Premier Hospitality

Mahé Cookery School Padstow

Written by Roma Publications

Mahé Cookery School

The Ainsworth family is growing with Mahé Cookery School in Padstow, which opened in the summer. Mahé is an entirely new concept with daytime classes running from Thursday to Saturday for up to six people taught by John Walton – the groups’ executive chef, and Paul’s right-hand-man. From Wednesday to Saturday evenings, Mahé will become an exclusive, ten seater chef’s table experience, also overseen by John.

Named after the Seychelles island where Paul’s parents met, Mahé is built on an ethos of ‘beginnings’ through its family ties to the island, as well the fundamentals of cookery, all whilst showcasing the very best of Cornish produce.

PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE sat down for a chat with Emma Ainsworth and Eve Cullen-Cornes, Interior Designer from Jonathan Cornes Associates, who designed the cookery school.

Emma said: “We’ve had the site of Mahé for a number of years now, and it’s the upstairs of a building, but it made sense to utilise the space because it’s right next door to No.6. It was actually a one bedroom flat, but we knew flat out what a great space it was and what we could do with it. My husband Paul has always had this vision of having a cookery school, where he could teach and develop new dishes and have a chef’s open table.”

What they wanted was for the space to be an intimate cookery school by day, and a more social chef’s table by night. The design needed to strike the balance between unique and domestic so it doesn’t feel as if you are in a chef’s kitchen.

Eve said: “When the builders came in and started converting the flat, it absolutely transformed into this amazing, magical space. I wanted the front doors to be extra special, so they are in upholstered velvet, to invite you in to Mahé.  Paul had wanted the school to resemble a car workshop/garage subtly in design. In his childhood, he’d always been going to car and bike shows with his father. When Emma and Paul had given me the brief of an engine room, I said I am having two chandeliers made from bike wheels so it’s like a sophisticated sculpture. It sets the heart beating of Mahé.”

Emma commented: “We wanted to take it back to the beginning as well, right back to the origins so this was a good place to do that. We did two restaurants, a small hotel and now we’ve come back to a cookery school; a place to learn, and to have new beginnings. It’s also very social when it’s intimate because you’re making friends when you’re learning to cook, or dining in the evening. That was always the brief. And also from that, we have a ‘story so far’ wall which talks about the story and all its little bits and pieces.”

Both Eve and Emma, working wonderfully with their design vision, wanted Mahé to feel glamourous and luxurious, but also to make people feel completely at home. Now the space is whimsical and through the kitchen are inlays of metal, a subconscious nod to Paul’s days spent with his dad at car and bike shows that make the space appeal to all genders.

Eve added: “Everything in the design, from car headlights to broken chandeliers has its own story and it means there are created talking points for people who don’t know each other, making the experience more special.”
To discover how you can visit this whimsical space, go to:


AMPS Electrical Services Ltd

Formed in 1996 and becoming a Limited company in 2003, AMPS Electrical Services Ltd specialises in domestic, commercial and industrial electrical installation, maintenance and design.

Additionally, the company has carried out many additional qualifications in the supply, installation and commissioning of whole house heat recovery systems and Electric Vehicle charging stations.

Recently AMPS Electrical Services was involved with the new Mahé Cookery School, carrying out the electrical installation that included the wiring of the lighting control system, fire alarm and ventilation. The company worked closely with the Client and designers to achieve the required attention to detail.

It has already worked on several other projects with Paul Ainsworth and his team, as well as working with a number of architects and local building contractors on high end domestic properties throughout the South West.

Jamie Kitts, Managing Director, said:

“We were privileged to be asked to work on this project with Paul and his team, especially as Paul’s attention to detail is what we pride our company ethos on also.  We work closely with our clients to achieve the correct specification and then execute this to a very high standard.”


Johnson Carpentry and Joinery

Founded by Chris Johnson 8 years ago, C. Johnson Carpentry and Joinery takes pride in the level of service it provides and the high quality of finish on any project.

Working across all aspects of the carpentry and joinery trades, the company has a strong reputation for delivering excellence in whatever aspect of the trade it is presented with.

The company was recently involved with Mahé, the brand new cookery school from Chef Paul Ainsworth. This included manufacturing and installing all of the internal joinery, workspace units, entrance door and rear terrace finishes and pergola. Chris explained:

“This is our second large project with Paul. We also hand crafted the carousel dessert stand ‘A fairgrounds tale’, which Paul used on the TV show MasterChef. Paul and his team of chefs across his establishments often call on us for wooden food presentation pieces and are always creative with how the food is presented.

“It is always a great pleasure to work with Paul and his team. We love the passion and drive that they put into the projects we work on and we are always grateful of the input they allow us in to the design and creativity in the projects, which is always refreshing.”

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