"What's important is to have plates come back into the kitchen empty," he explained to Staff Canteen.
Chris Eden is as Cornish as the produce he so enthusiastically showcases at The Driftwood. He grew up, and now lives again, in St Austell, having been drawn to the bright lights of London to refine his cuisine, or ‘learn how to put things on a plate’ as a teen. Since returning to Cornwall, he has earned The Driftwood its first Michelin star, becoming the first Cornwall-born chef to do so in the region.
Eden has adopted a produce-led ethos that has won him many admirers in Cornwall and beyond. The food is seasonally focussed, with Cornish ingredients handled with skill and care by Eden. Dishes are laced with touches of adventure and invention - ling may arrive with cauliflower, vanilla and curry, but these are played down. Overall, one is left with the feeling that Eden's real objective is to keep customers happy and coming back for more.
Though his food is undeniably refined, he holds flavour as key. He once said that his last meal would be moussaka followed by apple tarte Tatin - and despite the exquisite technique there is something homely and honest about Eden’s cooking – The Michelin Guide have applauded ‘unfussy, modern, seasonally pertinent dishes’.
He is a firm disciple of local, Cornish produce and most Saturdays takes the trip down to Truro market to pick up a range of goods. He is humble about his own role, seeing himself as a conduit for the top-quality produce rather than its master.
"As much as I put the food onto the plate, if I don’t get the quality ingredients in the kitchen – this means nothing," he has said.