Tom Adams
Published 04 April 2018

We talk to Tom Adams, a chef who has truly gone back to nature at Coombeshead Farm in the Cornish village of Lewannick

How did the restaurant at Coombeshead Farm come to life?
April Bloomfield and I met at Pitt Cue in London and we stayed in touch. I had been keeping pigs at a friend’s farm in Cornwall and April would often come down to visit when she was in the UK. It was at the farm that the conversations began about starting something.

Do you prefer the countryside or the city?
A mix is nice, but I grew up in the countryside and I think that is ultimately where my heart lies.

What’s your favourite ingredient produced at the farm?
The garden is just beginning to grow, with a polytunnel just gone in, but there's something pretty special about a just-picked radish.

Your menus naturally showcase seasonality, what is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I’ve always loved spring as everything is showing so much potential, but autumn always feels beautifully abundant.

Which one ingredient couldn’t you cook without?
Dairy. We love brilliant dairy and go to great lengths to ensure we get the right dairy products here. We don’t cook with butter very much, except in our pastries, but it features heavily with our bread course in the evening. I’m not sure we could handle life without butter.

Who were your greatest influences?
Jeremy Lee and April Bloomfield.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
That’s tricky to say as we are probably guilty of them, too! Keeping things simple is always a good place to start. It’s easy to overthink and overwork things.

Who would you most love to have as a guest at the farm?
Pierre Koffmann stayed last year, which was pretty amazing.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
I’d probably be a lot less tired! I’d like to think I’d still be in food. I was a cheesemonger for a short time, which I loved, so maybe that could have been an option, or possibly something wine-related. My brother is a winemaker and I find it fascinating.

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