Penzance restaurateur Kim Reska Letchford is celebrating her first anniversary at the Bakehouse in Penzance after taking over the fine dining restaurant on Valentine’s Day 2017.

Reska Letchford’s love for the Bakehouse started nine years ago, when her dream to own her own restaurant was ignited during her Year 10 work experience at the same venue.

She said: “I am proud to say I was the first and probably only student ever to go to my teacher at school and tell them I wanted more hours for my work experience, and decided to work additional hours at the Bakehouse in the evenings – it was good practice for the rest of my life.”

After completing her GCSEs, Reska Letchford studied professional cookery at Truro and Penwith College from 2010 to 2013, where she received a Level 2 and 3 diploma in professional cookery and a Level 3 NVQ in patisserie and confectionery, all while continuing to work at the Bakehouse.

After completing her college course, she decided to spend some time travelling the world before settling down and starting her career. Upon her return to Cornwall, the Bakehouse owners got in touch to inform her that they were selling, and asked if she would like to buy.

“Ever since I was 14, I have wanted to own my own place, and I wanted to be a chef since as long as I can remember, so I decided to buy the Bakehouse and do fine dining in the evenings. After six stressful months of negotiations, offers, lawyers, bank managers, loans and crying later, we bought the venue.”

And a tremendous success it has been, in the first year winning a Taste of the West Gold Award in the Restaurant category and regularly achieving 50 covers a night during peak seasons.