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01 Apr 2024

Meet the award winner: Cornwall Pasta Co.

Meet the award winner: Cornwall Pasta Co.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair speaks to Nick Egan, CEO of Cornwall Pasta Co., following the company winning the Not Yet on the Shelf award  at the 2023 Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards for its organic chestnut gnocchi. 

How did it feel for Cornwall Pasta Co. to win our ‘Not Yet on the Shelf’ Award for the Chestnut Gnocchi?

We were so happy and actually it was very unexpected, I had dashed down from my stand, albeit a little later than I would have liked and then we won, so  yes, so over the moon to receive such a great award, huge sense of achievement for me.

Can you tell us a bit about this product?

This for us is a world leading & changing product. We are the first in Britain to sail organic produce across the sea by only wind power, by sail, to make the most wonderfully delicious product with it. We are working with a brilliant regenerative farmer in Portugal who produces this amazing organic product.

Once it arrives into Falmouth, on an old sailing clipper we turn it into Chestnut Gnocchi. A little history for you, Chestnut gnocchi was the preferred gnocchi in times gone by. It predates the industrial revolution when farming methods were mainly done by hand and helped along with horses. It was favoured over grain varieties but when commercial farming methods took over, as in the race for faster growing, more intensive, higher yielding crops, the Chestnut gnocchi was left behind. We believe that if we want to go forward we have to go backwards and that's why this product and initiative has been started by us.

How would you describe the Cornwall Pasta Co. and its product ranges?

Cornwall Pasta Co is a British Organic pasta company based in Mylor, Cornwall. We offer a range of speciality and seasonal pastas you simply won't find anywhere else. The Range is made and development by myself and the ethos has always hinged around two main pillars:

 The first one: it has to the be organic and as close to us as I can possibly find

The second one: it has to taste like the flavour and ingredient we are adding, so its flavour first costs second, in terms of development stages.

Cornwall Pasta

Your background is as a chef, why did you decide to launch a pasta business?

Cornwall Pasta Co had been my idea for over two decades, I had often been disappointed as a chef finding generic, boring pastas without any real flavour,  just poor grade with colours, chemicals and dyes added, with what I always thought added nothing to the overall eating experience, nor were they actually good for us. I set out to change this on both fronts.

I am very proud we produce great tasting pastas that only enrich our eating experience and are good for both our planet and whoever eats them, I  say this as one trusted hound, Carter, loves all our pastas! He's featured on IG if any of the readers would like to see him @cornwallpastaco.

What’s your approach to sustainability?

Sustainability has also been a huge driver for us. We were the first company to start using  recycled wood cellulose pasta packaging back in 2019. It is something that we always have in mind before we launch a product or new packaging. Our packaging is fully home compostable and has always been plastic free, free from chemicals and nasty inks.

We have just expanded our food service offering and we are happy to announce we are only using paper and card, with water based inks, of which we apply by hand ourselves here in our factory.

What are some of the Cornish ingredients you work with, and why is it important to stay local with your ingredient sourcing?

For me it's important to play a role in our local community not just by being present in stores but to help the local economy by supporting other like minded local business who have strong values and ethos like our own, alignment with such businesses is brilliant here in Cornwall and we are so lucky to have some of the best produce in the world right on our doorstep,  literally!

We use Wild Garlic which we harvest around 3am to ensure it is at its very best before the sun rises. 

We are the only  producer of Organic Cornish Saffron pasta in the world which grows over in St Mawes, a mini ferry trip, and it is the very best quality I have ever used, that includes my time spent working all over the world cooking for clients in my former roles.

I only source the very best produce I possibly can for our pastas, I  believe our diet is our true wealth!

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