From Hotel Restaurant to Bar to Beach to Stage
The Story starts at the St. Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall.
The Enodoc is a fine dining mecca famous for serving the best of Cornish produce while overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary. Previous chefs include Nathan Outlaw, Clare Smyth and James Nathan.
Sous chef Felix & then KP Blaise had both worked alonside each other at the Enodoc for many years through the thick and the thin.
In the winter of 2018, while Sous Chef at AnnaLena in Vancouver, Felix was asked by the Enodoc owners to return to Cornwall to take on the Head Chef role.
Aged 22, Felix met the challenge, put together a young and driven team of chefs and got to work.
Blaise stepped up to train as a pastry chef and Felix brought on a friend of a friend to join Blaise in the pastry section. Through the flames of the kitchen the three became firm friends. With the summer's end looming and the Hotel set to change hands to new owners, Felix, Blaise & Robbie dreamt up a new venture free of the constraints of working for and at a large establishment.
From their ambition, imagination and graft grew Taco Boys. A fine dining food truck located on Baby Bay, Polzeath. The aims of this venture were to bring fine dining to the people and celebrate the beauty of the beach.
Over a 2 year period, reputation grew and the team at Taco Boys were ready for the next step. With the need for a year round venture, the team sold Taco Boys, crossed the Tamar and moved to the beautiful city of Exeter. In September 2020, on a tight budget, the expanded team built the restaurant Stage on Magdalen Road.
Meet The Team
Felix Craft - Head Chef
Felix knew he wanted to be a chef from aged... He left school and started his career at n a family run Italian restaurant in his hometown Bath where he learned to graft, absorb and start honing his skills straight away.
With sights set on greater heights, Felix mobved ro become Grill Chef at the infamous Menu Gordon Jones. A small 20 cover restaurant offering delightful surprise tasting menus run by a passionate and knowledgeable chef. Here, Felix truly started his journey to becoming a great chef. Felix worked for Gordon for ... years and learned a great deal about fine dining, sourcing good produce and running a business.
With itchy feet and the ocean cqlling, Felix left Bath aged ... to moved to Cornwall to work as ... in Nathan Outlaw's . Here he developed a new speciality for seafood with any waking spare moment spent in the water.
Chef Felix went onto to work at.... Cornwall...France ...
before eventually moving to Vancover to work at top restaurant Ana Lena where he was inspired by the cuisine of the city, truly a North American-Asian melting pot of flavours and cultures. Finally.... Felix returned to England, back to Cornwall to Head Chef at the St. Enodoc Hotel in Rock where he and his colleagues Blaise & Robbie decided to start their own venture.
As Head Chef at Stage, Felix combines his previous experiences and creativity with the best local produce from the garden, smokehouse and brewery to create an ever evolving tasting menu experience.
Felix's modern and elegant dishes has earned him a nomination for Best Chef in the 2022 Food Reader awards and lead Stage to be featured in the Michelin Guide,
Blaise Shiel - Grill Chef
Blaise, born in North Wales and moved to Cornwall at aged 3, is a multi-talented individual and friend to all. Growing up on on the coast, Blaise developed a passion for fishing, music, books and food.
Blaise worked nigh his whole life in a multitude of kitchens. From Di's Dairy, Fee's food, Rock Dining room, Mariners, ... St Enodoc Hotel to name but a few, this man knows kitchens and how to work well with others.
After 2 years of preparing and cooking more tacos than he's had hot dinners, Blaise is now grill chef and Felix's right hand man at Stage. His work ethic and inherent reason have always proved valuable assets to the team.
A keen linguist and philosopher as well, having studied Philosophy & Ethics at university, Blaise is also Editor Chief of the Stage Newsletter.
Robbie Ashby - Restaurant Manager
With working parents and a big appetite, Robbie developed a love for food, family & friends early on. From a young age, he he would wine and dine anyone that would let him.
Having spent his working life in various front and back of house roles in hospitality and his academic life culminating in a masters in engineering & management, Robbie was left wanting to pursue his passion for food and service further. In 2018, Robbie applied for a chef position at the St Enodoc Hotel under Felix. There, together with Felix & Blaise, they decided to go it alone and start a new business.
With a year on the beach under the team's belt, it was found that Robbie's true strength was front facing, whereby the link between diner & chef ran smoothly.
Alongside running the back of house, Robbie manages the Front of House and Bar experience at Stage. Taking you on his wine journey, along with exhibiting the best the Stage chefs and brewhouse have to offer, he endeavours to give every guest the best experience possible. Working closely with Felix, Robbie curates the drinks pairings for the tasting menu.
Matt Vause - Brewer, Charcutier & Chocolatier
Chef Matt has done the rounds. A brummy who has cheffed all over the country and done it all. Matt has experience in heading a kitchen, working grill to pastry and everything inbetween. A friend to all at the Enodoc and a dab hand for gardening and DIY, he was and is the perfect person to take on the independent role in the Cornish smokehouse & brewery.
Matt spends his days producing artisan small batch produce for Stage; homebrewed craft beers, cider, & kombucha, a range of saucisson, salami, and other cured delights, and fashions the most beautiful petit fours using seasonal produce. Matt also studies horticulture and grows produce in the yard, including rhubarb, herbs and camomile while curing cheeses& yoghurts in the sausage room. Distiling is the next challenge on Matt's ever growing list which everyone is excited about.
Devoted and kind, Stage is blessed to have Matt onboard,
Cameron Trimm - Pastry Chef
Cam is the Devonian representative of the Stage team. Born and raised in Barnstaple, and having moved to Exeter as a young man, Cam knows these streets well.
Back when they were more young and foolish than now, Blaise and Cam were best friends and lived in each other's pockets. Having pursued many career paths, including stints in law and the motor trade, Cam joined the Stage crew in the restaurant build days. Fed up with his day job and wanting a career change, Cam picked up the sander and had at it with his new family,
A true penknife man, whose flexibility was truly appreciated in the strange times of recent, Cam has taken to may roles, including a Baker, Barman, Server and Builder. He now focuses on his true pursuit of cheffing and works in the kitchen alongside Felix and Blaise on Pastry. He and Blaise are now using their days off to study their craft further at Exeter College.