It was on a chance visit to Tuckenhay near Totnes back in 1992 where I was fortunate to meet one of my food heroes Keith Floyd at his then pub, 'The Malsters Arms (Floyd's Inn.)' My passion for cooking really fueled the pot so to speak. After copious amounts of wine and sharing stories with the wonderful Mr Floyd, it confirmed what I knew what I wanted to do - open a small bistro.
In May 2018 we took a gamble on a small former cafe which was in need of a major overhaul and six months later we opened the doors. Our venue was located just off the harbour in Brixham, a small yet vibrant active fishing port in Devon. The premises were small but that's why we liked it. This way all our focus and energy could be put into the dishes created to be enjoyed in an intimate setting, where we guests felt relaxed and at home.
During our short time in Brixham we managed to win the gold award for Best Restaurant/Bistro in the prestigious English Riviera awards together with a special commendation for the Devon Tourism awards. We also received a certificate of excellence recommendation from The Restaurant Guru as well consistently achieved 5 star review across Trip Advisor. We were also proud to hold a 5 Star Hygiene Rating.
Cooking and the joy of sharing simple but good food with friends and loved ones is a memory that goes back to being a small child. My parents were and are fantastic cooks and my culinary education started young.
I am Australian born to a Danish father and Australian mother and with that alone I was born into a fusion of flavours. My father's work as an artist took us around the world before we settled a couple of decades ago in the UK. My culinary education and quest never subsiding. A detour into a career in the financial sector took place before my vision could finally evolve. Patience was needed and the right time.
During this time and on the side of a career, I have been fortunate to cook for Loyd Grossman, Tom Parker Bowles and Phil Vickery all for ITV, as well as film a commercial showcasing one of my recipes for Marks and Spencer. I have also extensively travelled the globe gaining further experience in kitchens including Australia, Italy, France and Thailand where I also taught Thai cookery classes.
Cooking is an evolving education and I am learning new and wonderful flavour combinations every day. Too often food can be presented in a stuffy and pretentious manner. That's not what the Salty Sparrow is about. My emphasis is on the enjoyment of simple food done well; the star of the show is the ingredients themselves. Good produce speaks for itself which is why I go to great lengths to ensure what is lovingly prepared on your plate has also been lovingly grown or produced. It's all heart from the field to plate.
We decided to close the doors in October 2019 at the height of popularity due to wishing to spend more family time together. I am now excited and looking forward to releasing my new cookbook in 2020 as well as launching cookery classes which you have asked for and I am happy to oblige. Teaching and the love of food is something that should be shared.