Book review: 'Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a Kitchen in Cornwall' by Emily Scott

08 July 2021 by
Book review: 'Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a Kitchen in Cornwall' by Emily Scott

Sea & Shore is the first book from Cornwall-based chef-restaurateur Emily Scott, former leaseholder of the St Tudy Inn in Bodmin, operator of Watergate Bay's newest restaurant, host chef for the recent G7 Summit and a competitor on BBC Two's Great British Menu in 2019, where she represented the south-west.

Experienced chefs won't necessarily find anything new or surprising in Sea & Shore, which is more of a love letter to Cornwall's seasons, produce and its people. The comforting, familiar recipes reflect the seasonal and stripped-back fare Scott serves at her own restaurants, and it is separated into chapters including winter seas, Noel, spring tides, summer seas, high summer and autumn tides.

The book jumps straight in with a simple carrot cake recipe and the monkfish, Cornish chorizo and sun-blush tomatoes on rosemary skewers (opposite) particularly caught my eye. You'll also find the recipe for the panna cotta Scott cooked on Great British Menu – which Daniel Clifford said was the best he had ever tasted – and the blackberry ice-cream and Cornish fairings (ginger biscuits) she served it with on the show, as well as the option of a blackcurrant compote with brown sugar shortbread.

Scott peppers her recipes with anecdotes, from memories of summer peaches in Provence from her childhood to becoming a restaurant owner, as well as observations on the wider industry – for example the "misconception" that there is a shortage of female chefs in the sector. "I think women are more modest about how good they are and what they can achieve on their own and as part of a team," she writes, echoing similar statements made by chef-restaurateur Angela Hartnett earlier this year.

The book concludes with the devastation of having to close a restaurant, something with which many business owners and staff will be sadly familiar following the events of 2020, but also with hope and excitement as she looks forward to her new site at Watergate Bay.

Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a Kitchen in Cornwall by Emily Scott (Hardie Grant, £26)

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