Man Behind the Chef: Paul Ainsworth

The Staff Canteen

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites – next up is Paul Ainsworth, former Great British Menu contestant and chef patron of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 which has a star in the Michelin Guide UK.

Paul Ainsworth is owner and chef patron at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow, Cornwall. Paul co-owned the restaurant, simply titled, Number 6, in 2006 with two friends but took sole supply in 2009 changing the name to Paul Ainsworth at Number 6.

The restaurant gained its first Michelin star in 2013 and has appeared on numerous top 100 lists including The Sunday Times and The National Restaurant’s Award.

In 2011, Paul reopened a long-established Italian restaurant, Rojano, renaming it Rojano’s in the Square – a homage to his days working with Gary Rhodes.

In the same year, he appeared on the BBC2 TV series The Great British Menu and won the regional heats representing the South West.

Paul Ainsworth
Paul Ainsworth

What item of food do you hate cooking?

I don’t like olives but I love olive oil but I just cannot get on with olives.

What food, if any, are you allergic to?

Duck eggs.

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

Probably the pig because it’s the one animal you can literally do so many things with, from the snout to the tail.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?

My wife’s Applewood, mushroom and baked bean toastie.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

Cornish sea salt because a pinch of salt for me is the difference between something being very bland and mediocre to something being brilliant. Some form of acidity like lemon because if you were fishing or hunting you could then instantly make it taste delicious. Bacon because it’s lush on its own and its beautiful with other things. It’s just one of my favourite ingredients.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

When I was really young I wanted to be a JCB driver of if I wasn’t a chef I would love to be a DJ.

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

We listen to Radio One, Pirate FM, which is local, and Kiss FM.

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

Björn Frantzén’ Frantzén in Stockholm.

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

It’s a combination of the two but more traditional technique.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

Mark (Morris) and you guys have been a huge support to us for a long time and I think what you do for the industry is phenomenal. It’s almost like a ritual with my guys, at the end of service all of my guys will literally be on their laptops chilling down watching one of your videos where you have been out to Maaemo or Aqua in Germany. It’s an amazing thing to have in our industry and that is why I support TSCLive. I think The Staff Canteen is such a phenomenal platform for chefs and young chefs getting into the industry. It’s also great to see other kitchens as well because you connect with them so well.

>>> IFE takes place on March 19-22, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Paul Ainsworth