6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Devon Life meets Paul George Bending, head chef at No.1 The Strand, Shaldon

16:49 19 March 2013

Devon Life meets Paul George Bending, head chef at No.1 The Strand, Shaldon

Devon Life meets Paul George Bending, head chef at No.1 The Strand, Shaldon

Paul George Bending, head chef at Number One the Strand shares his path into the food industry

Meet the chef

Devon Life meets Paul George Bending, head chef at No.1 The Strand, Shaldon

What is your earliest food memory?
As a toddler I would sit in the garden for hours with a bowl of flour, I was fascinated by it. I remember my grandmothers Sunday lunch though: plates of overcooked meat, roast potatoes, a flat soggy Yorkshire and a lump of suet pudding.

How did you get into cooking?
My parents would go out on the weekend and come home to a buffet on their sideboard, simple things like sausage rolls and jam tarts. Often the ingredients were not in the larder so I would have to improvise.

What made you decide to be a chef?
I always thought I would cook for a living, although as a boy I was adamant it was going to be in the Royal Navy. Some years later I was recruited as head chef on a motor yacht so my dream of going to sea became a reality.

What was your first experience of cooking professionally?
I served an egg mayonnaise starter at the George and Dragon in Clyst St George in the early eighties. Throughout school and at cadet camps, I always ended up on kitchen duty.

What successes or failures did you have in the early days?
I once served a fish pie in a hotel near Exeter, it was golden brown to look at but it was frozen solid in the centre.

How did you progress to where you are now?
I worked my way around London and I worked as sous chef at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly. After two years I returned to Devon and cooked at the Barton Cross Hotel for 14 years gaining stars, rosettes and awards.

What sort of foods and flavours inspire you?
I like good hearty well-balanced flavours. You cant beat the classic sole fillets poached in Vermouth, spring lamb with herb crust and dauphinoise potatoes.

What are your food hates?
I wont eat brussel sprouts unless they are sauted in butter, chestnuts and bacon.

Do you have any signature dishes?
Sauted strips of beef fillet with stilton port and walnuts, seared scallops with a courgette mousse and gazpacho, peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.

How important is sourcing to you?
Here at Number One, I can throw a bread roll into the sea from the front door so sourcing fresh fish is easy. I try my best to source locally as Devon is an amazing place for produce.

Who are your preferred suppliers?
The Shaldon bakery supply me with a wonderful array of baguettes and sandwiches and right next door is Orsmans the butcher, voted butcher of the year in 2012.

Describe the best meal you have ever had.
It was at Le Manoir aux QuatSaisons when I was working in Shinfield. It was an excellent experience, the guinea fowl with pink grapefruit sticks in my mind.

Who inspires you in the cooking world?
Augustus Escoffier is the father of all our cuisine. Modern chefs may well debate this. But there would be no cooking without Scoff!

Who would you most like to have round for a dinner party?
Horatio Nelson, Augustus Escoffier, Bruce Springsteen, Charles Dickens and my grandfather Mr George Paddon.

No 1 The Strand, Shaldon, Teignmouth, TQ14 0DL. 01626 872 824


Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Food & Drink

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The Coach House by Michael Caines

On Thursday 26th May 2016 The Coach House by Michael Caines at Kentisbury Grange will be hosting a Sancerre Wine Dinner with famous wine producers Domaine Henri Bourgeois

Read more
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The Rams Head Inn at Dolton

The Ram’s Head Inn at Dolton has been transformed by its inventive new owners

Read more
Monday, April 25, 2016
The inspiring recipe box dishes come from the talented development chefs, Bob and Kirsty

There are lots of talented chefs working across Devon but Susan Clark has a soft spot for the two who are producing recipe boxes that will make you feel you really can cook - and cook well

Read more
Monday, April 18, 2016
Romanescue Ramson pesto

Alex Murdin, winner of the 2016 Devon Home Cook competition, reveals the creative thinking behind his menu and shares a seasonal recipe

Read more
Monday, April 18, 2016
Paul Young and Los Pacminos open the Festival After Dark parties with a performance on Thursday, 21 April

Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young will headline this year’s Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink’s ‘After Dark Music Festival’ on Thursday 21st April.

Read more
Monday, April 11, 2016
Marco’s New York Italian restaurant in Exeter

Devon Life editor Andy Cooper makes an overdue visit for lunch at a spot he should be more familiar with

Read more
Monday, April 4, 2016
Plymouth Tea Plantation

A pioneering horticultural experiment is being carried out in the historic walled gardens at Maristow near Plymouth to produce Devon’s first home-grown tea. Local merchant Plymouth Tea is looking forward to its first harvest this spring. Sharon Goble takes a tour and enjoys a cuppa

Read more
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Heritage Tomatoes are home grown for The Jack in the Green

Forget food miles, meet the Devon chefs who boast of food metres

Read more
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Kings Arms, Otterton: this lovely pub serves the village, holidaymakers, coastal walkers and anyone else who fancies a really good pie and pint

Patrick McCaig of The Otter Brewery takes us on a trawl of some of his favourite pubs.

Read more
Friday, March 11, 2016
Devon Life Home Cook 2015

Alex Murdin

Pictures: NDPhotos

The hunt is on to find our Devon Home Cook of the Year for 2016 so if you think you’ve got what it takes to win the title and one of our money-can’t-buy prizes read on.

Read more
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Alex Murdin, our 2015 Devon Home Cook winner

These were the menus submitted by our 2015 finalists

Read more
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The 2015 winner at work

The 2015 Devon Home Cook finals were captured on video by Cotswold TV

Read more
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The Swan has won... the Trencherman's Guide best pub 2015

This little place has more awards than you can shake a stick at. Susan Clark went to see what all the fuss is about….

Read more
Monday, February 1, 2016
Fish with rhubarb t at the Castle Hotel, Taunton

The Exmoor Food Fest returns - bigger and even better than before

Read more

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search