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Grant Nethercott, Executive Chef and Owner

It’s every chef’s dream to name his own restaurant, and in 2002 we opened Alba in the former lifeboat house. All these years later, we are still going strong and have converted downstairs into the A Bar. Serving amazing cocktails, craft beers and eclectic gins, we have retained the fine dining upstairs taking advantage of the fabulous view.

At College, I had a keen interest in art but decided a career in catering would be more beneficial. The attraction lay in the concept of the food on the plate had become an art form in itself.

Being a classically trained chef, to Michelin standard, I draw a lot of influence from French cuisine but over the years, it has come from around the world. I would class the cuisine at Alba as modern British style. I don’t have a signature dish but do enjoy cooking with wild sea bass. That would definitely be a key component of my signature dish!

My greatest achievements so far would be being a father to my amazing daughter, as well as being awarded Seafood Restaurant of the Year in our first year.

When I think of Cornwall, I see it as a way of life. The initial attraction of St Ives came from being a keen surfer in the early 90s but I haven’t been catching the waves since running restaurants. St Ives is unique and has a lot to offer, whether it’s the beaches, food, art, culture or weather! I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else (apart from the Cote d’Azur when I retire).

My biggest influence would be working at the 2 Michelin Star Restaurant, Hôtel le Centenaire at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, Dordogne in France. I learnt so much there and it gave me an insight into how a kitchen works at such a high level. It was inspirational and at the height of Nouvelle Cuisine. Looking back at what we were cooking then, it would be more relevant today and that was 30 years ago.

Grant About
Alba View

Our Story

Housed in the refurbished Old Lifeboat House on the harbour front in St Ives, Alba Restaurant and Bar is renowned for its contemporary seafood menu and views across St Ives bay and of Godrevy Lighthouse. Since opening its doors in 2002, Alba has fast become the pinnacle of fine 5 star dining in the town, specialising in local produce, line-caught fish and seasonal vegetables.

In 2015, Alba Restaurant received a refit including a new look A Bar, which occupies the ground floor.

Alba Restaurant is named after the Panamanian-registered steamer SS Alba that ran aground on rocks off Portmeor beach in St Ives on January 31st 1938. The ship was on route to Barry in Wales from Italy carrying coal when it got into difficulty. The St Ives painter Alfred Wallis painted several versions of the “wreck of Alba”, one of which is in the Tate collection.

The Wreck of The Alba by Alfred Wallis

We are grateful to the local art patron, Alfred Wallis’ collector, loyal customer and friend, Henry “Gilly” Gilbert (now deceased) for the inspiration with respect to Alba.