This year the St Ives Food and Drink Festival reunites Michael with a chef he worked with many years ago and many miles away – the other side of the world in fact.
Our Exec Chef Michael Smith is originally from Victoria, Australia, where he trained at Donovans – a much loved and highly acclaimed Italian restaurant on the beach front in the trendy St Kilda area of Melbourne.
Michael’s mentor in the pastry section was Helen Goh, who he remembers as endlessly imaginative and intensely hard working. She inspired a deep respect in the young chef for the work involved in the pastry section, and for the endless possibilities of creating desserts and cakes which were both beautiful to behold and devour. This manifested itself in the ‘Sweet’ section of Michael’s own recipe book, Porthminster Beach Café – The Cookbook, published in 2013.
Although the two lost touch, Helen also moved to England and has worked closely with Yotam Ottolenghi as the lead product developer for the past ten years, drawing widely on Asian, Western and Middle Eastern influences and of course, on her love of sweets.
In the stunning new baking and desserts cookbook Sweet, Helen and Yotam bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream.
Michael and Helen will be reunited for the first time at the St Ives Food and Drink Festival, which takes place at Porthminster Beach from 11 – 13th May. For more information on demo times visit