Boutique Hotel Merchants Manor has announced the appointment of Cornishman Aiden Blakely-May as the new head chef at Rastella.
Blakely-May has previously worked in Samphire Restaurant, and joined Rastella four years ago as sous-chef and has a “genuine passion for street food and a fascination for ancient cooking techniques”.
He will lead his team using fermenting techniques, “fermenting home grown Cornish chillis to make sriracha”, using the restaurant’s 5-year-old yeast for sourdough and making Rastella’s own mirin and soy sauces for pickling and curing meats.
Blakely-May said: “I love Cornwall but had to leave to further my career. Now I’m back I want to lift the lid on what Cornish food really means. Offer Cornwall on a plate where not just the star of the dish but every possible element is from our doorstep.
“The new menu has been created over several months with these new and exciting dishes, but regular guests, don’t worry, we haven’t abandoned the things that Rastella is famous for; meat and just-landed fish cooked over our red-hot grill for example, foraged foods from secret locations only we know. Everything we present is inspired by nature; every day we learn something new.”