Falmouth Chef Features in Cornwall Today
Mark Aldred’s journey into the food industry began at the tender age of 11, working at local restaurants during the school holidays and at weekends in Padstow where he grew up. He’d clear the tables, wash the dishes, prepare the veg – anything to keep close to his passion: food. “I learned to help my mum bake from a very young age, and it’s always just seemed like the natural thing to do. I feel at home in the kitchen; having the brigade around you is like an extended family,” he says.
When he was 16, Mark went to London and took on an apprenticeship at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. Since then, cheffing has taken him around the country and much further afield – he’s lived and worked in Portugal, South Africa and Guernsey. But his heart was always in Cornwall and he’s found his place at The Falmouth Hotel, just a stone’s throw
from Penryn where he now lives. “I moved back to Cornwall because I love the chilled-out Cornish way of life,” says Mark. “But working at The Falmouth Hotel keeps me busy. There’s
something different happening every day, whether it’s a function for 150, a buffet, our busy bar food service or just the restaurant. And of course, let’s not forget the views overlooking the sea – who wouldn’t want to see those every day?”
Describe your cooking style
I don’t really have a specific style, as I like to try out new things and keep it varied. But I had to put a label on it, I’d say my cooking style is modern British. Who inspired you as a chef?
Marco Pierre White inspired me a lot when I was younger, not just for his talent as a chef but also his passion for food and contribution to contemporary
Which seasonal ingredients are best to try in June?
Fresh peas are in season this month and they’re great both in hot dishes and in salads. They’re full of flavour and an easy veg to work with. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Pizza with a thin crust, covered in pancetta and mushrooms that’s been freshly cooked in a woodfired oven.
Why have you chosen to share this recipe?
It’s a simple and quick dish to prepare, but so fresh and tasty. Great food doesn’t have to be complicated. What advice would you give to someone making the recipe for the first time?
Taste it as you go along and remember to season. Also, try not to overcook the fish; so many people are worried about cooking fish all the way through that they tend to give it longer in the oven than it needs.
Roasted Cod Loin Recipe
Creamed Sweet Potato, Tomato, Asparagus, Lemon and Pea Cream
Ingredients Serves 4
- 4 x 170 – 190g cod loin portions
- 12 asparagus spears
- 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine
- olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and halved or chunked
- 25g butter
- 100ml double cream
- 1 banana shallot finely diced
- 100ml white wine
- 250ml double cream
- juice of ¼ large lemon
- 80g blanched peas
- salt and pepper to season
- Coat the base of a frying pan with olive oil and warm on a medium to high heat. Lightly season the skin of the cod with salt and pepper, place it into the pan, skin-side down, and season the white flesh. Cook until the skin is crispy and golden in colour, around 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a tray skin-side up. Set aside to heat through when other ingredients are ready. When ready to serve, put the cod back oven for around 6 to 8 minutes until just cooked.
- Boil the sweet potatoes in a pan of lightly salted water. When soft enough to mash, drain them thoroughly and place back in pan for 2 to 3 minutes to dry out. Heat up the butter and cream in a pan. Using a wooden spoon, push the sweet potato through a fine sieve onto the heated mix, whisk until smooth and season to taste.
- Sweat off the shallot in a pan till opaque, add the wine and reduce by half, then add the cream and reduce again by a third. Season with lemon, salt and pepper, add peas to warm through just before serving.
- Steam the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp and tender. Place the tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil and season. Roast at 180˚C until the tomatoes just start to split and soften, about 4 minutes.
If you want to enjoy Mark’s delicious dishes visit the AA Rosette Castle Beach Restaurant at the Falmouth Hotel, Cornwall.
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