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Star Gazing

The most coveted of culinary achievements – a Michelin Star can make or break a restaurant. We catch up with Padstow’s own Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth about just what makes a restaurant stellar.

Suggestions for superior suppers…

Quality ingredients, enticing ambience, fresh approaches, Padstow and surrounds have their fair share of premium places to eat. Here’s just a handful…

The Seafood Restaurant – No Padstow break is complete without sampling Stein’ s fare. Opened by Rick Stein and Jill Stein in 1975, The Seafood Restaurant on the harbourside is famous for the freshest fish and shellfish.

Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen – A double Michelin Star-awarded chef, Outlaw is a culinary powerhouse. For fine dining further afield, try out Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac or for dinner closer to home, sample a plate of his gastro-grub across the water in The Mariners, Rock.

Prawn on the Lawn – A seafood lover’s paradise, this London-born restaurant has made its way down to Padstow, serving up some stellar seafood alongside a treasure chest of a wine list and a big dose of cool. Oyster anyone?

Few chefs ever experience the worldwide acclaim that comes with securing a Michelin star. So when Paul Ainsworth received the call one morning in 2012, his world turned upside down, and his career went stratospheric.

“It was just incredible, a real whirlwind of elation”, Paul says, remembering that special moment. “A couple of hours before it was officially announced, the Michelin winners were leaked. I didn’t quite believe the news, so rang up Michelin HQ to check. A really cool sounding gentleman on the end of the phone said, ‘ If you’re seeing it in black and white in front of you, then take it that you have a Michelin star.’ My wife burst into tears, and all of a sudden the phones were going berserk. It was crazy.”

More than Michelin

Technically the Michelin star is awarded solely to the “food on the plate”, but true star quality doesn’t just come from the ingredients. It’s also about the ideas, emotions and stories that shape each dish, adding an extra dimension to each mouthful.

“There are some restaurants out there that make customers feel like they should be privileged to be there, but at Number 6, we let everyone know that we are privileged to have them.”

Every dish is very personal,” Paul continues, “but one in particular is probably more special, as it reminds me of my Dad who sadly passed away last year.”

“Growing up, my mum would make apple pie and my dad would always cut off a lump of cheddar to go with it. Of course, I did the same and loved it. So in Number 6, we turned the cheese board idea on its head, by making an appletarte tatin, served with a blue cheese and an amazing cider. The best part was that Dad saw the development of the dish, and loved it.”

For Paul the food on the plate is just the start of a Michelin Star experience, even if it remains the establishment’s focus. “For me, some of the best dining experiences are often the ones where you feel the happiest. There are some restaurants out there that make customers feel like they should be privileged to be there, but at No6, we let everyone know that we are privileged to have them. It’s something I instil into my whole team.”

 

Check out www.paulainsworth.co.uk to find out more about Paul’s philosophy, his restaurants and how to book a table.

Suggestions for superior suppers…

Quality ingredients, enticing ambience, fresh approaches, Padstow and surrounds have their fair share of premium places to eat. Here’s just a handful…

The Seafood Restaurant – No Padstow break is complete without sampling Stein’ s fare. Opened by Rick Stein and Jill Stein in 1975, The Seafood Restaurant on the harbourside is famous for the freshest fish and shellfish.

Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen – A double Michelin Star-awarded chef, Outlaw is a culinary powerhouse. For fine dining further afield, try out Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac or for dinner closer to home, sample a plate of his gastro-grub across the water in The Mariners, Rock.

Prawn on the Lawn – A seafood lover’s paradise, this London-born restaurant has made its way down to Padstow, serving up some stellar seafood alongside a treasure chest of a wine list and a big dose of cool. Oyster anyone?

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