An appetite for sustainability
This picturesque fishing town, known for is quintessential harbour, close knit community and quirky mix of independent businesses, is like a sunny beacon, calling out to tourists. To live there is an entirely different experience though, and its residents and entrepreneurial talents within are innovating on and off shore to supply the demand of Padstow’s burgeoning foodie scene.
Not to make it sound completely hipster, but Padstow has some delicious dining options, beyond the expected Stein offering. No disrespect meant to the man himself, Rick Stein is in part, responsible for putting Padstow on the map, but there is much more to this town that the Stein stamp.
Independent businesses are the beating heart of the town, winding their way up narrow streets and alleys. You’ll see boutiques and bars, coffee shops, brunch stops and restaurants that’ll have you salivating at the mere sight of a menu. And where do they source from? With fresh, exceptional quality seafood on their doorstep, they do not need to go far for great produce. So, who’s at the forefront of it all?
Johnny Murt is a marine biologist, fifth generation fisherman and business owner. He has been fishing his entire life, a family trade, passed down from his father and grandfather and, well, you can guess how the rest goes. With times and tides changing, Johnny is working to redefine his role at sea, bringing sustainable fishing to the fore and, most importantly, the shore, for future generations and the protection of our blue planet.
Katie and Rick Toogood are restaurateurs and actually started their business, Prawn on the Lawn, in London back in 2013. From there they set up in Padstow and now have two local restaurants, neither of which disappoint the palette. The deep-fried oysters at Barnaby’s are a must.
The Toogoods, along with Johnny and partner Cam, collaborate on the regular, with Fish Buoys, taking their passions for food and fishing and tapping into the abundance of crab and lobster available, bringing quality meat directly to restaurants and consumers. Fish Buoys catches, processes and supplies crab and lobster meat, leaving nothing to waste. The best meat is sold on and the rest is used in bisques and sauces with an incredible depth of flavour.
Are you hungry yet?
Mr & Mrs Clarke caught (get it?) up with Johnny Murt and Katie Toogood, to talk all things food, fish and sustainability.
Get fishy with it
Johnny is a proponent for sustainable fishing and absolutely practices what he preaches. But, just how does the sustainable fishing movement impact Cornwall in a positive way for its residents and as a unique ecosystem? “It’s providing us with a more sustainable future and those sustainability credentials enable us to market our product effectively. I suppose this in turn enhances the appeal of the area therefore attracting tourists and providing work and opportunities for the residents.”
As a resident, it’s so simple to support the sustainable fishing movement, “buy local, buy what is in season, reduce your food miles. This is also relevant to meat and vegetable and in actual fact for anyone anywhere. We should all be looking to reduce our food miles.”
Fish Buoys was set up as a reaction to the COVID pandemic and Brexit (what a heady mix), Johnny tells us, “We wanted to keep our product available locally, as opposed to sending our shellfish abroad. There was an element of future-proofing in that it is more secure; I always have somewhere to land my catch. We envisage the business staying small. We are not looking to expand and be a major player. We’d like to continue working with the sustainable under 10 metre vessels and work with customers that understand our ethos of sustainability and respect that availability depends on Mother Nature.”
In terms of the unique attitude of Cornwall living “Everything is slower. Importance is placed on living rather than working and we accept the financial sacrifices that brings, because it doesn’t matter. More beach days! Not to mention the extraordinary natural environment that we get to see every day.”
Dine Out, Padstyle
nick & katie from prawn on the lawn, padstow
Prawn on the Lawn started life as a seemingly small, simple city food offering, as Katie Toogood tells us, “We set up POTL London in 2013. Rick was working for another restaurant group and I was working at Sony Music and we wanted to do something together. It was only meant to be a fishmonger where you could grab some fish and have a glass of wine whist you waited for it to be prepared. Things got a bit out of hand! We opened POTL in Padstow In 2015 and Barnaby’s followed in 2018.”
So POTL is kind of London vibes meets delicious Cornish produce, “We started in London but moved to Cornwall as it was where we sourced all of our fish and seafood for the city. We spotted a gap in the market in Padstow for more fun, casual seafood dining and grabbed the opportunity with both hands! Padstow has always been knows for “that” famous fish restaurant. We’ve been here five years now and seen more of a variety of places open but sadly not many at seafood ones, which is a shame seeing as we are by the coast. When we opened in Padstow we were the only place doing small, sharing plates and we are STILL the only place doing small sharing plates! Other places in Cornwall are starting to offer this style of dining and it’s slowly becoming more popular down here.”
Ok, hit us with some mouthwatering menu options that Padstow patrons cannot get enough of. “Hake, cauliflower purée, truffle crumb. It’s a fine favourite using local Cornish fish and truffle oil. Who doesn’t love truffle?!” We hear that.
“At the moment Cornish or Megrim Sole with chilli, olives and agridulce is my favourite dish. We cook it on the plancha and serve it whole.”
Here’s some piccy’s from Jade’s (our wonderful wordsmith) trip to Barnaby’s last year. Bliss.
We’d like to book a table for two at 8pm please, under the name ‘Clarke’ please!
If you or anyone you know are looking to buy a home in the beautiful part of the world that is known as Cornwall, please get in touch.