This month’s ‘Meet the Chef’ is with Stuart Macguire of The Rum and Crab shack in St Ives. Discover the relaxed atmosphere, favourite food and best rum drinks around.
So, tell me a bit about yourself:
My name is Stuart Mcguire and I am the head chef and Part owner with my brother Chris and friends Neyth and Matt. We set up the Rum and Crab shack in 2012 inspired by our love for all things rum and Crabs. We have been open over 3 years now, it has been great experience and I continue to really enjoy it.
Being in such a competitive industry what do you think makes a good chef?
I believe you really have to love what you do. The commitment needed to make a success means you spend a lot of time in the business and if you don’t love what you do I believe it shows. Secondly surround yourself with people you trust. Having a great team around you makes you the chef you are. We have a great team here of honest, hardworking talented chefs who make my job easier every day.
What do you love about the Rum and Crab shack?
Its relaxed atmosphere, we pride ourselves on serving great food and amazing cocktails in an informal manor. That way you can really relax, listen to some great music and enjoy the view while you’re here.
What is your favorite dish to cook?
We make really good crab bisque. This is the base we use for a lot of our recipes. I love the smell you get from roasting the crab shells in the oven before mixing them with star anise, saffron and whole peppercorns for a really good stock.
What rules do you live by in your kitchen?
Being passionate about the food we serve. We are fortunate enough that we get to deal with some real great ingredients sourced from our local suppliers. You can’t help but be inspired to cook great food when the ingredients we get are so good.
The Rum and Crab Shack is pretty famous in St Ives, why do you think people love it so much?
We offer something different. We carry about 50 to 80 different rums matched with a varied cocktail list, it means there is always something new to try.
What rum is the most popular with you and your team?
We make our own rum called Dead Man’s Fingers. It’s a spiced rum blended with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Its really popular with the staff, great mixed with coke or ginger beer. Or if your adventurous we do a “Dead Man’s Grip” cocktail were its mixed with a passion fruit syrup and egg white. So good, you might never drink anything else!
What rum do you think goes best with crab?
We have so many its hard to choose. Personally I love the Blackwell Black Gold Jamaican rum. It really compliments are crab. We also have great anchor porter ale, which goes down really well with our guests.
In three words, how would you describe the Rum and Crab Shack?
Tasty, vibrant and a lot of fun.
One ingredient you couldn’t live without?
Every bit of crab we use is dressed in freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. So I’ll have to say lemons. Can I say parsley as well?
What is your guilty pleasure?
When I do mange to spend an evening at home with my wife and I’m feeling lazy I do love a takeaway. Chinese, Indian or pizza. I really don’t care long as I have my family around me.
Finally, why should people come to the Rum and Crab Shack?
We are really proud of not only the food and drink we offer but off all our friendly staff who will make your visit to the rum and crab shack a really enjoyable experience.
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