Chef of the Week: Timothy Kendall – Head Chef at The Barley Sheaf in Gorran, Cornwall

The Barley Sheaf Timothy Kendall

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
We took over The Barley Sheaf at the end of January; so, 6 months.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
If you could see the size of me when I was younger you could see I liked to eat. I wanted to be a policeman but I have asthma so I was told I would never pass the physical exam, instead I became a chef.

I went to Cornwall College in St Austell, whilst there I managed to get a position at Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, I then went to London and worked for Marcus Wareing and Michel Roux Junior at Le Gavroche. After working in London for 2 years, I came back to Cornwall to take on stages at St Moritz Hotel with Jamie Porter, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 and Chris Eden at Driftwood.

In July 2014 I took a break from the kitchen before going back to the Seafood Restaurant in January 2016. In January 2017, I started working for Guy Owen, at The Idle Rocks in St Mawes, Cornwall, where I was promoted to Head Chef in 2019.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I like being creative even though I am not a creative person, it is also one of the only jobs in the world where you can use all 5 senses. This industry is unique as hard work can beat talent.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
I love aromatics so it has to be thyme, garlic and butter

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Defiantly a Kitchen Aid – you can do so many things with it, you can even roll pasta with it now.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
You see a lot of people using Asian ingredient in their dishes, also everything is cooked on a BBQ now. Saves electricity I guess!!

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Young chefs that want to be the next celebrity chef, not being themselves. Always looking for promotion and pay rise before they are ready.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why? 
It must be autumn; it is my favourite time of year also. I love it when the game season starts, and the days start get darker.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
My ice cream and sorbets recipes at Idle Rocks.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Looking through my supplier’s catalogues of ingredients, if they sound tasty I will get a few ideas, then imagine tasting it and go from there.

Who was your greatest influence?
I have two. Stephane Delourme for being a friend, mentor, and master at fish cookery and Guy Owen – an incredible chef, leader and purist. Both have made an impact in my career.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Rick Stein, Daren Velvick and Chris Eden.

What is your favourite cookbook?
I have a big cookbook collection, but I have to say Out of My Tree Midsummer House. Its one of the greatest modern cookery books.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
– Guy Owen at Karrek
– Chris Eden at Gidleigh park
– Elly Wentworth – The Angel

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Guy Owen’s plans for Karrek is going to be exiting, I look forward to be eating there.