Meet Chef Jude Kereama

Born and raised in New Zealand, Jude moved to the UK in 1996 having trained under acclaimed chef Simon Gault. He spent many years working in London at a variety of top restaurants before making the move to Cornwall. Jude won awards in both Auckland and London before moving to Cornwall to set up his own restaurant Kota in Porthleven.

Jude’s take on classic dishes incorporating the best ingredients from land and sea with a twist has earned Kota recognition in the form of three AA rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Kota also won ‘Best Restaurant‘ in the Cornwall Life Food & Drink Awards 2018.

Jude is half Maori, quarter Chinese and quarter Malaysian which show in his cooking style which is a real mash up of flavours and inspirations. His menu is inspired by his mother’s cooking and fresh seasonal local Cornish produce from land and sea. An avid forager, you can often spot Jude gathering wild ingredients from the cliffs and fields around Porthleven. It was his innovative approach that earned him the highly coveted ‘Best Chef‘ in the Trencherman’s Awards for 2019.

Jude and his lovely wife Jane Kereama are heavily involved with the annual Porthleven Food Festival, which has been growing in popularity every year and is now a firm favourite in the Foodies tour. Celebrity chef Anthony Worrel Thomson has appeared alongside Jude on the Demo stage every year since it’s conception.  In 2015 Rick Stein joined in with a demonstration too.  And 2016 saw Jude’s Great British Menu compadre  Josh Eggleton gracing the stage also.

After introducing son Joe to the world, Jude and Jane realised the need for a restaurant that recognised the desire to combine a great dining experience with top notch food in an atmosphere that welcomed children too.  They expanded their ideas to open up Kota Kai Bar and Kitchen. With a welcoming family room, a lounge in addition to the main restaurant, and a separate private function room Kota Kai has become a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors. Now diners can choose to visit flag ship Kota or pop over the road to sister restaurant Kota Kai.

Never one to shy away from a busy lifestyle Jude has also taken part in BBC2’s ‘Great British Menu‘ in 2015, 2016 and 2018.  As one of three representatives of the South West Jude shared the kitchen with other hugely popular chefs. His culinary creations throughout the competition were a great hit, especially his ‘Life in a Rock Pool’ inspired fish course in 2015 and the ‘Last Night at The Proms’ Dessert course in 2016. A visit to Kota would allow you to try out the Rockpool for yourself as it’s earned it’s permanent place on the menu.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kia ora Jude,
    My name is Bruce and Im related to you on your dads side from Parewahawaha marae in Bulls and Tokorangi in Halcombe. I had Seans daughter Sophie come and spend a little time with me in London a few years back. One of the many maori who lived with me was the daughter of |Mac Herewine who was best friends with your Dad in the army.
    Anyway Cuz, I dont know if you know of me but |Im a senoir member of Ngati Ranana the London Maori Club having been here in London about 33 years. So I missed Sean during the World Cup but caught up with his wife fleetingly in Wales while I was there working with the All Blacks. So my family and I will be coming down that way to visit your restaurant in the next few months. I love Cornwall and have visited there often staying at Cawsand Kingsand, Foye, St Agnes, Perenporth and various other spots. So I see thast you have a festival each year and was thinking that maybe I could bring down a performance next year to help it all tick along. Its always good to tautoko maori business no matter where they are in the world so as we are related I thought it would be cool to do something. No problems if it dosent happen but I’d like to say hi sometime anyway. Holla back on my number if you want on 07827537877. Hope you guys are all well and that this note finds you flourishing.
    Nga mihi mahana ki a koe


  2. Polly Gilbert says:

    Good luck on Great British Menu Jude! Love your restaurants and delicious food. You will do the South West proud! Polly & Mark

    Liked by 1 person

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