My nan was my main inspiration. When she looked after me, we would make all sorts of recipes together – from little rice crispy cakes to pasties. Once I started studying at Penryn College, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
Meet our Pastry Chef Lewis
Lewis began his career early, at the age of just fourteen after finishing his school’s work experience week at our sister hotel, The Greenbank. He was quickly offered a Saturday job due to his creativity and ambition.
He then went on to spend each weekend in the kitchen, until starting his studies at college. Lewis’ role then developed to being full time at The Greenbank and he continued to work his way up, before recently joining our team at The Alverton.
Lewis has been working at The Alverton for five months now and has become a cornerstone member of the team, with his passion for pastry ever-growing.
“Head Chef Nick Hodges offered me the opportunity of running the pastry section here at The Alverton. I’ve been here for five months now and I’ve loved every second of it.”
The fact that I have the freedom to experiment and explore ideas. I get to really play with new interesting flavours and try out new methods, so I always feel inspired. Being quite a social person, I also get to enjoy meeting lots of new people.
That’s a tough one as it changes seasonally! Winter has lots of lovely flavours. Right now I’m enjoying working with tonka bean. It’s a seed with a warming scent, filled with the delicious taste of vanilla and almond.
When I created my first dish that was published in Food Magazine. I also did a live demo in front of an audience for the first time at Truro Food Festival last year. During this I demonstrated how to make Italian meringue. Speaking in front of the crowd was quite nerve-wracking at first – but I loved every moment of it.
Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who are constantly glued to their phone! Following chefs and food social media pages is where I get a lot of inspiration from. My nan did have two big binders full of recipes, which she left to me, and I still use those recipes today.
It has to be my first dessert that was published, The Greenbank Garden. Baking is my other passion and because of this my favourite cake recipe is the blondie. It’s a delicious white chocolate brownie with some orange and a hint of tonka bean.
Chocolate and citrus always go well together. Lemon and white chocolate are a great duo, as well as dark chocolate and lime. Citrus helps cut through the sweetness of chocolate, so you’ll get a vanilla aftertaste with the tonka bean.
A surprising thing about me would be that I don’t have a sweet tooth, as being pastry orientated everyone always assumes you do!
Thank you! I’d also like to thank Nick Hodges, Bobby Southworth, Tom Gilbert and Paul Beasley. Without their knowledge and mentoring, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I greatly appreciate it.
Afternoon tea at The Alverton
For a tea-riffic treat, head to The Alverton for the ultimate elegant afternoon tea in Cornwall. £22 per person, including tea or coffee.
Meet our Guest Relations Manager, Larissa Hardy
We caught up with Guest Relations Manager Larissa to find out more about her role and why she loves living in Cornwall.