Emily Scott on the joy of simplicity and cooking for President Joe Biden

The Cornwall-based chef is all about seasonal ingredients and fuss-free food, she tells Katie Wright.

Emily Scott has called the UK’s southernmost county home for 25 years, but the chef’s roots in the region go back even further.

“I spent a lot of time in Cornwall as a child, because my grandparents had a house down here,” says Scott, 48, on a video call from her home near Newquay.

“And also in France, because my grandfather was half-French and they lived out in Provence.”

Born in Sussex, she moved to the picturesque village of Port Isaac aged 23 and married her first husband, a fisherman, and the couple had three children, Oscar, 21, Finn, 20, and Evie, 18.

“Sadly, I divorced the fisherman – or not sadly, I’m not sure – but actually, it’s all very amicable. But I chose to stay in Cornwall… and my career has just grown and got better and better.”

Scott’s first foray into food was the seaside Harbour Restaurant in Port Isaac, followed by eight years running the much-loved St Tudy Inn gastropub and rooms.

Now, she’s creative director (“I’m not apron-on as much as I used to be”) at Emily Scott Food, the restaurant that sits on the sea wall at Watergate Bay.

What unites all these culinary outposts? “I’ve been banging the simplicity drum for a long time – my food’s all about seasonality, but also not too much faffing around.”

(Left) Time & Tide by Emily Scott | Kristin Perers/PA | (Right) Emily Scott | Kristin Perers/PA

That ethos is evident in her second cookbook, Time & Tide, which includes plenty of one-pot main dishes, simple suppers and satisfying bakes.

“It’s about times of day,” says Scott, who lives with her partner Mark Hellyar, a winemaker, and her children.

“There’s a lovely chapter called ‘morning cafe’ with lots of nods to my French roots, because that’s just a very natural thing for me. We’ve got ‘rise and shine’, meaning breakfast time, we’ve got ‘seaside soirees’.”

The recipes reflect Scott’s trademark Cornish-French fusion with seafood – scallops, mussels, mackerel, crab – taking centre stage alongside French culinary classics like beurre blanc, bouillabaisse, ratatouille and creme brulee, while Cornish sea salt and clotted cream appear on many an ingredients list.

The book cover features a quote from American actor and foodie Stanley Tucci, who has become a friend.

“It’s just been a very natural coming together through food,” says Scott. “You know, when you see him on television in his Italy series, he genuinely is that person. He genuinely loves food and wine, and that’s what connects everyone in my view.”

The chef and author didn’t always have such a favourable view of feasting. She had anorexia in her teens and was forced to drop out of school.

After going in and out of treatment, she was offered the opportunity to go and work in a hotel restaurant in France.

“It’s quite a normal thing for people with eating disorders to end up in food, I think, because, I mean, you can’t give up food,” Scott says.

“I just ended up – kind of through choice – just recovering, and turning my rather unhealthy relationship with food around, and finding the joy of cooking for people.”

In 2021, the restauranteur got the chance to cook for some very important people when she was asked by the Cabinet Office to cater a dinner for world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay.

“They were looking for something slightly different – they didn’t want the very formal, old school, white gloves [style],” Scott says.

“I submitted my menu and told them I’d be giving them tea towels as napkins, and we’d have French Duralex glasses, mismatched cutlery, that kind of thing, and they loved it.”

On the menu was melon gazpacho, turbot with miso beurre blanc sauce, and strawberry and elderflower pavlova, followed by “little mini ice creams for the petit fours and Cornish fudge we made. So it was all quite nostalgic nods to the seaside”.

What was it like emerging from the kitchen at the end of the meal to greet diners including then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

“It was literally like, you know when you go to a friend’s house for dinner, but you’re really late and you turn up and everyone’s had a drink? I was suddenly surrounded,” Scott recalls.

“President Biden had his arm around me, I had Macron and his wife signing my book, because my book had come out the day before, then I had Angela Merkel saying, ‘We must get a photograph now, come on’. It was quite a moment really.”

Even better, the proud mum got to share the experience with her kids: “Oscar, my eldest, and my partner’s daughter served the world leaders, and my son Finn was in the kitchen cooking as part of my team. I thought, as a parent, I’m done!”

Plus, the feedback on the food from the VIPs was top notch.

“They loved it. And what was so nice is I said to [the organisers], ‘I want them to be relaxed. I want them to stay longer’,” Scott says.

