A menu for all

Ve­g­an­ism is on the rise, and Ba­yards Cove Inn at Dart­mouth is em­brac­ing the trend. LUCY JOHN­SON finds out more

Devon Life - - Bayards Cove Inn -

Veg­e­tar­i­ans are rel­a­tively well catered for in the UK, but if you want to eat out, and avoid an­i­mal prod­ucts al­to­gether - that’s eggs and all dairy prod­ucts - it can be tough.

Bog­dan Ni­cori­ciu, or Danny as his known, has seen an in­creas­ing de­mand for ve­gan and vege­tar­ian food at Ba­yards Cove Inn, Dart­mouth, where he is the head chef, and it now forms a sta­ple part of the menu. With choices like the Ba­yards Ve­gan break­fast, or a Por­to­bello mush­room burger, be­ing ve­gan is now much more than opt­ing for a risotto, nut roast or tofu and fill­ing up on bread.

Eth­i­cal fine din­ing and cru­elty-free food are on the rise, and Danny is em­brac­ing the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing dishes that are as de­li­cious as their meat or fish-laden coun­ter­parts.

He ex­plains: “We in­tro­duced ve­gan food at the be­gin­ning of the year and there’s a huge de­mand, and for vege­tar­ian food too. I’m not a ve­gan, but I have ab­so­lutely no prob­lem with peo­ple choos­ing to be ve­gan and I re­ally en­joy the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing tasty dishes that any­one would eat, some­thing that’s a bit dif­fer­ent,” he says.

He ad­mits that he is still teach­ing him­self, adding, “We tried jack fruit, it was lovely, but very ex­pen­sive, and it took a long time to put to­gether as it needs to be slow roasted, so we couldn’t in­clude that on the menu. And we’ve tried to cre­ate food where the vege­tar­ian dishes can be eas­ily adapted for ve­g­ans too.”

This sum­mer, Ba­yards Cove Inn has en­joyed a busy few months, and or­ders for its ve­gan and vege­tar­ian dishes are on a par with its more tra­di­tional fare such as its catch of the day or a Devon rib eye steak.

“We’ve re­ally no­ticed peo­ple say­ing how nice it is to have so many vege­tar­ian and ve­gan dishes to choose from. It’s so pop­u­lar, and even some of our reg­u­lar cus­tomers are giv­ing it a try,” he says.

The Asian-style mar­i­nated tem­peh and sesame noo­dles are a huge favourite, with the su­per food salad, now a ubiq­ui­tous part of many menus, also pop­u­lar.

But it’s adapt­ing pasta dishes that Danny en­joys, tak­ing away some key com­po­nents and re­plac­ing with an equally tasty ve­gan al­ter­na­tive. “I love cook­ing with pasta. They are some of the sim­plest dishes but the nicest. With a cou­ple of ex­tra in­gre­di­ents, you can cre­ate some­thing fan­tas­tic. I like some­thing on the plate where you don’t need a dic­tio­nary to un­der­stand it. It’s nice to know what you are eat­ing,” he en­thuses.

His ve­gan lin­guine put­tanesca dish is prob­a­bly one of the most pop­u­lar, mi­nus the an­chovies, and with shal­lots, gar­lic dried in olive oil, chopped toma­toes, olives and plenty of herbs, served with baked plum toma­toes, olives, rocket salad and truf­fle oil. For ve­g­ans there’s a gar­lic bread and gar­lic oil ac­com­pa­ni­ment, with­out the Parme­san cheese.

Ba­yards Cove is famed for is mouth­wa­ter­ing burg­ers, in­clud­ing the mar­row and beef which is made lo­cally by con­sult­ing chef Serin Aubrey of Dart­mouth Fine Foods, but not to be out­done, a Por­to­bello mush­room burger is equally de­li­cious for ve­g­ans.

A chef of some 18 years ex­pe­ri­ence, Danny stud­ied as a vet in his na­tive Ro­ma­nia, be­fore com­ing to Lon­don in 2000 where he be­gan train­ing as a chef in Ca­nary Wharf in an ar­ti­sanstyle kitchen where he learned tra­di­tional meth­ods us­ing the fresh­est of in­gre­di­ents, which goes hand in hand with what he does at Ba­yards Cove Inn and its rus­tic style menu.

Un­der the tute­lage of the owner, with whom he re­mains very close friends, he worked his way up to be­com­ing head chef, fi­nally leav­ing for pas­tures new in 2009. The wife of the owner was run­ning the for­mer Royal Dart Ho­tel at Kingswear and he worked there for three years un­til it closed down to be con­verted into flats.

Danny ar­rived with his flair at Ba­yards Cove Inn nearly two years ago and heads a team of three chefs work­ing long hours and get­ting in­volved in ev­ery­thing.

He ex­plains: “I’m here all the time, I re­ally get stuck in. I’m cook­ing, plat­ing, wash­ing-up, ev­ery­thing and any­thing that needs to be done to pull our team to­gether, keep every­one happy, and get the job done, and I am al­ways last to leave. I love work­ing in such a busy place, as there’s such a buzz. Once you’re bit­ten by this, I think that’s it.”

While meat and fish will al­ways re­side on the Ba­yards Cove Inn menus, ve­g­ans and veg­e­tar­i­ans are in for a treat. ba­yard­scov­einn.co.uk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.