CHEF Nathan Outlaw recently embarked – quite accidentally – on an acting career. Look closely and listen well, and you'll catch the 41-year-old restaurateur in new movie Fisherman's Friends, a film based on 10 singing Cornish fishermen who got a record deal.

Port Isaac-based Outlaw was roped in after a couple of producers knocked on his door, asking if he wanted to be in it. "I thought they wanted people to sit in the background, drinking a pint or something," he recalls, "then I get down there..."

They presented him with a situation: He's parked his car and the tide's engulfed it, what do you do? "I had to react naturally," he says with a laugh, "and I said, 'Oh bollocks!' - and that was my line for the whole film."

However, he's not convinced an acting career is going to usurp his culinary endeavours - "I did one line and it took me eight takes!" - which is understandable, after all he's still the only chef in the UK with a two Michelin star seafood restaurant.

Now, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has its own eponymous cookbook to match. The recipe collection considers a year in the life of the hilltop restaurant, moving deftly through the seasons as the dining room's views out over the Atlantic shift too: There's the globe artichokes and peas of early spring; baked hake and creamed corn of late summer; monkfish and seaweed for late autumn, and mackerel with pickled onion to usher in winter.

Outlaw calls it a "real snapshot" of what he and his team do, and sees it as an opportunity for people to capture a bit of that at home, even if they can't make the schlep to north Cornwall.

"I was so excited when we first came up with this dish, and I still am today," says chef Nathan Outlaw. "It is everything you want from a dessert: Fruity with strawberries, crisp with pastry, rich and creamy with elderflower custard, and refreshing from the sorbet.

"Classic flavours and great textures sing together. The sorbet, in particular, is exceptionally good, especially when strawberries are at their best."

strawberries, elderflower custard and strawberry champagne sorbet


(Serves 6)

For the rough puff pastry:

500g plain flour, plus extra to dust

10g fine sea salt

500g ice-cold butter, cut into 1cm dice

250ml ice-cold water

200g icing sugar, to dust

For the elderflower and lemon custard:

300ml double cream

100ml elderflower cordial

4 large eggs

100g caster sugar

50ml lemon juice

For the strawberry champagne sorbet:

500g strawberries, hulled and halved

500ml champagne

100g liquid glucose

100g caster sugar

For the elderflower and strawberry syrup:

100g strawberries, hulled

100ml elderflower cordial

200g liquid glucose

For the strawberries:

20 strawberries, hulled and halved


1. To make the rough puff pastry, put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips, until the pieces are roughly half the size. Add the water and mix to a dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a neat rectangle, about 50 x 20cm. Fold the top third down, then the bottom third up over the top. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Give the dough a quarter-turn, then roll out and fold as before, twice more. Now dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Dust the pastry heavily with icing sugar and roll up, like a big sausage. Wrap in cling film and chill in the freezer.

2. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or silicone paper. Unwrap the pastry roll and cut into six slices, the thickness of a £1 coin. Lay these on the baking sheet. (Freeze the rest of the pastry roll for another day.) Bake the pastry discs for eight to 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.

3. To make the custard, pour the cream and elderflower cordial into a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Pour on the hot cream mix, whisking as you do so, then add the lemon juice. Pour into a thermomix set at 90°C and cook on full speed for five minutes. Or cook, stirring over a low heat, until the custard reaches 90°C. Immediately pour into six serving dishes. Let cool slightly and then place in the fridge to set; this will take two hours.

4. For the strawberry champagne sorbet, put all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and blitz the mixture with a hand blender, then pass through a sieve into a jug and leave to cool. Once cooled, churn in an ice-cream machine until firm, then transfer the sorbet to a suitable container and freeze until ready to serve.

5. To make the syrup, put the strawberries, elderflower cordial and glucose into a pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then pass the syrup through a sieve into a jug. Set aside for serving.

6. Put the fresh strawberries into a bowl, add some of the syrup and toss carefully to dress. Remove the elderflower custards from the fridge and arrange the strawberries equally on top of them. Spoon a neat scoop of strawberry sorbet on top of each pile of strawberries and finish with a puff pastry disc. Serve immediately.

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw by Nathan Outlaw, photography by David Loftus, is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £45. Available now.