November 20, 2017

Paul Ainsworth at No 6 – Perfection in Padstow

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Paul and Emma Ainsworth

Earlier this year Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow was named Best Restaurant at the Food Reader Awards 2016. FMCG recently caught up with Paul to see how the success was achieved and what it means to him.

“Obviously our customers are our priority, so it’s vital that they enjoy what we’re doing, but awards of this nature are great recognition for the team because without them none of the success would be possible,” explains Paul. “Happy customers and a happy team makes the whole thing work brilliantly.

“The key to winning the award has been our staff and the loyalty and support of our customers, who continue to come back time and time again, which enables us to keep investing in the business, year-in, year-out. We are always investing in the restaurant to make it the very best it can be. This has only been achievable thanks to the loyalty of our customers and our staff, such as my head chef, John Walton; my restaurant manager, Alex Tozer; Chris McClurg, my senior sous chef; and Sarah Holian, my assistant manager. These people have stood by my side for a long, long time now. They believe in mine and Emma’s vision and they love the business as much as we do.”

“Cornwall is a superb part of the world and we not only have an amazing array of meat, game, seafood and vegetables on our doorstep, but we also have fantastic artisan producers able to provide us with great cheeses and Cornish rape seed oil. The larder is brilliant and allows me to deliver exactly the broader of vision I’m aiming for at No 6. In a way it’s about promoting all the other aspects of Cornwall.”

Paul Ainsworth

Boasting a Michelin star, No 6 is Paul’s signature restaurant and is where he cooks every day. “What makes us unique is that rather than just focusing on the great fish and shellfish that we have in Cornwall, we’re also a great advocate of the region’s meat. We have access to fantastic lamb, pork and duck down here, as well as world class beef. Around 80 per cent of our menu is meat and game, when it’s in season.

“People naturally think about eating fish when they visit in Cornwall but when you’re driving on the A30 approaching Bodmin Moor you can’t help but notice the Herefords, the Red Rubys and the Galloways roaming around. We’re very fortunate to have a milder climate that enables the cattle to be grass-fed for much longer before having some barley right at the end. This provides meat of the highest quality.

“Cornwall is a superb part of the world and we not only have an amazing array of meat, game, seafood and vegetables on our doorstep, but we also have fantastic artisan producers able to provide us with great cheeses and Cornish rape seed oil. The larder is brilliant and allows me to deliver exactly the broader of vision I’m aiming for at No 6. In a way it’s about promoting all the other aspects of Cornwall.”

Despite the wealth of fantastic produce available to Paul and his team, without a flair for innovation and keen attention to detail the end results could potentially not hit the heights that he’s looking for. Thankfully this is not a problem at No 6. “When it comes to our menus we let Mother Nature dictate and we develop our dishes very much on a seasonal basis. We’re not a restaurant that changes our complete menu or entire dishes just for the sake of it. Much of our ethos is about having a dish that is so well rehearsed that it is consistently excellent every day. That dish may be tinkered with ever so slightly over the course of the year. For example, roasted carrot, cabbage or other lovely hearty winter vegetables might well be replaced by wonderful St Encodoc asparagus in the Spring.Paul-Ainsworth_David-Griffen-Photography-5289

“When a dish is changed it is developed and rehearsed for months. We can’t have a situation where the dish goes on the menu too early, with the customers effectively being guinea pigs. Only once we’re completely happy with a dish will we put it on the menu. This is very much the standard that we adhere to.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, Paul is now striving to build on the Food Reader Award and keep the success going. “Over the last few years we’ve heavily invested in Padstow so we’re now looking to build further on the fantastic foundations that we’ve put down in the town. Last year we took on a 17th century hotel, Padstow Townhouse, and transformed it into six beautifully stunning boutique suites. This was a massive investment because the building was in a sorry state and needed completely renovating. It’s about consolidating that investment and making sure that when people come to Padstow their experience of the Paul Ainsworth brand is of the highest quality.

“It’s all about making sure that when customer visits No 6 or goes to Rojano’s in the Square (Paul’s other Padstow restaurant) or stays in our Padstow Townhouse, their experience is the absolute best it can be. Thanks to the team we’ve put in place, coupled with the fantastic produce that’s on our doorstep, we have certainly given ourselves an excellent fighting chance.”

With such a passionate approach it is easy to see why the No 6 was successful in achieving a Good Reader Award. The same ethos is sure to see its reputation growing further, along with that of the other restaurants and hotels within the Paul Ainsworth stable.