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Meet: Ramesh Swaminathan

After working in India, the Maldives and the Seychelles, chef Ramesh Swaminathan arrived on Cornwall’s north coast in summer 2022 to join The Beach Hut team. 

Following the sell-out feast nights, we caught up with Ramesh to discover his love of living on the water’s edge. Discover what he finds exciting about Cornwall’s food scene, and what it means to be part of the Watergate Bay team…

Watergate Bay Hotel Chefs Watergate Bay Hotel Chefs

Skilled VISA scheme

During the summer of 2022 the hospitality industry had seen lots of change and some of our most experienced chefs decided to change their careers. Throughout the county, there was a shortage of qualified chefs and so, Watergate Bay Hotel signed up for the skilled VISA scheme. 

Six months later, we were able to support Visas for 12 Indian chefs to come and work across our three restaurants, from Chef de Partie to sous chef. Ramesh was one of these chefs. Today, we celebrate the diversity in our team along with the cultural influence on our menus. 

Meet Ramesh...

On his background in cooking…

“I’m from a family that basically survives through its cooking skills. My father is a traditional cook in my native country, who makes his living by cooking for weddings and large functions. I grew up naturally learning these skills from him, then came to realise that I should transform these skills he’d given me into a profession. I did my chef training course in Chennai, in eastern India, then started to work as a chef at a restaurant called Burgundy in the same city.”

On what brought him to Watergate Bay…

“I’ve been in a seaside location for the last 10 years. I really enjoy being close to nature – it was one of the things that drew me to Watergate Bay, as well as the opportunity to relocate to England. And of course, Watergate Bay’s impressive reputation. The people here are amazing and I have a great team to work with.”

On the Cornish food scene…

“The Cornish food scene is really lively. It depends on utilising a daily supply of locally sourced produce. Dishes are crafted by Cornish chefs, served with passion to the guests in interesting, and tasty, ways. The concept of sourcing fresh seasonal ingredients each day to immediately cook and serve to diners, rather than storing them, really characterises Cornish restaurants for me.”

Ramesh Swaminathan Indian Night Events

On his cooking style and influences…

“I still believe that I’m learning every day and finding out new things about cooking. In terms of influences, I’d highlight the impact made on me by chef Andre Chaing, who I got a chance to work with for a few days recently. I was really inspired by this experience professionally, as well as having enjoyed the opportunity to get to know a nice person in the same industry.”

On creating that first feast night menu…

“The Indian Night menu was a great team effort. We are all from different parts of India and we all had our own ideas. We wanted to choose the right dishes to showcase the different ingredients, and shape the menu together. We’d decided that we wanted to combine aspects of regional food, street food and fast food, and span the whole of India by highlighting cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Meghalaya and Punjab.”

Indian night at The Beach Hut

The menu

To start

Murgh malai tikka
Grilled chicken pieces marinated in spices, yoghurt, and citrus

Fish koliwada
Koliwada – meaning fisherman's colony, a spicy fish marinated in red chilli powder and chat masala, coated and fried

Ghosh sheekh kebab
Ghosh meaning cow herder - Ground beef kebab with mild spicing and herbs

Main course

Chicken hyderabadi biryani with mirchi ka salan
A fragrant rice dish with fried onions and saffron served with a spicy, nutty curry

Mixed fish curry
A blending of cultures as Cornish fish is introduced to Indian spicing

Mutton rogan josh
Mutton cooked in a gravy flavoured with warming spices, clove, cardamom and cinnamon

Garlic flat bread naan
Warm, fluffy, buttery, flatbreads perfect for mopping up curries


Shahi tukda
Indian ambrosia - Shahi tukda translates to 'royal piece', a favourite of the Mughal emperors. Ghee-fried bread in sugar syrup finished with rich saffron cream and toasted cashews, almonds and pistachios

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I love every second that I spend near the sea and would have no regrets to stay forever.

Staff Team Minibus

 On working with the team at Watergate Bay…

“I have a few highlights from working with the team. One is learning about British culture and a different style of cooking. I also have chefs from many different Indian regions to work alongside in the kitchen, all in one place. It’s a fascinating environment for me to be working in.”

 On his downtime… 

“I love hiking with my camera. I am happy to say that I’m a good photographer being something I’ve been learning for years. Now I’m going to be adding surfing to my hobby list, which I plan to learn during my free time (as all Watergate Bay team members get free surf lessons and hire from Wavehunters).”

Photography by Ramesh

On working by the sea…

“I love working by the sea. My first professional job as chef outside India was in the Maldives, a place famous for its beaches. For six years I’d walked regularly on the Maldives beaches before moving on to the Seychelles, another stunning oceanside location. Now in Cornwall, The Beach Hut has given me the opportunity to continue my coastal life. I love every second that I spend near the sea and would have no regrets to stay forever.”

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