Chef Dan Cox introduces Crocadon, his long-awaited restaurant located on a 120-acre organic farm in St Mellion, Southeast Cornwall and which will open for the season on February 3rd.
A project five years in the making, Crocadon celebrates the connection between food and agriculture and is housed within a historic barn framed by the rolling hills of the Tamar Valley. Restored over the course of 12 months from its former state as a crumbling shell to a 25-cover dining room and open kitchen, the restaurant will bring to life the hyper-seasonal and self-sufficient ethos that Dan Cox has imagined for so many years.
With the farm at the centre of all inspiration, the Crocadon menu will utilise the breadth of regenerative ingredients Dan Cox has cultivated since taking over the land in 2017. The past five years has seen the London-born chef and expert grower work around the clock to bring new life to the soil, home rare and heritage breeds of sheep and cattle and renovate multiple outhouses to include establishing an on-site microbrewery and pottery. With Dan now focusing on establishing the restaurant, the farming and growing are now under the stewardship of husband and wife duo Tim Williams and Claire Hannington-Williams. They come with a wealth of knowledge and experience managing leading regenerative farms and permaculture based growing systems.
Before moving to Cornwall, Dan Cox spent seven years working for the Simon Rogan Group which included helping to establish Simon’s biodynamic farm ‘Our Farm’ alongside time in the kitchen at both L’Enclume and Aulis in the Lake District. He was then appointed Executive Chef at Fera within Claridges, where he remained for three years. Previous chef roles include at The Greenhouse in Mayfair, Number 14 in Verbier and Can Fabes in Catalonia. In 2008 Dan was crowned winner of the prestigious Roux Scholarship.
Dishes on the Crocadon menu will change regularly, presenting Dan Cox’s reactive approach to cooking inspired by what is harvested from the farm that week. Ensuring each plate of food is as rooted in nature as it can be, his aesthetically pared-back yet technically complex cooking style draws on elements of his classical training, whilst still reflecting the humble and rugged facade of Crocadon’s Cornish backyard. Fermentation and smoking techniques as well as open-fire cooking play a prominent part alongside the use of raw ingredients. In the evening, there will be the choice of two tasting menus - a long and shorter version - with dishes such as:
Nuka Golden Turnips
Gigantis beans & cured saddleback pork loin
Brown crab & lemongrass
Whey caramel, yoghurt & caramelised apple
A three-course lunch on Sunday will be available as a more relaxed sharing style offering. The wine list will focus exclusively on natural, organic and biodynamic wines from across Europe, with plans to introduce more wines from the West Country over time. Working alongside Dan Cox will be Head Chef Michael Thompson (formerly Cub, Fera and Pollen St Social), while front-of-house will be overseen by Cat Kirkwood (previously General Manager of Amass in Copenhagen).
The farm will supply the kitchen with hundreds of varieties of vegetables, fruit and herbs throughout the year, focusing on perennial crops (harvested once to return year after year). Alongside pear, plum, walnut and cherry trees, the farm is home to two orchards producing several tonnes of apples utilised in the kitchen and bottled for juice. Rare breed sheep and cattle are rotationally grazed around the farm, giving them access to the best pasture possible and resulting in exceptionally healthy and well-fed animals, which are then dry aged for extended periods on farm. Chickens are bred for both their meat and eggs. Various heritage grains and legumes are grown and harvested as part of the wider rotation of the farm, meaning the restaurant is never in short supply of their own flour and grain. Some produce for the restaurant is sourced from local suppliers that share the farm's ethos, such as mushrooms and seafood.
A self-taught potter, Dan Cox has also installed Crocadon with its very own ceramics workshop found within the grade-two listed farmhouse, which is also his home. In collaboration with a handful of emerging British ceramicists and Head Chef Michael Thompson, here they handcraft all of the tableware for the dining room. Each piece being glazed using recipes they create using waste products from the farm and restaurant. A microbrewery, run by expert brewers James and Nia Rylance as Ideal Day Family Brewery, operates from the farm full-time and also supplies the restaurant.
Crocadon is open for dinner on Thursday, Friday & Saturdays and Sunday lunch, with plans to open more days a week over time, alongside plans for special events and collaborations throughout the year.
Crocadon, St Mellion, Saltash PL12 6RL