Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw

Putting the fish in aficionado, Nathan Outlaw has held multiple Michelin stars across his empire of exquisite seafood restaurants. His fish-forward menus offer diners the opportunity to try the very best catches from the Cornish coast, prepared with typically understated brilliance.

Nathan Outlaw is justly lauded for his skilful handling of British seafood, making it somewhat surprising that he was brought up in landlocked Maidstone, Kent. His father was a chef and so Nathan was initiated into the culinary world from an early age – at eight years old he was buttering toast during the breakfast service in his father’s kitchen – and by fourteen he was working in industrial kitchens during evenings and weekends.

Nathan spent two years at Thanet Catering College in Broadstairs before moving to London to work under Peter Kromberg at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel. He moved on, working for both Gary Rhodes and Eric Chavot before setting his sights further afield.

Moving to Cornwall, a turning point for Nathan came when he began working under Rick Stein at the Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. He cites the two years he spent working there as the most significant learning experience in his career, and it was here that Nathan Outlaw formed two relationships that would shape his future; he met his wife, Rachel, and first began working with fish and seafood.

As a chef de partie it was Nathan’s job to prepare the fish for cooking, building up an intimate knowledge of the myriad varieties of seafood the Cornish coast had to offer. Moving up to sous chef in his second year working at the restaurant, Nathan began to cook the seafood himself, developing a real passion for working with fish.

Nathan moved on and worked in a number of restaurants including John Campbell’s Michelin-starred restaurant Lords of the Manor, long-time friend Paul Ripley’s new Cornish venture and another of John Campbell’s restaurants, the Vineyard, where he acted as head chef. He was awarded his first Michelin star during his time at St Ervan Manor in North Cornwall and in 2006 was offered the head chef position at the Marina Hotel in Fowey, with the opportunity of having his own name above the door. This restaurant – Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – later moved locations but the rave reviews and accolades followed closely behind. Over the course of a decade, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw grew into a titan of the British fine dining scene, with an impressive array of awards – four rosettes from the AA, two Michelin stars and a rare ten out of ten rating from the Good Food Guide, which also declared it the number one restaurant in the country in 2018. In 2020, Nathan decided to relaunch the restaurant as Outlaw's New Road, a more relaxed establishment that removed long drawn-out tasting menus in favour of simply cooked fish, served at the very highest standard.

In addition to Outlaw's New Road, Nathan runs the Michelin-starred Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in the same town. He previously had a restaurant in Dubai (Nathan Outlaw at Al Maraha), as well as The Mariners Rock, Outlaw's at The Capital and Siren, all of which have since closed.

Nathan 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 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.

Nathan has published four cookbooks of his own, Nathan Outlaw’s British Seafood (2012), Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (2014), Nathan Outlaw's Everyday Seafood (2016) and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (2019). The former, a comprehensive guide to cooking, sourcing and eating British seafood, is a fitting paean to that which has made Nathan 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.