Cornwall has no shortage of impressive chefs, many of whom have restaurants here after serving under the direction of famous chefs and for famous audiences.
But being served in Cornwall by someone with experience in some of the best food in the world usually comes with a trip to a fancy restaurant and billed over £ 100.
One chef, however, who has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants and for Elton John, Cheryl Cole, the Beckhams, Robbie Williams – and many others – has done something a little more down-to-earth, which allows even for dogs to enter.
Read: The best Cornish cafe for coffee, tea and sandwiches according to Tripadvisor
Tucked away in the ever-expanding creative district of Truro, at Old Bakery Studios on Malpas Road, pastry expert Emma Adams serves some of the city’s most exciting baked goods, homemade chocolate and London-style food in a unpretentious little cafe.
Café Cocoa is easily missed, as it seems with all good things in Truro.
Emma’s pastry shop and cafe, which she runs with her husband and cinnamon bun maestro Marcin, opened Monday, November 29 with fanfare over the opening of a restaurant run by a Ramsay or a Ainsworth.
The owners of Café Cocoa, however, have more in common with these celebrity chefs than with Greggs, and the pudding is proof of that.
With offerings of sandwiches, coffee and soup, at prices that won’t make you cry, and everything from chocolate bombs (we’ll get to that later) and donuts to cupcakes that – Emma brings her mixed mastery. has an authentic charm and freshness that you would want from the quiet location of Old Bakery Studios.
Emma, who herself lives in Truro, explained that business has been stable since opening and that is, in a good way, a far cry from her past work serving the rich and famous.
“It’s not that intimidating that we’ve been doing it for a while,” she said, “But we had a little nerves.
“I was a chef in London for about 20 years, I started in a Michelin-starred restaurant, then I made pastries at the Balmoral Hotel, pastry in another.
“It’s nice because it’s small, it’s cozy. I cook what I want, I put what I want on the menu. So it’s a small operation – just me and Marcin for now – the big working days in London are behind me.
“Cornwall is where I have settled down, a nice quiet life with a little coffee, great cakes, great food – whatever I want in life. I did the large event catering.
“But, here, it’s the same level of food you would get in London.”
Emma, between 2006 and 2009, performed many celebrity weddings and even flew to the south of France to host an event that featured Robbie Williams and Enrique Iglesias.
This was after working with Clare Smyth, who organized the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and rose to prominence working with Gordon Ramsay, who ran his three Michelin star restaurant.
Emma was first introduced in Cornwall as a possible place to run a business in 1999, when she cooked with Smyth – who at the time worked at the St Enodoc Hotel.
“I did events when I didn’t even know the celebrities were there,” Emma recalls. And then Robert de Niro is standing there with a cocktail in his hand.
“This stuff is under high pressure. But you are part of a great team. You are a pastry chef. Being part of a great team, everyone comes together to make big events.
After moving to Cornwall in 2010 Emma worked as a restaurant chef before realizing she wanted to leave behind the days of high pressure shifts and long hours – so she took on the famous job at low pressure from teaching.
She continues: “I did all this when I was younger, that’s when I started teaching. I taught for seven years at St Austell’s College, teaching professional cooking, and still teach a little in another location.
Now, with the Old Bakery housing a new bakery, Emma has brought her talent to a cozy little room in Truro.
Through the old curved doors of the historic building, which now sees cooking inside its walls for the first time since 1996, you are greeted with a neat little display and great food.
On a small counter is the freshly prepared selection for the day. Emma manages the majority of the stock, while Marcin focuses on the cinnamon buns – which they say people have gone mad about.
Emma, supported by Old Bakery Studios co-owner Cath King, said she believes she is the only person in Cornwall selling truly homemade chocolate.
She also explained the concept of a “chocolate bomb,” which, as the name suggests, is like a bath bomb that creates hot chocolate after being lobed in hot milk.
Next door is the same room where the former half of Artful Dodger Mark Hill now performs on a semi-regular basis, with the building becoming something of an artists’ quarter for the city.
Cath added of the new addition to the site: “I assumed she would be a ridiculously hard job, or a typical chef. But she wasn’t – as soon as I spoke to her we had a great conversation.
“This is the first time that the Old Bakery has been held since the bakery itself closed in 1996.
“Old Bakery Studios is a creative performance and a valuable business hub for Truro and Café Cocoa.
“The Old Blewett’s Bakery last baked on this site in 1996 and we couldn’t be more delighted to see the Professional Bakery return to Blewett’s Wharf.”
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