After a long day discussing global issues ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic to climate change, Group of Seven (G7) leaders will sit down together for dinner on Friday evening.
In the past, dinners attended by the G7 summit leaders have been lavish affairs. But this year, the UK government has enlisted the services of a chef known for his informal “feast nights” who cooks in a hut on Porthcurnick Beach.
Simon Stallard, chef and founder of the Hidden Hut, will serve the leaders of the wealthiest nations around a barbecue on the beach in Carbis Bay.
He described his mass barbecues as being “a bit like a big family picnic”, where guests usually bring their own plates and cutlery and dine at shared tables.
The chef told The Times that the G7 booking “came as a surprise”, adding: “But it’s so beautiful in the bay, and I think if you’re on the beach you want to make the most of it.”
Mr Stallard’s cooking uses fresh, seasonal produce, and he is passionate about sustainable dining. He is well-known for developing his own tools and techniques, from fire pits in the sand to wind-chime fish smokers.
The Hidden Hut opened 10 years ago. The Independent describes it as a “first-class foodie hub” and has recommended it among the top 10 things to do in Cornwall.
Anyone who wants to dine at The Hidden Hut must first get their hands on a feast night ticket, but these are notorious for selling out as soon as they are announced. In 2017, more than 22,000 people applied for just 600 tickets over the hut’s summer season.
According to Cornwall Live, The Hidden Hut counts actors Dame Judie Dench and Dawn French among its fans. In 2013, it was chosen as the venue for The Staves as part of Nokia’s Pop-up Lumia concerts.
Tonight, the lucky G7 leaders will be served scallops, Curgurrell crab claws and Portscatho mackerel canapés to start the meal.
For the main course, Mr Stallard will serve Moorland sirloin and Newlyn lobster with Cornish potato chips and St Just broccoli.
Dessert will be a Beach Hut Sundae, and the dinner guests will be encouraged to cap off the evening around the fire pits with hot buttered rum and toasted marshmallows.
Mr Stallard told The Times that he hoped the “vibe” will give the leaders a “sense of Cornish hospitality” and “soften some of the edges”.
He added that the opportunity was a “great platform for Cornwall”.
They will spend the evening being entertained with traditional songs performed by a Cornish sea shanty group, Du Hag Owr, who also entertained patrons at Mr Stallard’s hut.
In 2018, Mr Stallard published a cookbook in his hut’s namesake, which adapts his feast recipes for home cooks. The book received praise for being an inspiration for summer cooking.