Introducing our Pastry Chef Paul Beasley
Meet Paul, The Greenbank Hotel’s Pastry Chef, as we discuss how he fell in love with all things pastry…
How did you become The Greenbank HOTEL’s pastry chef?
When the chance came up to become The Greenbank’s pastry chef, I naturally was very excited and jumped at the chance. I’ve always loved the area and was keen to get back down here after studying in Falmouth to enjoy all that the town has to offer.
What made you become a chef?
From an early age, I have been creative and keen to help my mum bake cakes in our kitchen. I started from the bottom, with my first job as a kitchen porter in a professional kitchen, working my way up by watching the other chefs. I was always ready to learn.
Who are your biggest influences?
There have been many influences throughout my career but my obvious answer would be my mum and nan. When I first started to cook, I loved reading the Roux brothers recipes as well as having the pleasure of working with some very talented Head Chefs including Nick Hawke and Glynn Wellington.
When did you start making desserts?
Although I was always helping my mum making cakes, it wasn’t really until I had my first job in the kitchen that I started properly making my first desserts.
I have about 40-50 cookbooks in my cupboards at home, so to narrow that down to just one is quite difficult! I do enjoy the Roux brothers (which shows as I have four of their cookbooks) but I also enjoy looking in a second hand book shop for older cookbooks too.
What ingredients do you love the most, and what is your pastry to make?
I love the late winter and early spring season when we get the first of the Yorkshire rhubarb, as it shines that beautiful delicate pink colour. Then in the autumn, sea buckthorn. I adore foraging around the sand dunes for that sharp bright orange berry that comes out in early October.
My favourite pastry to make – I honestly enjoy making most things in pastry, whether it be our famous chocolate tart or a new flavour combination for bread.
What are some of your favourite flavour combinations?
As I said earlier, I love rhubarb – and orange and ginger work very well together with it. Later on in the spring, elderflower is available. I absolutely love a classic combo of elderflower and strawberries.
For something a little different, which I like to do here at the hotel in the summer, is when peaches are around. Peaches with Szechuan pepper and coriander is a great flavour. Sounds crazy but I make a Szechuan pepper ice cream. Add some peaches to the mix and it tastes beautifully.
When you’re not at work, where do you go for great pastry?
I love to get out on the South West Coast Path, as there are some really nice little cafes in the quaint coastal villages you pass through. I always enjoy stopping for a coffee and cake to refuel and enjoy our Cornish views.