"This is a book that is unapologetically about the restaurant"

Alex South

Alex South


Scott Paton’s debut book showcases the chef’s principles on style, elegance, class and good taste at the one Michelin-starred Àclèaf restaurant.

Meaning oak leaf in Old English, Àclèaf is Boringdon Hall Hotel & Spa’s Michelin Star & 4 AA Rosette restaurant, run by Head Chef Scott Paton.

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Since opening in January 2020, Scott and his team have created an exceptional experience of hospitality, introducing guests to a dining style which allows the produce to be cooked honestly, through seasonally inspired menus and the highest quality ingredients on offer.

Preserving Scott’s take on food and drink, the chef’s debut book Àclèaf tells the story of the restaurant’s journey into how it opened, as well as providing an insight into the recipes, dishes and principles that have remained central to Àclèaf.

"This is a book that is unapologetically about the restaurant. So, it was really important to us, that the book was a snapshot in time of what we were doing, or what we are doing in the first few years of launching Àclèaf,” explained Scott.

Scott began his career working with Matt Mason and Paul Parnell for 9 years. In 2008 he won ‘dessert of the year’ from the Association of Pastry Chefs, and in 2009 won Southwest Chef of the Year in the young professional class.

Eager to develop his career, Scott took the position of head chef at The Horn of Plenty in Gulworthy, where he helped secure three AA rosettes before moving to the role of Head Chef at Boringdon Hall, near Plymouth in May 2016 where he has helped to achieve four rosettes, five AA stars and one Michelin star.

Discussing the writing process in more detail, Scott said: "There were there were times when I really struggled with putting words on a page but there were also times where I could just sit there for two or three hours, and it would just flow and I'd end up with plenty of words."

Whilst writing the book, Scott was eager to put Àclèaf first and himself second, highlighting the restaurant’s strong focus on hospitality, service and incredible fine dining.

Scott explained: "It all came pretty naturally to me. I know everybody says it but I'm very much a 'the restaurant isn't about me' kind of person. The restaurant is Àclèaf, so I didn't have that internal struggle. I think the best way to sum me up is I'm probably quite socially inept, unless I'm talking about food and restaurants, in which case I could just go for hours, and I think a lot of chefs will probably translate with that.”


The 239-page Àclèaf cookbook boasts recipes from both Paton and his team, described as ‘restaurant-ready recipes, purposely left un-adapted for non-chefs.’

Influenced by seasonality, just like the Àclèaf’s menu, the book’s chapters are split into separate seasons, with each chapter promoting ingredients and produce promoted on the Scott’s menu across the year.

Readers can enjoy a wide range of recipes, for example Spring recipes include Lamb, haggis, allium, whereas the summer sees turbot, brassicas and lemon placed in the spotlight.

As well as being about the restaurant and its principles around food and extraordinary service, the book also acts as a vessel for Scott to pay homage and champion the work of his talent kitchen crew and their individual visions of food.

Describing his favourite part of the book, Scott said: "In the back of the book we've got the team's recipes, which we call projects. That all started as an idea that we took from NOMA where they invite all of their chefs, where each chef will bring a different dish or concept or something, and that might be sometimes they may have complete freedom."

Scott added: “I may sometimes set a task so for example, maybe it's classical French, and they need to bring me a classical French dish or process, and that can be something as simple as a creme brulee. The whole idea behind it is to be creative but not just creative in search of something new, creative in search of perfection and what it takes to make the perfect creme brulee."

Looking to the future Scott hopes to continue writing books, with each individual volume providing a specific snapshot of Àclèaf and its development.

Explaining his ambitions with the book, Scott said: "I think it'd be really nice to do another one in a few years’ time, another snapshot of time, and it'd be really cool to have eventually over a few years, a kind of anthology of books.”

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 3rd May 2023

"This is a book that is unapologetically about the restaurant"