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Restaurant James Sommerin

James Sommerin
Restaurant James Sommerin

Restaurant James Sommerin

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The Esplanade
Penarth
CF64 3AU
United Kingdom

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The Chef

 

James Sommerin

You’d be hard pushed to find a Welshman who isn’t proud of his roots, and none more so than James Sommerin. The Caerleon-raised chef has remained faithful to Wales, garnering a reputation that has helped elevate the country’s gastronomic status. What sets him aside from his region’s peers is his characteristic cuisine, which he explains, is focused “on more unusual products, to show there’s more to Wales.”

His modus operandi has certainly evolved since the Saturdays he spent making bread and corned beef pasties with his gran, whom he credits for giving him an appreciation of good food and a passion for cooking. As a teenager he earned his stripes at an Italian restaurant, went on to formal training after school, then worked at the Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel near Usk before making his way to Scotland. It was here, at the Farleyer House Hotel in Aberfeldy, where a youthful James Sommerin learned the pared-back French style of Richard Lyth, a chef who – whilst not holding the same culinary rank as celebrated mentors such as Pierre Koffmann – had a profound influence on him:“If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. He taught me the important things like seasonality, quality of ingredients, and respect more than anything else,” he affirms.

James Sommerin