Inspiration from Britain's great fish chef
In addition to this eponymous flagship – which resettled in the picturesque village of Port Isaac in 2015 – Nathan Outlaw runs three other Cornish restaurants: Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac, the Mariners Rock (a public house) and Outlaw’s at St Enodoc Hotel in Rock. He consults for his London restaurant Outlaw’s at the Capital, leaving much of the running of the place in the hands of his culinary protégé Pete Biggs. Nathan Outlaw has appeared on Great British Menu and is a popular face on cooking favourite Saturday Kitchen.
Nathan Outlaw clearly has a real passion for seafood, yet the decision to focus on it entirely was also something of a geographical one; he strongly believes that chefs should “play to the strengths of their area” when it comes to ingredients and, with boatfuls of glorious fish being brought in every day by Cornish fishermen, there is no shortage of inspiration.
Where possible Nathan Outlaw will source his fish directly from these fishermen, with other produce purchased from local markets and farms. He is guided by what’s in season – “I let the markets tell me what’s available and I cook it” – and passionate about sustainability, aware of the impact inconsiderate methods of fishing can have on the marine environment.
Signature dishes include the likes of turbot with tartar sauce and crispy Porthilly oysters, with ice cream flavoured with local Tregothnan Earl Grey acting as a gloriously smoky sweet. Diners at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw can expect to find a set menu – be it a fixed lunch or extensive tasting menu – with British seafood and desserts being the sole focus, while visitors to the more relaxed Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen are encouraged to order a number of smaller fish tapas plates to share.
A cookbook fanatic – he estimates there are between 300 to 400 of them on his bookshelf – Nathan Outlaw has published two cookbooks of his own, Nathan Outlaw’s British Seafood (2012) and Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (2014). The former, a comprehensive guide to cooking, sourcing and eating British seafood, is a fitting paean to that which has made Nathan Outlaw the well-loved chef he is today.
In addition to teaching home cooks his seafood secrets he has strong links with Cornwall College’s catering department, with Academy Nathan Outlaw training future chefs with the requisite skills to make the most of the glorious bounty their region has to offer.