Chef of the month: Paul Ainsworth, Number 6

Paul Ainsworth, No 6 in Padstow

No. 6 restaurant based in Padstow, north Cornwall, sources brilliant local, seasonal ingredients and then serve them in a simple modern style with a Cornish and British influence. Everything here is homemade, from the bread to the chocolate truffles and the menu is accompanied by a fantastic wine list offering great value, whether ordered by the glass or the bottle. Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 came in at number 58 at the National Restaurant Awards 2014, a list of the 100 best restaurants in Britain announced in July 2014. 

Hi Paul, tell us 5 little known facts about yourself...

  1. I am half Seychellois and half English. My mother is from the Seychelles. 
  2. I have a gorgeous wife called Emma and a beautiful dog called Flossie.
  3. I have two restaurants in Padstow and will be opening some bedrooms in 2015.
  4. My restaurant Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 has one Michelin star, 3 AA rosettes, and was awarded 7/10 in the Good Food Guide. 
  5. If I wasn't a chef I would be a rock star DJ in Ibiza. 

Why is your restaurant a must-visit restaurant?
Because at Number 6 we really make you feel like you have arrived in Cornwall. We source amazing local, seasonal ingredients and serve them in a simple modern style. I think we have a brilliant, unique style of service, making the customer feel  incredibly special without being pretentious. We’re a really great restaurant to visit whilst you’re in Cornwall. 

Tell us 5 reasons why we should visit Number 6

  1. Solid cooking with great Cornish produce.
  2. Brilliant service that makes you feel incredibly special.
  3. A Trip to the Fairground. 
  4. An amazing location in the heart of Padstow. 
  5. The restaurant is found in a beautiful 18th Century town house. It’s a house in every aspect with lots of little rooms. 

Who should go to Number 6?
Everyone. 

Anything else we need to know?
Great value set lunch menu - £19 for 2 courses, 3 course £25. 

Tell us your favourite local delicacies and tipple - something every visitor should try 
Porthilly oysters and mussels and Camel Valley Rose.

What do you love about Cornwall the most?
I love the way that whether it’s basking in sunshine, or grey, moody and chucking it down, Cornwall always looks stunningly beautiful. 

Share a favourite recipe with us. 
Crispy Porthilly Oysters - Serves 4

Ingredients
12 large oysters
12 slices of salami Milano 1/2mm thin
2 egg whites let down with a splash of water
200g panko bread crumbs

Apple and fennel salad
2 granny smith apples
2 medium heads of fennel
4 stems of bright green chervil

Lime reduction
2 lime zest
3 lime juice
3 tbsp caster sugar

Sea shells and driftwood
Sand or pebbles. Shuck the oysters and gently wash in cold water. Pass the oyster juices into a container with the oysters, cling film and keep in the fridge until required. Scrub the shells clean and sterilise them in boiling water ready to use later for serving.

Lime reduction
Place all the ingredients into a pan and put over a medium heat. Reduce it down until it creates a light syrup and cool.

Apple and fennel salad
Trim the fennel tops off and peel the layers apart. Discarding the outside layer, trim off any chunky areas and slice into large neat rectangles. Then, finely julienne to 3mm slices and coat with a tablespoon of lime reduction. Julienne the apple so it matches the fennel. Mix together with the fennel and ensure the salad is coated well with the reduction so it cannot discolour. Finely shred the chervil leaves and add a large pinch of the chervil to the salad. Taste the mixture and add some more of the reduction if required.

Presentation
Decorate three plates with sand or pebbles, sea shells and driftwood. Then divide the oyster shells onto the plates and fill each shell with the apple and fennel salad.

Oysters
Pané in the egg white, then the panko breadcrumbs.  Deep fry at 190c until golden and crisp, while still being careful not to go too far. The oyster should be just cooked in the centre. Place plump side up on top of the salad, then sprinkle with a little rock sea salt. To finish, drape a slice of salami over each at the last second and serve.

Number 6 is open for dinner from 6:00 – 11:00pm and lunch 11:00-3.00pm. Booking is recommended call: 01637 872085 or visit the website: www.thefishhouse-fistral.com

Stay in contact with No 6 in Padstow
Twitter name: @PaulAinsw6rth
Websites: www.number6inpadstow.co.uk and www.rojanos.co.uk.

Opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday 12-2.30 for lunch and 6-10pm for evening meals. Closed Sunday and Mondays.