Emily Scott has called the UK’s southernmost county home for 25 years, but the chef’s roots in the region go back even further.

“I spent a lot of time in Cornwall as a child, because my grandparents had a house down here,” says Scott, 48, on a video call from her home near Newquay.

“And also in France, because my grandfather was half-French and they lived out in Provence.”

Born in Sussex, she moved to the picturesque village of Port Isaac aged 23 and married her first husband, a fisherman; the couple had three children, Oscar, 21, Finn, 20, and Evie, 18.

“Sadly, I divorced the fisherman – or not sadly, I’m not sure – but actually, it’s all very amicable.

“But I chose to stay in Cornwall… and my career has just grown and got better and better.”

Scott’s first foray into food was the seaside Harbour Restaurant in Port Isaac, followed by eight years running the much-loved St Tudy Inn gastropub and rooms.

Now, she’s creative director (“I’m not apron-on as much as I used to be”) at Emily Scott Food, the restaurant that sits on the sea wall at Watergate Bay.

What unites all these culinary outposts? “I’ve been banging the simplicity drum for a long time – my food’s all about seasonality, but also not too much faffing around.”

That ethos is evident in her second cookbook, Time & Tide, which includes plenty of one-pot main dishes, simple suppers and satisfying bakes.

Falmouth Packet: Kristen Perers/PAKristen Perers/PA (Image: Kristin Perers/PA)

“It’s about times of day,” says Scott, who lives with her partner Mark Hellyar, a winemaker, and her children.

“There’s a lovely chapter called ‘morning cafe’ with lots of nods to my French roots, because that’s just a very natural thing for me. We’ve got ‘rise and shine’, meaning breakfast time, we’ve got ‘seaside soirees’.”

The recipes reflect Scott’s trademark Cornish-French fusion with seafood – scallops, mussels, mackerel, crab – taking centre stage alongside French culinary classics like beurre blanc, bouillabaisse, ratatouille and creme brulee, while Cornish sea salt and clotted cream appear on many an ingredients list.

The book cover features a quote from American actor and foodie Stanley Tucci, who has become a friend.

“It’s just been a very natural coming together through food,” says Scott.

“You know, when you see him on television in his Italy series, he genuinely is that person. He genuinely loves food and wine, and that’s what connects everyone in my view.”

Falmouth Packet: (Kristen Perers/PA)(Kristen Perers/PA) (Image: Kristin Perers/PA)

The chef and author didn’t always have such a favourable view of feasting. She had anorexia in her teens and was forced to drop out of school.

After going in and out of treatment, she was offered the opportunity to go and work in a hotel restaurant in France.

“It’s quite a normal thing for people with eating disorders to end up in food, I think, because, I mean, you can’t give up food,” Scott says.

“I just ended up – kind of through choice – just recovering, and turning my rather unhealthy relationship with food around, and finding the joy of cooking for people.”

In 2021, the restauranteur got the chance to cook for some very important people when she was asked by the Cabinet Office to cater a dinner for world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay.

“They were looking for something slightly different – they didn’t want the very formal, old school, white gloves [style],” Scott says.

“I submitted my menu and told them I’d be giving them tea towels as napkins, and we’d have French Duralex glasses, mismatched cutlery, that kind of thing, and they loved it.”

On the menu was melon gazpacho, turbot with miso beurre blanc sauce, and strawberry and elderflower pavlova, followed by “little mini ice creams for the petit fours and Cornish fudge we made. So it was all quite nostalgic nods to the seaside”.

What was it like emerging from the kitchen at the end of the meal to greet diners including then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

“It was literally like, you know when you go to a friend’s house for dinner, but you’re really late and you turn up and everyone’s had a drink? I was suddenly surrounded,” Scott recalls.

“President Biden had his arm around me, I had Macron and his wife signing my book, because my book had come out the day before, then I had Angela Merkel saying, ‘We must get a photograph now, come on’. It was quite a moment really.”

Even better, the proud mum got to share the experience with her kids: “Oscar, my eldest, and my partner’s daughter served the world leaders, and my son Finn was in the kitchen cooking as part of my team. I thought, as a parent, I’m done!”

Plus, the feedback on the food from the VIPs was top notch.

“They loved it. And what was so nice is I said to [the organisers], ‘I want them to be relaxed. I want them to stay longer’,” Scott says.

“The secret service were like, ‘They ran over time, they were so relaxed’. We did our job.”

Time & Tide by Emily Scott is published by Hardie Grant, priced £28. Photography by Kristin Perers. Available now.