If you dream of eating great food that reminds you of sunnier places, how do Roasted feta with peppers, dates and black cardamom or Cappuccino crème brûlée, cinnamon and star anise milk and spiced doughnuts sound to you? Giorgio Kostas of The Old Bakery in Kingsbridge is a chef on a mission.
"My customers are like family," explains Giorgio. "I want to take them to where I grew up in Australia and Greece, with wonderful, fresh food that reflects the best of the season."
Giorgio knows how to get the best to the table. His childhood was spent between Australia - where his father taught him to hunt and prepare wild boar and Greece. He cannot remember a time when he was not at the stove.
He fell in love with the commercial kitchen in the islands of Greece, working both for the enduring, four-star Steps of Lindos hotel and an upmarket, intimate restaurant in Thessaloniki.
"There were a few tables and no menu, we would cook whatever came in fresh that day."
Simple, delicious. By now cookery had become the passion that Giorgio wanted to master, so he moved to Bristol to work for renowned Restaurateur and Chef, Barney Haughton. His restaurants, Quartier Vert and Bordeaux Quay, continue to garner national and local attention for their commitment to impeccably sourced organic produce and intelligent menus.
During that time, Giorgio cooked regularly with Barney’s team for Prince Charles and his guests at Highgrove.
"What a fantastic kitchen," Giorgio remembers. ‘"A really great place to cook using organic ingredients from the estate and these beautiful copper pans dating back to King George."
Having met his wife, Juliette, the newly-weds moved to Devon where Giorgio soon became Head Chef at the well-loved White Hart in Modbury. Eventually, the couple were ready to find their own place in the distinctive market town of Kingsbridge.
Giorgio’s restaurant, The Old Bakery, opened its doors in the spring of 2008. So how does he describe it?
"We make everything ourselves, from the bread to the sausages to curing the bacon, everything is fresh. You can come for an incredible breakfast, or in the winter months for lunch and dinner we like to serve a variety of beautiful, small dishes, like tapas is to encourage people to share food. Our regular customers often don’t ask for a menu, we just cook them something special."
Giorgio has a good team around him, his Sous Chef James Gordon Featherstone is working his way through BBC 2’s Masterchef The Professional heats and the wine list is chosen by Master of Wine, Liam Steevenson with an emphasis small producers from the Old World.
Giorgio’s wife Juliette has made The Old Bakery a place to remember. There's a fine dining menu on special nights like Valentine’s Day and throughout the summer months. With dishes like Roasted wood pigeon, coffee and date purée with almonds and a Dark chocolate and walnut tart with beetroot ice cream, it’s easy to see why people are raving about .the restaurant
So why not slip away to a place that reminds you of the sun? Where the chef makes not only three kinds of bread every day, but even the table we are sitting at. The Old Bakery hits the spot. See you there.
The Old Bakery is open Monday to Saturday for brunch, lunch, dinner and paella, please call for Special Events.
The fine dining menu returns from Easter onwards.
For Giorgio’s Cookery Classes, please call or see details on the website.
The Old Bakery, The Promenade, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1JD
t. +1548 85577, www.theoldbakerykingsbridge.co.uk