Our Family at Bayards
Our head chef Danny (Bogdan Nicoriciu) joined Bayards Cove Inn four years ago and brings with him a flair for using the freshest ingredients, raised, grazed or grown locally or fished from the Devon coastline to create the most sumptuous dishes.
With a growing trend for veganism, Danny’s menu’s offer a strong nod to ethical fine dining, with adventurous dishes often included on the daily specials board. Fresh fish, landed daily in Dartmouth are also a speciality, while meat makes its presence known, whether that’s a steak, bathed in a peppercorn sauce, a Bayard burger or lamb kofta.
Danny initially studied to be a vet in his native Romania, before coming to London 2000 where he began training as a chef in Canary Wharf in an artisan-style kitchen learning traditional methods using the freshest of ingredients. He worked his way to become the head chef before leaving for pastures new in 2009, running the Dart Hotel at Kingswear until it was closed to be converted into flats.
Whether it’s a sharing platter, a new season dish or a healthy bowl of salad, Danny’s style of cooking is uncomplicated yet bold and celebrates the tastes and flavours of the Westcountry.
It’s a little known fact but our general manager Alasdair Hopper, or Ali as he’s known, is a former star of the TV.
Having attained a bachelor’s degree in photography, followed by stints at The Old Firehose pub in Exeter and Pizza Express, amongst others, he starred in the prime time BBC Two television show called The Restaurant.
And its not surprising. With an ability to deal with a fast pace and gruelling hours coupled with an understanding of the importance of engaging with customers Ali is a brilliant team leader at Bayards Cove Inn.
But back to The Restaurant. This was the X-Factor equivalent of a competition that would see one team get the opportunity to win a restaurant with the one and only chef Raymond Blanc OBE.
Ali was runner up, but Raymond saw the potential and gave him the opportunity to work in one of the best 2 star Michelin restaurants in the world, a place where 40 chefs have earned their own Michelin stars after graduating, the legendary Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
This is the very best of the hospitality industry, and Ali spent the first 3 months under an intense internship, that would see him work in all areas of the hotel, finally ending up in the incredible dining room.The BBC came back for a second time, however with a slight twist, his own television 6 part series, being thrown on the deep end of high end catering – the ultimate test for an industry professional.
Ali then took a break from hospitality and after four years began to miss the hustle and bustle of restaurant life, and in September 2017, he joined us at Bayards Cove Inn. Ali spends a lot of time with our team and customers alike and, having learnt from the best, he’s a huge asset. Not bad for a shy guy!