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LOVE LOCAL


war. So, one day this friend goes to me, ‘Can I have a corned beef pasty?’ and I tried making one! People tried them and liked them for a while.” In more recent years, Charlie has taken


a step back from having an intensive involvement within the store. But about 10 years ago, his wife came up with the idea of starting to teach pasty-making, which soon became known as the ‘Pasty School’. Te school provides a unique taste of Cornish tradition, and Cornwall’s tourism has, of course, had a huge impact upon this. “We get bus companies visiting in the summer and people of all ages come in”, Charlie told me, "Most of them just want to watch you make a proper pasty, by hand, from scratch. Tey ask hundreds of questions, it’s all just a good bit of fun. Others like to get more hands on and they get to take away a certificate and everything!” Charlie pulled out one of the


certificates that he presents to Pasty School graduates and talked me through the recipe on the back. Te recipes are there to encourage attendees to keep pasty-making for themselves at home. Te takeaway lesson that he stresses


the most is the importance of simple, quality ingredients and filling the pasty right up to the brim. For me, this just represents the store’s charming, unassuming ethos. Tere’s no scrimping at JH&M Choak - they’re all about doing justice to this edible symbol of Cornish history and culture. Charlie obviously feels strongly about these ideas and aſter speaking about his life, he reflected upon his career with a sincere nostalgia: “I’m one of those very fortunate people.


I leſt school when I was young and started straight away, entering into this trade, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve ever done. I enjoy working, and I think I’m very lucky; to serve my whole 70 years of working, and to have enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve enjoyed doing what I’m doing, producing the pasties, and I’ve enjoyed changing things as I go along. I’ve enjoyed doing it all.” At the end of our interview, I asked Charlie


why he thought that the pasty in particular was so important to Cornwall. His answer was simple: “It’s Cornish. You go to Cornwall and you have a Cornish pasty. It’s an iconic thing, isn’t it? I mean, it’s Cornwall!” On a very similar note, I asked him what he thought had made his business so successful. He simply stated, “Because I’m Cornish!”


FEAST 2019


Book now for our ‘Friday Feast’ with Michael Caines, Liam Finnegan, Josh Eggleton & Chris Cleghorn


30th August at The Castle Hotel | www.the-castle-hotel.com/events | 01823 328303


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