Acorns 2019: Jack Clements, 27

19 June 2019 by
Acorns 2019: Jack Clements, 27

Chef-director, Rojano's in the Square, Padstow

Nominator Paul Ainsworth (No 6, Rojano's, Mahé, and the Mariners, all in Padstow)

Proudest moment "I have a lot of respect for the Michelin guide and to become part of that was massive and the start of a rewarding journey."

Greatest inspiration

Why hospitality is a great career "It's for people who get a buzz from helping to make a guest's experience exceptional - right down to where the asparagus they're eating has come from. I'm always learning and getting excited - what else could you ask for in an industry?"

Paul Ainsworth, chef and co-owner of Rojano's, credits Jack Clements for the Mediterranean restaurant's listing in the Michelin guide and its award of two AA rosettes.

That's an impressive achievement, considering just 10 years ago Clements was a potwasher at Hix Fish & Oyster House in Lyme Regis. This was followed by seasonal work on an organic farm, where he gained an understanding of farm-to-fork, as well as a stint in the Alps as a pizza chef. Hooked, Clements joined Rojano's pizza section in 2014, and by 2017, he was head chef at the 100-seat restaurant.

Paul and his wife Emma, along with their business partner Derek Mapp, say it is now the busiest operation in their group, regularly hitting 400 covers a day. And with annual turnover at £1.5m, it is also the most financially successful, enabling the group to grow. As well as adding cookery school Mahé in Padstow, the company has taken over the Mariners in Rock.

Clements has responsibility for staff both front and back of house. An effective mentor, he develops his brigade, with several joining the Michelin-starred No 6 and his senior sous chef being promoted to head chef at the Mariners.

It's no surprise then, that Clements has developed a relationship with Truro and Penwith College, where the Paul Ainsworth Academy for apprenticeships is now under way.

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