Former MasterChef winner James Nathan is setting up a catering company which will operate a “secret” restaurant as well as supply catering to posh Cornish holiday homes.
Nathan, a former barrister who triumphed in the BBC TV culinary competition in 2008, has spent the past four years working in a number of high-profile kitchens as he has made the moved from amateur cook to professional chef.
He has gained experience alongside Richard Corrigan, Michel Roux Jnr, John Campbell and Angela Hartnett and until recently spent two-and-a-half years at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall.
“The Seafood Restaurant has been a great inspiration, not necessarily because the food is amazing but because Rick has a Midas touch and can turn any business to gold,” Nathan told Caterer and Hotelkeeper. “Rick is thorough, disciplined and shrewd. I’ve learnt more about business and the logistics of doing 400 covers a day than I have about cooking. Obviously cooking 200 covers a service does hone your skills and speed, too. I can fillet a fish better than anyone now!”
Nathan’s new catering business will primarily be focused on providing catering to Cornwall’s plethora of smart holiday homes, as well as catering for one-off events further afield. He also intends to operate the occasional pop-up restaurant at Relish in Wadebridge and the Stornaway Café in Port Isaac, and will operate a street-food mobile catering trailer at the Exeter Food Festival from 29 April to 1 May.
In the summer Nathan is planning to launch a secret restaurant with special themed nights, where the location is unknown in advance to the customer. “It will be a bit like the way the rave scene started in the 1990s,” explained Nathan.