“Jude the Sublime”
Spring is not just the time of daffodils and rising sap, it’s also the time of food festivals in the South West of England.
The Porthleven Food and Music Festival is swiftly followed by the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink and then the Dartington Food Fair at the end of May.
Currently our TV screens are bombarded with MasterChef and Great British Menu to name but two and now we start the annual round of County Shows.
All these events showcase the very high standard of South West food and drink manufacturing and the amazing art of both amateur and professional chefs.
For many years I have supported and promoted the superb talents of British food and drink artisans and the plethora of gifted chefs who give their lives to creating culinary masterpieces, day in and day out and not always appreciated.
Lo and behold, on our recent visit to the Porthleven Food and Music Festival, it was a New Zealander that created one of those evenings that will always stay with you and cause you to smile when you reflect on the experience.
Although I had followed Jude Kereama on past episodes of Great British Menu, I had not had the chance to experience his food until we arrived at the normally sleepy fishing village just south of Helston.
With the festival in full swing I was not expecting Jude’s team at Kota to be fully focussed. Well shame on me for doubting this half-Maori, half-Malaysian genius.
From the moment we walked through the door of Kota, overlooking the harbour, the front of house staff were friendly, relaxed and professional throughout. If only restaurateurs realised that when the front staff know what they are doing and put the patrons at ease the food tastes so much better.
Our starter of Porthleven crab, tuna tartare, avocado and horseradish snow was followed by feathered steak and shin of beef ragout and ended with chocolate fondant pudding with malted ice cream and salted caramel sauce.
The wines complimented the food perfectly and the presentation of the food was artistic and just encouraged you to immerse yourself in the experience.
Was it that the food and service were some of the best we have enjoyed anywhere in the World that shocked us or that the cost of the meal was so reasonable for such high standards.
Sad to say, we will have to drive down to the tip of Cornwall again to relive this amazing experience as that evening we were somewhat distracted by the couple opposite who had come out to spend their money but hell bent on having a blazing row. Very entertaining and a first class reason to return.
Well done Jude, you are everything we in the South West can be proud of.