Words by Hannah Tapping
Celebrating a culinary craft where a few carefully selected ingredients are left to shine.
With two books, cooking for royalty and world leaders at the G7 summit and an iconic partnership with Fortnum & Mason in the bag, what is next for chef and author Emily Scott? Emily Scott is best known for her uncomplicated and simple approach to cooking. In her world ‘less is more’. Emily’s back catalogue of achievements in the last few years is undoubtedly admirable. In 2021 she was commissioned by the Cabinet Office to curate a special dinner for royalty and world leaders at the G7 summit at the Eden Project in Cornwall. She was the first woman to cook for leaders of the western worlds; a stand-out, career-defining moment for Emily and the rest of her team. In 2021, Emily’s debut cookbook Sea & Shore was published by Hardie Grant, and more recently, in 2023, her second book; Time & Tide: Recipes and Stories from my Coastal Kitchen. The last year has been a whirlwind for Emily. Between the launch of Time & Tide, to her legendary partnership with iconic British brand Fortnum & Mason to bring three eau de nil beach huts to Watergate Bay, plus various other appearances and festival pop-ups, it really has catapulted the Emily Scott brand into the spotlight.
With her steadfast and growing stream of instagram followers, earlier in 2023 Emily decided to move her newsletter over to Substack. An exciting and innovative new subscriber-based platform which diversifies away from the noise, Emily said: “What drew me to Substack was the opportunity to create, share and develop content which I am so passionate about and is so personal to me. Creating through a subscriber-based platform, which gives people a choice on what they consume and how much, away from the relentlessness of algorithms and the pressure to be a certain way, it felt like such a refreshing and vibrant place to be.” Emily’s substack is a true reflection of her lifestyle. Sharing everything from new seasonally inspired recipes, to travel, places to eat, clothes she wears, to her style at home, it’s a chance to be absorbed in Emily’s world.
Emily’s presence online and beyond has opened up a number of exciting partnership opportunities in the last year including, in late 2023, a residency at Coco Bodu Hithi in the Maldives, a luxury five-star resort favoured by celebrities, with 100 villas, six restaurants and sublime tropical surrounds. The residency, which ran for one week, included an interactive master class plus the chance to experience an Emily Scott curated menu at the award-winning Aqua restaurant. Emily said “I was lucky enough to go on a magical holiday to Coco Bodhi Hithi, a once in a lifetime trip, so I was delighted to be asked to return and cook alongside the restaurant’s team of esteemed chefs. Such an incredible experience.”
In an exciting turn of events, 2023 introduced a curveball opportunity for Emily to deliver what she does to an international audience, taking on the role of Executive Consultant Chef for a well-loved restaurant in the Cayman Islands. With its rich history and colorful personality, Emily was instantly drawn to the Calypso Grill. “The first time I stepped into the restaurant I just knew this was such a special and unique venue. A sense of place is everything to me, and the Calypso Grill has this way of bringing people together which is so at the heart of everything I do.”
Working with Head Chef Kye Byford, who has worked with Emily for over five years at two of her restaurants, they are bringing her vision and ethos to life at this beautiful new location. Expect delicious fish and seafood cooked simply, caught by the local fisherman, fresh from the aquamarine waters of this idyllic Caribbean island. Set overlooking Morgan’s Harbour, with soft breezes flowing in from the North sound, the french doors swing open onto the deck where guests can admire the paradisiacal vista complete with swishing palms and lapping waters. On the menu, a blissful fusion of Emily’s effortless style, some Calypso Grill heroes, with a nod to its Caribbean roots. Options include crispy mango shrimp, ceviche of snapper with lime, coriander and mango, cracked conch with roasted garlic mayo, bloody mary gazpacho with watermelon, basil and green olive, crab linguine, snapper monte carlo with a tomato vinaigrette and the famous Calypso Grill sticky toffee pudding.
Emily says: “There is a definite connection for me here, shore to shore, Cornwall to Caymans. To start with, the way of life here feels very familiar, it’s often at a slower pace. Local fishermen arrive with their daily catch, people spend time enjoying the outdoors, being near or in the sea. There is a sense of being part of something, a sense of place, people are here to enjoy the natural beauty of what this incredible island has to offer. Cornwall to Caymans, I really do feel at home.” Alongside Emily’s natural attachment to the Caymans there are genuine ancestral links between the Caymans and Cornwall. According to legend the first settlers on the Caymans included a Cornishman. Elements of Cornish culture including language and dialect ‘dreckly’ being ‘areckly’ and even the pasty (patties) have seemingly found their way into the Cayman way of life.
Alongside her consultancy work in the Caymans and building on her best-selling Substack, what else is in store for Emily this year? “I’m thrilled to be working on my third book, I can’t believe I’m actually saying that. Getting my first book commissioned took several years, so to be on book number three is quite surreal. Book three is due to be published in 2025, it’s going to be a little different this time, I’m so excited to share it with everyone. But first, the mammoth task of writing must begin!”
Amongst other accolades Emily has been named Best Chef by Food Magazine and was listed in the top 100 most influential women in hospitality industry two years running. She has been recognised by Michelin since 2016 and appeared on the Great British Menu on BBC2 to represent the south west back in 2019. She has also made several appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Rick Stein’s Cornwall.