Image: Hylton Espey

One of South Africa’s most highly rated chefs, Hylton Espey, Chef Patron of Falmouth’s Merchants Manor Rastella Restaurant, known for being Falmouth’s highest awarded restaurant with its 3 Rosette Dining and being recognised by AA hospitality awards, provides a 5 course pop-up menu with us at The Rockpool Beach Cafe, Gwithian on Saturday 4th December. 

Guests will be provided a 5 course Cornish dining experience focusing on local sustainable produce, including Falmouth Oysters with smoked aioli and Alexander, South Coast White Crab with Seaweed Crumpet and Brown Crab Butter and Coriander Venison served with Bobotie, Chakalaka and Sea beet. A choice of two menus, catering for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters have been created and include options such as Pickled Daikon and Malay Sweet Potato. Completing the experience, a sweet course of Chocolate Brownie or Couverture Cremeux is served with an Espresso Toffee and Beurre Noisette.


Hylton Espey, grew up in Cape Town surfing, fishing and exploring his natural surroundings. In December 2002 he walked into Olympia Cafe as a commis chef under the guidance of Brad Ball and owner Kennete McClarty. He enjoyed using the finest ingredients and having a packed restaurant every day. After incredible industry placements and chef school he ran a boutique hotel in Lakeside before joining Mike Bassett and his team at Ginja in the beginning of 2006, where they won almost every award in the country. From here his career took him to the Rockies of Colorado, to the position of Head Chef of the ICA training restaurant and to develop his own Pop-up restaurant brand, Interlude Dining. Next, in 2015 he joined Cavalli Estate to take over the reigns as the Executive Chef, leading a modern, open kitchen focused on horticulture and local wine lands and it was here that Hylton was recognised by the Sustainable Seafood Institute and awarded a Trailblazer award. 

Moving to Cornwall, for its surf and outdoors culture, Hylton rebranded Merchants Manor’s restaurant and leads with his cuisine. Located within walking distance of idyllic foraging spots they focus on what the plate means and the story to tell their diners. They have been recognised by the AA hospitality awards and have retained three Rosettes for culinary excellence since 2018.

The Rockpool provides the perfect fit for Hylton’s supper event, known for our Cornish-fusion modern cuisine, local, sustainable produce and location nestled in the Gwithian and Godrevy dunes. Our Head Chef Ryan Venning, also born and raised in South Africa, invites Hylton into the kitchen for this one-off supper evening on Saturday 4th December. 




Tickets cost £40 per person. Please advise any food allergies or intolerances upon booking. The vegan menu is catered for within the vegetarian menu, by amending items with butter.

Please visit https://therockpoolbeachcafe.co.uk/ or call the team 01736 449990 for more information. 

Parking at The Rockpool is free during the winter months.