Rupert’s Recipe From St Ives Food Festival

Tomahawk Steak with Mechouia Salad

St Ives Food Festival is always such a great weekend. Taking place in mid-May, this food festival on Porthminster Beach has the most incredible backdrop for the chefs lucky enough to be invited to demonstrate a recipe on the Asado Fire Pit stage.

On Sunday 14th Rupert shared with the crowd how to make mechouia salad, a fantastic traditional Tunisian dish of grilled Mediterranean vegetables that goes incredibly with barbecued meats or works as a stand-alone dish. It’s a frequent favourite at our Wooodfired Cooking courses!

tomahawk steak and mechouia salad

Mechouia (also known as slata mechouia in Tunisian Arabic) has a base of char-grilled tomatoes, onions, peppers, chillis and garlic, which are coarsely chopped and seasoned before being dressed with olive oil. Rupert cooked a tomahawk steak over the coals, serving it medium-rare, sliced over the mechouia.

Cook your steak to your preference, remembering to oil your steak (whether or not you use a pan) and, once placed on the grill, not to move it until you come to turn it. And, of course, rest it before slicing and serving!

rupert cooper demonstrating how to cook a tomahawk steak at st ives food festival

Here’s how to make the mechouia to serve it on:


4 Medium Tomatoes

2 Red Peppers

2 Large Jalapeno Peppers

2 Small Onions, the outer paper leaves removed

1 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds

½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds

2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon red wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Using either a grill or BBQ fire, char the outsides of the tomato, peppers, and onions until they’re completely blackened and blistered, turning frequently to char all sides. You can put the onions directly into the coals of the fire. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow them to steam in their own heat for 15 minutes.

Peel the char off of the vegetables, coarsely chop them and place them in a bowl.

Toast the caraway and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Grind them into a powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.

Add the spices with the olive oil and vinegar to the chopped vegetables and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Header image by Nik Read, article images by Sam Buckle. Thanks to both for sharing their work with us.

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