Seagrass Restaurant, at the centre of St Ives’ bustling harbour-side, has been given a new lease of life this spring. The arrival of Head Chef Tom Pryce in April marked a fresh start for the already well-respected dining destination, and the future looks bright, with Tom and his team landing an AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence almost immediately.
Tom, who spent several years as Head Chef at Porthminster Beach Café, has reinvigorated the menu, focusing on seasonal produce from St Ives and its surroundings. Simple, well executed dishes are given flourishes of originality and flavour by this ambitious chef, who grew up in St Ives and is keen to celebrate the culinary feast his hometown has to offer. “St Ives has a thriving food scene and I’m really enjoying being here at the heart of it,” he enthuses. “It’s inspiring my menus – each dish has a flavour of St Ives in some way.”
Seafood plays a starring role on the menu, with St Ives Bay crab, lobster and other local delicacies featuring heavily. Tom is also making the most of the resurgence in line-caught Cod stocks, combining this popular fish with foraged samphire and crispy sea lettuce for example.
Seagrass owners Julia and Scott Blair are enthusiastic about the restaurant’s future and congratulated Tom and the whole team for the recognition the Rosette brings. “There are so many great restaurants in St Ives,” said Julia, “I think healthy competition spurs us all on. We are thrilled with this award – there is a long season ahead, but this has given us just the kind of impetus we need.”
Julia explains that she loves the buzz of a busy service. “We had a restaurant in Greece for 5 years and knew it was something we wanted to do again. We were looking for a place by the sea in the UK and feel in love with this location as soon as we saw it. We’ve travelled a lot and seen some beautiful places, but St Ives is something special.”
Seagrass clearly occupies an inspiring location for both its owners and their new chef, and looks set for a busy season, as the team seek to build on this recent award.