What’s cooking? Bruce Rennie, The Shore, Penzance
In this new Muddy regular, our favourite chefs spill all about their work, lives and top tips. Dishing it this week: Bruce Rennie, Head Chef and owner of The Shore Restaurant in Penzance.
After moving to Cornwall in 2008 and falling in love with the vibe, the community, the land and seascapes as well as the food producers, Bruce Rennie set up The Shore Restaurant in 2015. Unusually for a chef, he works entirely alone in the kitchen and even helps serve the food alongside his one member of staff. With the restaurant currently closed due to lock down, we took the chance to grill Bruce with some quick-fire questions about his career, influences and what he’s working on right now.
Your first job in a kitchen?
er…. That’s a long time ago…I was a K.P and a waiter when I was 14 at a hotel in the village I grew up in (1990)
What is your career highlight?
God, so many. Doing a takeover at the 2 Michelin star ‘De Bokkedoorns’ in the Netherlands, and heading kitchens for some amazing chefs (Martin Wishart, Robbie Millar, Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein)
Sum up your food philosophy?
Local mostly (or British at least), fresh daily, simple and tasty.
Most memorable moment at work?
Probably the point at Wisharts when we had 1 Michelin star, 8.5 in the good food guide and then got our 4th AA rosette.
Ever cooked for anyone famous?
Many…chef wise…Gordon Ramsay, John Burton-Race
What’s been your biggest mistake at work?
I would probably say the way I used to manage kitchen teams …in the ‘old school’ nonsense style. It should always be about respect.
You’re tired, starving and impatient: what do you cook for dinner?
Fried eggs on toast with a ton of chilli sauce.
What would you cook to impress a date?
Date!!! I’ve been married for 20 years!!!
Of the meals I’ve eaten recently, I’d say Sat Bains but it really is a tough question if you’re asking worldwide.
My own!!… no, to be fair, I’ve got hundreds of the things from my friend Ben at Stark (also with the same publisher as me) to the ‘Per Se’ cookbook.
Favourite type of cuisine?
Japanese usually but anything with character and flavour…depends on my mood
Favourite kitchen gadget?
Favourite local hotspots?
Favourite local markets and suppliers?
Dan at Slight Hill Farm, Trink Dairy, Trenow Fields, Chypraze Farm for ‘happy meat’
Favourite things to eat when you’re on holiday?
Holiday?? The last one I had was 6 years ago when my in-laws took us camping in Brittany for a week!
What mistake do inexperienced cooks tend to make?
These days, I’d say focussing on image of the food rather than the flavour & balance.
Favourite ingredient and why?
Far too many to choose from!
Most overrated ingredient?
Ingredients are only as good as what you do with them.
The dish you’re most proud of creating?
I’m a cook/chef. I’m never fully satisfied with my food, it’s what drives me to do better.
Tell us your best ever cooking tip?
Have fun…and taste your food constantly.
Three dishes every home cook should master?
A good soup, a classic meat stew and a fruit tart with sweet pastry.
Loads of us are really bored of our own cooking right now – any advice?
Get some good books and try something new each week.
(Ed’s note: we’re giving away a copy of Bruce’s book which should inspire some new dishes – head over here to Reader Treats to enter).
What are you working on now?
I’ve just launched a monthly Patreon service where you can subscribe and get original content, cooking demonstrations and inspiration! (patreon.com/BonusBites)
13/14 Alverton Street, Penzance