Bogdan Nicoricci, Head Chef of Bayards Cove Inn
Bogdan Nicoricci, or Danny as he is known, has been a chef for more than 20 years, joining the team at Bayards Cove Inn, Dartmouth as head chef five years ago. With the hotel’s owners Charlie and Zuzanna Deuchar he has developed a menu that wholly supports local growers and producers, with an emphasis on fresh locally landed fish and meat that is grown sustainably. More than 70 per cent of the menu is available as a gluten free option, and vegan and vegetarian food also feature very strongly.
What prompted you to become a chef?
David Tumner has everything to do with me holding this profession today. When I came to London, my first job was working for him at the Water Front Bar and Restaurant in London Canary Wharf which was a beautiful place on the River Thames and just ten minutes away from Billingsgate Fish Market. I spent many days here and this is where my passion for cooking fish started.
The seed to become a chef was planted much earlier during school’s summer holidays when I would help at my uncle’s bakery. I just loved that environment.
What has been your greatest achievement/proudest moment in your career?
There are a few, but I would like to mention working at Bayards Cove Inn as head chef for five years now. We have won a number of awards and it is a really great place to work and to be part of. It is very busy, sometimes incredibly so, but it is a wonderful old building with so much character, and each and every one of the team is brilliant. That’s what makes working at Bayards very special.
What makes Devon such a great place to work as a chef?
Devon has so much to offer working as a chef, from the fishermen and their freshest catch of the day, to the farmers growing organic vegetables, to the free range meats grown using sustainable and wildlife-friendly farming methods, to the vineyards with quality wines. I could go on and on about everything this beautiful county has to offer.
But aside from that Devon is also the perfect place to unwind after a busy week’s work, allowing you to recharge for the next busy week. My fiancé Janina and I walk, cycle, paddle board, go to the beach and have a barbecue. There’s so much you can do here. It’s a beautiful place to live and work.
Where would you go to dine out on a night off?
I like to cook at home with Janina. When you’re at home you can relax and create great dishes using different ingredients. I love cooking with pasta. They are some of the simplest dishes but the nicest. With a couple of extra ingredients, you can create something fantastic. I also enjoy Indian cuisine, and a good Indian restaurant would be one of my choices.
What is your favourite Devon ingredient/product to use in your dishes? And why?
That’s a tough question, but right now I’ll answer with a dish we serve at Bayards using fresh, local mussels, Heron Valley cider and other ingredients like garlic and thyme. This one is very popular on our menu, although anything to do with fish is popular. The mussels come from Moby Nicks in Plymouth and we use Heron Valley as the flavour is so good.