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Meet our Head Chef, Erkki Mikk

Between creating inventive menus and whipping up unforgettable cuisine, our Head Chef Erkki finds time to have a catch up with us about his passion for food and love of Cornwall.

Meet The Alverton’s Head Chef

Born and raised in Estonia, Erkki originally studied environmental protection. 17 years ago after completing his studies he decided to spontaneously book a one way ticket to visit a friend in Scotland, which he says changed his entire future.

Shortly after arriving, he found his way into hospitality. This is where he fell in love with the crazy, fast-paced kitchen environment. As a result, he trained to become a chef and spent five years in the UK honing his craft.

Not one to shy away from travel, Erkki embarked on his next adventure to Australia. He planned to stay for six months, which snowballed into six years, working his way around Australia and across Asia too.

Joining the Cornwall Hotel Collection

In 2015, after plenty of globe-trotting, Erkki decided it was time to move back to the UK with his fiancée. After a year of working in picturesque Wiltshire, he began to miss the ocean. Cornwall was calling, and Erkki and his fiancée moved to the Cornish coast. It was then that he joined our sister hotel The Greenbank as Head Chef. After two years, he decided to take a step back to spend time with his family and welcome his newborn son to the world.

After his short break, the family man and immensely talented chef took the job as The Alverton’s Head Chef once we reopened after lockdown. He describes the move as an exciting challenge and has already been wowing all of our guests and visitors with exquisite cuisine.

What inspired you to become a chef?

It was my fascination towards food and chef’s knife skills, which I could not resist wanting to learn, topped with the immense pressure. I really knew it was part of me as I could never sit still, but have always been able to focus under pressure.

What's your favourite part about the job?

Knowing that the customers have had a fabulous experience. And still being able to learn new ways of cooking.

What would you say is your favourite dish to make?

Wow, I always see this question as nearly impossible to answer. My taste palettes change like autumn Cornish weather. However there is something very special from my childhood that I keep cooking at home regardless of the weather or season. It’s called shashlik, which is marinated diced pork/lamb shoulder skewered and cooked over a hot wood fired BBQ. I serve it with two simple salads: tomato, cucumber, onion and potato salad. There is just nothing better!

What's your favourite Cornish delicacy?

That’s easy. You just can’t beat Cornish native oysters.

What one place in Cornwall would you recommend to guests as a must-see?

A coastal walk starting with a little hike up to St Agnes Beacon for an amazing view. Then a stroll down to St Agnes Head, followed by a walk past Wheal Coates and stopping at Chapel Porth Beach for a cuppa.

Can you describe Cornwall in five words?

Relaxed, Inspirational, Stunning, Nature, Home.

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