A Hot Dinners exclusive - updated 8/6/16 with opening date
Thanks to an eagle-eyed Hot Dinners reader, our attention was brought to one of the biggest restaurant news stories of recent times. Turns out that Pitt Cue's Tom Adams and top NYC chef April Bloomfield have gone into the farming and guest house business together.
This dynamic duo are appearing together at The Great Cornish Food Festival in September, the blurb for which revealed that they've "come together to create a new Cornish venture in an old Georgian dairy farm near Launceston that they are restoring into a guesthouse, dining room and working farm, with workshops, curing rooms, festivals and general pig-based merriment!"
So we got straight on the blower to Tom to find out more.
Seems the pair bought the farm this Spring. Tom knew the area well having spent much of the past four years down here - it's where he keeps the amazing Mangalitza pigs he uses for Pitt Cue and he is, as he fully admits, obsessed with the area. April also knew it well having filmed for a TV show, The Mind of a Chef, down here. When the opportunity to buy Coombeshead came up it was a dream they both shared. "We didn't just want to be taking the food up to London, our gut feeling was that we wanted to do something down here."
Tom and April's friendship goes back years to when she first dined at Pitt Cue Co in London. "She's very much a massive mentor figure really," says Tom. "I've learned heaps from spending time with her and working at The Breslin". As for the division of labour in Cornwall, "I'll be here day in and day out cooking every night and she'll be over here several times a year, lending advice and support."
To that end, Tom moved in at the start of April. Builders are already hard at work transforming the farmhouse into a guesthouse. There'll be six bedrooms with Tom cooking in the dining room for up to 12 guests every night. We like the sound of the whisky and library room, "so you can just stagger upstairs afterwards". In time, they'll be able to offer special workshops for guests - pickling and breadmaking for example - with bespoke workshops created if you want to take the whole place over. "We'd love to make it as creative and exciting as possible," explains Tom.
There are also plans to bring in guest chefs. "I've made loads of friends - brilliant chefs - in London who'll be coming down to do dinners in the farmhouse for guests." And there's already one chef who's firmly on the list. "Nathan Outlaw's probably going to come and cook a big fish dinner in the farmhouse."
As for the food, "It's going to be simple farmhouse fare, using immaculate ingredients. We're going to look to produce it all ourselves. To begin with, we'll be using the existing farmers we use for Pitt Cue and our pigs. We've now got 26 Hebridean sheep, the bees arrive next month and then the pigs. We'll then progress to growing our own stuff. But for cattle we'll rely on people in the area. They produce the best beef I've ever tasted."
Sample dishes include:
- Whole Pit Baked Mangalitza Ham & Creamed Kraut
- Rabbit, Cobnut, & Nettle Sausage
- Grilled Onions & Cods Roe
- House Curds, Peas, Mint & Sorrel
- Blackcurrant Leaf Junket.
Coombeshead Farm opens on 8 July 2016 at Lewannick, Cornwall PL15 7QQ. Rooms will be sold inclusive of dinner and breakfast from £160. There will also be the possibility to book just for dinner for £50. Keep up with their news on Instagram at Instagram.com/coombesheadfarm