Chef of the month: Dale McIntosh, Merchants Manor Brasserie
Visit Cornwall meet with Head Chef, Dale McIntosh from Merchants Manor Brasserie to hear about his favourite foods, drink and his delicious dessert recipe! Dale, a three-time finalist and winner of the Cornish Challenge, is a recognised name in Cornwall, with more than 15 years’ experience.
In October, Dale will be vying for his place in the finals of the prestigious South West Chef of the Year competition. Dale, the only chef from Cornwall to make the semi-finals, will be competing alongside seven other professional chefs from across the South West at the semi-finals on 11 October at Exeter College.
Hi Dale, tell us 5 little-known facts about yourself...
- I moved to Cornwall 14 years ago from Canterbury, Kent.
- I am married to Trudi and have three children: Jess aged 7, Harry aged 6 and Hollie aged 2.
- I am Chef-Patron at Merchants Manor.
- I am an avid Liverpool Football Club fan, if I wasn't a chef I'd be a professional footballer.
- My current aim is to promote local artisan producers who form my menu.
Why is your restaurant a must-visit restaurant?
Big flavours, local produce and homemade favourites converge in the Merchants Manor Brasserie on Western Terrace, Falmouth. I serve quality, fresh and locally sourced food including a popular Sunday roast. As well as an evolving specials board, fine wines and cocktails, the hotel also freshly bakes all of its bread and cakes. The Brasserie and Bar is open to all and is home to the popular ‘Live at the Manor’ music evenings and special dinner events.
Tell us 5 reasons why we should visit Merchants Manor Brasserie?
- The Sunday lunch – a must try. Ample portions of the finest meat and veg followed by mouth-watering puddings – one, two or three courses available! The roasts can be enjoyed with sea views in the Brasserie or in a cosy corner of the lounge – the comfy couches by the open fire place is a popular choice in the winter.
- The evolving seasonal menu offers a great variety of imaginative dishes, using the finest ingredients, all unique to the Manor – so much so the Brasserie's menu is now one of the most sought after menus in Falmouth. Coupled with a relaxed and informal atmosphere and very reasonable prices.
- The breakfast – the best continental and cooked breakfast for miles. Open daily to anyone wishing for the ultimate start to the day, a weekend treat or business breakfast (or to be enjoyed after a workout in the Manor's gym, sauna or pool). Guests can help themselves to homemade granolas, muesli, bread and jams at the farmhouse table and tuck in to a fantastic à la carte cooked breakfast of the finest local ingredients. All complemented with unlimited fresh juices, teas and coffee.
- The stylish lounge and bar is perfect for pre and after dinner drinks such as original cocktails, champagne or a glass of Knightor Cornish Sparkling.
- Located in Falmouth, a bustling harbour town, it is only a short stroll away from the beautiful Gyllyngvase beach – ideal for walking off a hearty Sunday Roast or a gentle stroll after dinner.
Who should go to Merchants Manor Brasserie?
Anyone – the Brasserie welcomes everyone, in particular those who want the finest quality food and unique dishes at affordable prices.
Anything else we need to know?
The Manor's owners and I use the very best local produce including Warren's Butchers beef, Primrose Herd's pork, locally caught seafood from the waters around Mylor, Canara Farm's salad and vegetables and Lizard Leaf's leaves. But perhaps most exciting and intriguing are the locally foraged foods from Helston based Miles Lavers of Foods Wild.
Miles, who doesn't disclose the secret sites of his treasures and whose skills and goods are sought by top London restaurants, delivers a basket of foraged goods to me at least once a week. For special events I can ask for something very exclusive for my dishes, i.e. an edible purple flower, and Miles will be sure to find it.
Tell us your favourite local delicacies and tipple - something every visitor should try
Cornish Native Oysters and Sharp’s Doombar.
What do you love the most about Cornwall?
Professionally it would be the ingredients I have on my doorstep, but personally it's great to be 15 minutes away from a sandy beach.
Share a favourite recipe with us?
Hot Chocolate Fondant (Serves 6)
- 100g Dark Chocolate
- 100g Butter
- 60g Caster Sugar
- 70g Plain Flour
- 1tbs Cocoa Powder (for lining)
- 1/2tbs Baking Powder
- 120g Egg
- Line 6 moulds with a brush of butter then dust with cocoa powder and shake out.
- Mix chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water until melted.
- Whip egg and sugar to ribbon stage.
- Add all dry sieved ingredients.
- Fold dry ingredients into chocolate.
- Fill moulds half-way up and place in a pre-heated oven (200°/Gas Mark 7) for 6-8 minutes.
- Serve immediately with Rodda’s clotted cream and seasonal berries.
- Watch the middle ooze out!
Open for breakfast: 7 – 9.30am weekdays, 7.30 – 10am weekends. 11am – 9pm daily for a range of snacks, sandwiches and dinner.