean Sjoholm, Head Chef at New Yard Restaurant in Helston

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have worked at the New Yard Restaurant for about 18 months.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I trained at Cornwall College Camborne campus and my passion is heavily influenced by the nature around me.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The creativity and camaraderie of the people I work with.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Butter, proper sea salt and when I’m home: crispy onions – They can go on anything!

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Despite all my knives I’d be lost without my fish slice.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Sustainable and ethical cooking. Cooking what’s growing around you and isn’t damaging the planet.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Overcomplicating and over-garnishing, trust the flavours in your food.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I love spring, so many forgeable plants and seeing everything spring back to life.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Our lobster with lardo dish is a big favourite of mine, also the cured monkfish with its own liver is a standout.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Easy! Take a walk through our walled garden and see what’s ready to harvest.

Who was your greatest influence?
Everyone you ever meet influences you in some way, everyone can teach you something you didn’t expect.

Tell us three chefs you admire.

What is your favourite cookbook?
At the minute is the Noma 2.0 book, creativity off the scale.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Dan Cox at Crocadon Farm, Rich Adams at Argoe in Newlyn and obviously the team at the New Yard!

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Not a new restaurant per se, but 45 Queen Street in Penzance have had a big refurb and have been putting out some great food this year.