Jersey is blessed with celebrated culinary champions and well-earned Michelin stars as well as passionate suppliers that grow and rear exquisite fresh produce. We catch up with some of Jersey’s gastronomic wizards.
Shaun Rankin, Chef Proprietor
As a respected gourmet on the international food stage, Shaun Rankin has spent 18 years in Jersey working closely with suppliers to hone the supply chain whilst showcasing the Island’s gastronomy. In 2013, Ormer Restaurant by Shaun Rankin received its first Michelin star, four months after opening. His winning performance on BBC TWO’s Great British Menu and regular appearances on Saturday Kitchen have made Shaun a recognizable face with the UK public. In 2011, he launched his first recipe book ‘Shaun Rankin’s Seasoned Islands’. Shaun is ranked as “a chef at the top of his game” In the prestigious Good Food Guide.
Offering understated sophistication in the heart of St Helier, Ormer is dedicated to incredible food. Quality extends through the suave décor, the easy ambience, and most importantly the dining. With an obvious passion for the fresh produce of the Channel Islands, Shaun Rankin cut his teeth at The Mayfair Hotel in London before losing his heart to Jersey. Between times he worked in restaurants as far afield as Chicago and Australia before spending eight years at prestigious Relais & Chateaux Hotel Longueville Manor, followed by sister restaurant Sumas. He then opened Bohemia restaurant as head chef in 2003 and gained his first Michelin star in 2005, leaving after nine years in January 2013 to open his own venture. When he represented the southwest in the fourth series of BBC Two’s Great British Menu, his winning dish included Jersey clotted cream. Shaun also used Jersey inspiration when he cooked at the pop-up restaurant at The Dorchester, London - to rave reviews. Since being awarded a Michelin star in 2013, Ormer has also been accredited with 3 AA rosettes. In 2014 the business was named ‘Best Newcomer’ at the coveted Food and Travel Magazine Awards 2014. The restaurant offers an array of choices from the à la carte through to tasting menus with both inside and alfresco dining.
“We’ve worked really hard to create a place that is special but also puts you at ease,” Shaun Rankin explains. “You can come in and just enjoy the vibe over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the full experience by dining in the restaurant.” “Ormer has a Michelin star but there’s been quite a shift in Michelin food over the past few years”, he continues. “It’s not all about over fancy dishes, it’s about doing something well and delivering unfailingly. We have a refined but relaxed atmosphere... so I hope we offer something for everyone”.
Shaun, who enjoys relaxing with his kids in his free time, lists The Hungry Man (“a Jersey institution that serves great crab sandwiches”) and The Dicq Shack (“a popular eatery where you can enjoy Thai food right on the beach”) as his favourite places to eat on a rare day off.“There’s not much time to unwind,” he admits. “But if I get the chance I like to go fishing and scuba diving for scallops. If I cook at home, I grab some left over Jersey Royals from last nights dinner, slice and fry them up with a little olive oil and pieces of fresh pear. Mix them with watercress and walnuts and crumble over Roquefort cheese – a delicious combination. I also love to cook with locally foraged sea herbs.” Bohemia Bar & Restaurant
Steve Smith, Head Chef
Head Chef Steve Smith, who has held a Michelin Star for over 15 years from the age of just 24, is synonymous with stellar tasting menus. First rate cuisine has placed Bohemia firmly on the Channel Islands’ gastronomic map since the restaurant first opened its doors. Today, the Bohemia proudly displays a dazzling collection of accolades at the entrance of the restaurant, including one Michelin Star, which Smith and his 13 strong kitchen brigade acquired in less than a year. Bohemia Bar & Restaurant was recently ranked as the highest scoring restaurant in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide 2016. Bohemia has also been named one of top 50 best restaurants in the UK by The Sunday Times. Steve Smith, has devised four distinctive tasting menus combining seasonal, earthy ingredients with refined presentation. Sourcing a variety of local, fresh produce for all of his dishes is key to his menu - the majority of ingredients such as the famous Jersey Royal Potato and fresh Scallops come from nearby suppliers, while other ingredients are gathered from France, a mere 16 miles away.
“I jumped at the chance to come to Bohemia because I knew we’d have access to fantastic ingredients and produce, Steve Smith explains. “We have wonderful seafood on our doorstep and thanks to the ideal location we are spoilt for choice between local, French and British produce. For example, our fresh Oysters come from Royal Bay and we are home to the famous Jersey Royal Potato. We are very lucky!”
Last year Bohemia revealed a sophisticated and elegant new interior design that includes bespoke black and gold-lined, low-hanging pendant lights suspended over the dining tables to illuminate the food. Also Bohemia’s private dining area has been completely transformed to include a stunning chandelier made from 200 Champagne glasses.