James Nathan: Masterchef in the Green Room
We sat down, and waited in foodie anticipation – actually we sat down and had a large glass of very nice white gazing out of the floor to ceiling windows at buff-built surfer types closing down The Loop – but in hindsight we should have sat with a higher state of excitement. And that is because we were about to be served a tasting menu, created and served by a Masterchef.
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Fantastic Food, Cool contemporary eating, James Nathan
The Green Room, Retallack Resort, Winnards Perch, Nr Padstow, Cornwall
James Nathan, wild curls peeping out of slightly sweaty chef bandana, pumped and passionate about cooking in his eponymous kitchen at The Green Room, Retallack was Masterchef’s 2008 winner. This was, he says, before there was a clear path to walk after you had won – one that led immediately to fame, a restaurant in London and a book at the very least. It was much more organic for James as he left with a plethora of new skills to continue his culinary learning across a variety of kitchens under various starred tutelage before seizing the moment as the head chef of his own place. Albeit without a pot wash.
The Tasting Menu. Brilliant. Exactly what you would expect from a chef who is both inventive and innovative yet resourceful and into sustainability. The palate cleanser, in fact, is still something I revere over in moments of reminisce. Tomato Essence. It tasted like tomatoes smell. Not tomatoes from the supermarket that are just pretty tasteless, this pale green liqueur that danced across the tongue, washing it of the food from the last plate, and was the taste equivalent of running through a meadow of dewy grass. Like pottering in a greenhouse on a spring day. Like I said, brilliant.
And best of all, if you can actually better the food, is that James Nathan is so personable. He makes this beautifully presented food accessible, in taste, texture and combination. It makes you adventurous in your menu choices and allows you to discover something a little bit marvellous.
Check out what the GCG tasted here: Tasting Menu
James Nathan, aka the Surfing Chef, is holding court at The Green Room, Retallack – head down to feast upon his culinary creativity.