In our interview series with Hallgarten & Novum Wines, Trencherman’s chefs take us behind the scenes of their life in food and wine. This month we spoke to Trencherman’s chairman Michael Caines MBE of Lympstone Manor in Exmouth
How would you describe your style of cooking?
Contemporary European food created using the best ingredients the South West has to offer. Flavour is at the heart of every dish, with beautiful presentation as standard.
What role does wine play in the dining experience?
The synergy between food and wine is incredibly important to me and the team at Lympstone Manor. I spend a lot of time working with our sommeliers to find the perfect food and wine matches for our tasting menus. We have two tasting menus: Estuary, which features some of my favourite seafood dishes, and the Signature Menu which showcases my classic creations.
We also really enjoy hosting wine dinners. We have over 600 wines in our cellar and invested in a Wineemotion dispenser system so we could offer over 24 wines by the glass, including Champagnes.
What’s your most memorable dining experience?
There’s been many, but the last dining experience I had before lockdown (which makes it even more special) was at Enoteca Pinchiorri, a three Michelin star restaurant in Florence. It was a great demonstration of incredible food and wine.
How much do you think about wine when creating a dish?
A lot. In some cases the wine will influence the dish, for example if we taste something amazing we’ll create a bespoke dish to match.
What’s your vision for 2021?
Summer is going to be incredibly busy so it’ll be about maximising the business while dealing with the imminent shortage of staff. We’re going to be launching our businesses (two in Cornwall, three in Devon) and just doing the best we can to get back on our feet and trade as normal.
Which drinks trends are you seeing?
It’s difficult to predict trends at the moment as nobody has been out drinking but guests’ appetites for drinks certainly hasn’t subsided. We’re very conscious that there’s a demand for artisan cocktails so we’re looking at creating a great cocktail menu at Mickey’s Beach Bar & Restaurant [Michael’s new restaurant in Exmouth]. We’re also seeing a heightened interest in English sparkling wines.
Hallgarten & Novum specialises in sourcing premium wines. What would you pick as your desert island bottle?
A classic Burgundy or a Bordeaux like Pétrus, Lafite or Latour. It’s difficult to pick, though if it’s the last thing I’m going to drink it would probably be an amazing Bordeaux – a Magnum, preferably. But, I could be tempted by a wonderful Chardonnay or bottle of red from Burgundy.
Find out more about Hallgarten & Novum here.