FOURty seconds with James Sommerin

17 Nov 2014
2 min read
This week FOUR catches up with chef James Sommerin who heads up the kitchen at his eponymously named Michelin star restaurant, Restaurant James Sommerin, in Penarth, Cardiff.

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

Making corned beef pasties and scotch pancakes with my Gran. My Saturday afternoons as a young boy were spent with her cooking.

What kind of experience do you aim to give the guests dining at your restaurant?

We are trying to create a relaxed dining experience with a bit of the WOW factor.

What chef would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

I haven’t been inspired by any chef’s as such, a chef I have always looked up to is my old head chef from Scotland — Richard Lythe.

Describe how you see your own culinary style and how it has evolved over the years…

I would say my culinary style is modern with emphasis on good quality local produce (where possible). I would definitely say my food has simplified over the years, focusing on flavour and seasonality.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

For me it still has to be gaining a Michelin star, an accolade I hope one day I can hold at my very own restaurant.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

What advice would I give to my younger self? Not to do it! Only joking…! I think writing things down. You learn so much and over the years some of those recipes etc you do forget.

Have you ever had an embarrassing kitchen moment?

Disappearing down the drain! Our new restaurant had been open for about a week and at the end of service we always do a deep clean down. I didn’t realise that one of the boys had taken the drain cover off so the water on the mopped floor could drain away and I went straight down it. Not being very tall it looked as if I had nearly disappeared. Needless to say the entire kitchen were in hysterics.

What restaurant is currently on the top of your list to dine at?

There are two restaurants I am hoping to visit. One: El Cellar de Can Roca in Spain, and two: Shloss Schauenstein in Switzerland.