Q&A with Shaun Rankin

Signature Dish? Best Hangover Food? Dinner Tips? We discover it all in our brand new Q&A feature.

Shaun Rankin is a celebrity chef, appearing on BBC’s Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen, heading up The Bohemia Club Hotel & Spa restaurant, Jersey. You can see Shaun at The Southampton Boat Show, 16-25 September.

How did you get into cooking?
I was always very passionate about cooking and on rainy days when I couldn’t go out to play, I’d help my mum in the kitchen. At the age of 16, I left school and headed off to London to work at the prestigious Mayfair Hotel.

What’s your signature dish?

It has to be the dish that got me all the way to the banquet in BBC’s Great British Menu – Treacle Tart with Raspberry Ripple Clotted Cream Ice-cream.

Best Hangover food?
Bacon Sandwiches with HP Sauce!

Cooking must have?
I wouldn’t be without my Osborne of Ilkeston kitchen at home and my Wolf range.

Dream person to cook for?
The late Keith Floyd

Food heaven?
Fresh fish or lobster caught by me and cooked within the hour.

And… hell?
Crab, as I’m allergic.

Favourite childhood food?
Mum’s ham hock soup and homemade bread.

Dinner party tips?
I’m part of a new culinary concept called ‘Great British Chefs’ which brings together 12 chefs and 15 Michelin stars. Through them I have developed three dinner party menus, from canapés through to petit fours, for people to try at home. After you’ve chosen your menu my tip is to then do as much as you can the day before so you can actually enjoy your evening with your guests.

Best and worst thing about your job?
The worst thing is the long hours. It’s paramount to me that I’m a head chef that actually works in the kitchen and I’m there for as many lunch and dinner services as possible but it means early mornings and very late nights. The best part is serving guests at my Chef’s Table, which is in the heart of my kitchen at Bohemia and also travelling to represent the Channel Islands and the great produce we have around the world. I’m very excited about attending the PSP Southampton Boat Show (16th–25th September) this year being part of the Sea Kitchen Theatre. A great way to teach families tips and hints on seafood cooking.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not cooking?
When I can get the time I love to fish. I am competing as part of the Channel Islands team at the World Match Fishing Championships this year in Italy.

Favourite app?
It has to be Great British Chefs! You can get it from the iPhone App Store. It’s packed full of videos, tips and menus for the adventurous home cook and involves great hard working chefs such as Marcus Wareing and Tom Aitkens.

Describe your dream meal?
When I was filming my TV Series ‘Island Feast’ we caught fresh lobster just off Les Écréhous, which are small islands near Jersey. We cooked them on the beach in a pan of seawater – very rustic and very good.

Favourite restaurant?
There’s a place in France where I had dinner on my honeymoon in La Rochelle that’s owned by Richard and Christopher Coutanceau. It’s a great fine dining experience.

When you come to Jersey, look out for a place called the Dicq Shack, Greve D’Azette, St Clements. They serve great authentic Thai food cooked with fresh ingredients on the beach; it’s a must before you go home.