Eat Jersey 2015

Eat Jersey Food Festival 2015

by Russell Brown 28 October 2015

Chef Russell Brown discusses his excitement at being invited to cook at the inaugural Eat Jersey Food Festival hosted by Michelin-starred chef Mark Jordan. An island full of fresh bounty, it's set to be an epic culinary feast.

Critically acclaimed chef Russell Brown is a regular Great British Chefs contributor.

Critically acclaimed chef Russell Brown is a regular Great British Chefs contributor.

The island of Jersey is truly enchanting. Easily accessed from the UK either by ferry or plane, it offers dramatic cliff walking and miles of sandy beaches, as well as hidden valleys and reservoirs tucked away in the island’s interior. There is abundant wildlife, a massive tidal range that dramatically affects the landscape, water sports, luxury hotels and food that ranges from beach bars to Michelin-starred restaurants. So when I was asked if I would be interested in cooking at the first Eat Jersey Food Festival being held by the Atlantic hotel, it wasn't a difficult question to answer!

This inaugural event is being held from the 5–7 November this year. The Thursday night sees Mark Jordan, Executive Chef at the Atlantic Hotel, joined by Steve Smith from Bohemia, Jersey; Simon McKenzie from the Brasserie Restaurant at Old Government House, Guernsey; Philippe Hardy from Le Mascaret, Basse-Normandie, and myself. On Friday, Mark teams up with Pascal Proyart from One-o-One, London; Eric Chavot from Brasserie Chavot, London; Adam Smith from the Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms Hotel, and Michael Wignall from The Latymer at Pennyhill Park. Saturday takes a different tack with a more relaxed event at Mark Jordan at the Beach, the informal beachside bistro that provides the perfect foil to the Michelin-starred Ocean Restaurant at the Atlantic. The all-day dining menu for the Saturday has been created by bistro head chef Tamas Varsanyi and will have burgers and Jersey lobsters at it’s core.

Patrick Burke, owner and managing director of The Atlantic Hotel said, 'This year is a momentous one for The Atlantic Hotel as we celebrate our 45th anniversary. As part of marking this occasion, we are thrilled to be launching the first Eat Jersey Food Festival, an event a number of years in the making. I know I speak for our entire team when I say that this is the next step in our ongoing dedication to making our mark internationally. We are proud to be flying the flag for Jersey’s finest home grown and locally caught produce and, of course, the island’s spectacular scenery. We are delighted to be welcoming such an impressive line-up of acclaimed chefs to our inaugural event, and hope to see the Festival flourish in years to come as an annual gathering in celebration of Jersey’s gastronomy.'

It is a hugely impressive list of chefs, a testament to Mark’s standing with his peers and the regard with which the Atlantic is held. It is also a slightly daunting bunch to be cooking with! Most chefs take part in this sort of event from time-to-time, whether it is at festivals, collaborations, charity evenings or guest chef dinners and, speaking only for myself, it normally means working outside of your comfort zone. Different kitchens, different brigades and unfamiliar equipment can all create a degree of stress but everyone is in it together and the sense of camaraderie and a common goal produce some spectacular evenings. From a chef’s point of view, it is a huge learning opportunity and can really energise a brigade: for the diner it presents a unique opportunity to experience the work of several different chefs melded into one cohesive menu. For the Eat Jersey festival though, the real star will be the produce. I have been lucky enough to eat in many of the island’s restaurants, and have explored the St Helier market, stopped at little roadside stalls to buy fruit or vegetables and visited producers on the island, there are some fantastic ingredients available. Royal Bay oysters, Jersey scallops, local vegetables, crab, cream, Jersey mushrooms, turbot, cider and local beef will all feature on the menus over the three days. I will leave it to Mark to sum things up for you:

'As a chef, working in Jersey is a dream come true. For a nine by five mile island, the range of fresh produce here is incredible. After spending time developing the concept, I am proud the Eat Jersey Food Festival gives us the opportunity to shout about this from the rooftops. I am delighted to be working with a fantastic brigade of peers to create the special dining events planned at Ocean and our bistro, Mark Jordan at the Beach. Together we will celebrate these ingredients and Jersey itself using our combined skill and experience. I hope everyone who attends will be back year upon year to see what we have up the sleeves of our chef whites!'

For reservations or further information contact The Atlantic Hotel on

Mark and guest chefs for the Thursday evening