“The secret service were like, ‘They ran over time, they were so relaxed’. We did our job.”

Time & Tide by Emily Scott is published by Hardie Grant, priced £28. Photography by Kristin Perers. Available now.

Words by Katie Wright, PA

Kristin Perers/PA

Roast chicken with chorizo, garlic & rosemary



  • 1 whole properly free-range chicken (about 1.5kg/ 3lb 5 oz)
  • 50–100g (2–3½oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 8 rosemary sprigs
  • 12 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g (10 ½oz) chorizo, thickly sliced
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) small new potatoes, left whole
  • Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6). Place the chicken in an oven-to-table roasting dish. Rub the breasts and legs with the butter, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then place the streaky bacon over the breasts of the chicken (this protects the breast meat for the first part of the cooking, keeping the meat moist and adding delicious flavour. The crispy bacon becomes the cook’s perk).
  2. Place the lemon halves and most of the rosemary in the cavity. Arrange the garlic cloves around the chicken in the oven dish, then drizzle the whole chicken with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the bacon is crispy.
  3. Remove the dish from the oven, remove the bacon and set aside. Baste the chicken with the buttery and lemony juices, then arrange the slices of chorizo and small potatoes around the chicken with the remaining rosemary sprigs. Return to the oven to roast for 45 minutes–1 hour until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear (test by inserting a skewer into a leg).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with the buttery, golden juices, with the roasted potatoes and chorizo, accompanied by greens or a salad.

Kristin Perers/PA

Dauphinoise potatoes with spinach & clotted cream



  • 50g (2oz) unsalted butter
  • 300g (10 1⁄2 oz/1 1⁄2 cups) clotted cream
  • 150ml (5fl oz/scant 2⁄3 cup) creme fraiche or Rodda’s double (heavy) cream
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1.2kg (2lb 10oz) waxy potatoes, peeled (Desirée potatoes work well)
  • 900ml (30fl oz/3 1⁄2 cups) full-fat milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, halved lengthways
  • 200g (7oz) baby spinach, washed and stalks removed (wild garlic is a perfect alternative when in season)
  • Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan/320°F/Gas 2). Grease the sides and bottom of an oven-to-table dish with a little of the butter and set the rest aside to use later.
  2. Place the clotted cream and creme fraîche in a bowl and stir together, then add a pinch of sea salt, some black pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
  3. Cut the potatoes into 2.5mm ( 1⁄8 in) slices. Place them in a heavy-based pan and cover with the milk, then add a good pinch of sea salt, another grating of nutmeg, the bay leaves and garlic. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes (be careful – the bottom of the pan can catch). Drain, discarding the milk, garlic and bay leaves.
  4. Carefully layer the potatoes in the buttered dish alternating them with layers of spinach, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Make sure the top and bottom layers are just potato. Pour over the clotted cream mixture, making sure the top layer is just covered. Finish the top off with some more grated nutmeg and a few knobs of the remaining butter.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a table knife passes through with ease. Allow to rest.

Kristin Perers/PA

Blackberry & peach crisp



For the Amaretti crumble topping:

  • 160g (5½oz) amaretti biscuits
  • 80g (3oz/scant 1 cup) flaked (slivered) almonds
  • 75g (2½oz) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 50g (2oz/scant ½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 50g (2oz/scant ¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar

For the bramble and peach filling:

  • 350g (12oz) blackberries
  • 6 peaches, skinned and stoned (pitted), sliced (if using frozen peaches, thaw and drain first)
  • 100g (3½oz/scant ½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (corn starch) slaked with 2 tablespoons water
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6).
  2. For the crumble topping, blitz the amaretti biscuits with the flaked almonds in a food processor to a rubble.
  3. In a mixing bowl, rub the butter and flour together to resemble breadcrumbs, then add the sugar along with the almond rubble and mix together.
  4. Spread the mixture out over a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool.
  5. For the filling, place the blackberries, peaches, sugar, cornflour mixture, lemon zest and juice in a heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring all the time to allow the sugar to dissolve. Cook until the fruit is tender.
  6. Transfer to an oven-to-table baking dish and sprinkle over the amaretti crumble topping. Finish off in the oven for 5–6 minutes. Don’t forget the cream.

Time & Tide by Emily Scott is published by Hardie Grant, priced £28. Photography by Kristin Perers. Available now.

Leave a Reply