Nick Hawke on the new menu
Nick Hawke has been at the helm as Head Chef of Talland Bay Hotel since 2013. This autumn sees an exciting change in direction with the food at the award-winning hotel. We asked Nick what visitors can expect from the new dining experience.
“We started out with a few concepts that we wanted to explore,” says Nick. “The kitchen team love creating new dishes and playing with seasonal ingredients and we wanted to expand on this. We also wanted to play to our strengths and build on the ‘home from home’ ethos that underpins the hotel’s offering.”
This has resulted in Nick’s desire to simplify the menu. “Diners can look forward to the same high quality that they’ve always enjoyed, but by breaking down each dish to fewer ingredients we’re enabling people to taste every item on their plate,” he explains. “The dining experience needs to be about enjoying first-class food but with a warm, relaxed feel similar to coming home to a family meal, nothing too fussy or over-complicated.”
At the moment, the menus are bursting with game, big ingredients that pack a punch including partridge, pheasant and venison, as well as mellow fruits. “Apples and pears are really suited to savoury dishes,” says Nick. This manifests itself as the crowd-pleasing roasted beetroot and apple tarte tatin starter. And the pear and blue cheese mousse dessert.
Nick’s ultimate plan is to combine the Lounge and Fine-Dining menus into one, raising the dining to another level throughout the hotel. He’s also looking to introduce a regularly changing tasting menu that will be created on the day, depending on the hero ingredients available. He also wants to embrace ‘nose to tail’ eating. This as the team strive for their third rosette.
“There’s no doubt that a lot of customers want prime cuts of meat,” he says. “But once they taste the less obvious cuts, I’m sure they’ll love them.” Not only does this help reduce food waste but it’s a win for the farmers as it means the hotel buying and using the whole animal.
Diners can also look forward to seasonally changing afternoon teas, from a frightfully delicious Halloween offering to a wonderful Alice in Talland Land treat.
Book a two night break for the ultimate taste of Talland. Our gourmet stay includes three-course dinner on the first night and afternoon tea on the second day.