A taste of Jersey in London

A taste of Jersey in London

by Chris Osburn 29 January 2016

Chris Osburn heads to Pascal Proyart's One-O-One in London to preview a very special meal showcasing the best of Jersey's produce.

Chris is a freelance writer and photographer, longtime blogger and avid foodie.

Chris is a freelance writer and photographer, longtime blogger and avid foodie. Originally from the American deep south, he's worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001. He thinks the British dining scene is as dynamic and delicious as ever, but more and more seems to find his own kitchen to be the most exciting place to eat.

The weekend of 29 January saw head chef Pascal Proyart of One-O-One Restaurant at The Park Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge making space in his kitchen for chef Mark Jordan of the Michelin-starred Ocean Restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel in Jersey. The duo were giving London foodies and hotel guests the chance to try a collaborative range of four, six, and eight-course sustainable seafood menus showcasing ingredients from Jersey alongside ingredients like seaweed butter and salt caramel from Pascal’s home, Brittany.

Attending a press preview (of no cancellations and zero no-shows) of the Proyart/Jordan team-up, I found myself smugly pleased only a few chews in to realise the bar was being set at a deliciously heady height for my palate’s expectations so early in the year. I could wax poetical about the meal but it’s probably best to let the food speak for itself. Here’s a look-see at the eight courses offered:

Royal King Crab, pastille, celeriac, apple, beetroot

Squid rice-less risotto, pickled cauliflower, anchovy cream

White halibut, abalone, Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnut, Béarnaise jus

Scallop, foie gras, sea spinach, wild mushrooms, vermouth

Jersey beef, lobster, beef marmite, Dauphinoise cappuccino

Jersey cheeses, fig chutney, walnut loaf

55% Vahrona chocolate pave, praline ice cream, gold leaf

Tea or coffee, gourmandizes sucrées

Mark and Pascal
Pascal and Mark first met at the Eat Jersey Food Festival last year
The dishes exemplified Jersey's fantastic produce

A fragrant white (Sauvignon Blanc de Touraine, Loire Valley, 2014) and oomph-y red (Errazuriz Carmenére, Valle de Aconcagua, Chile, 2014) were paired perfectly with the appropriate courses.

Yummy? For a seafood lover like me, the menu was the very definition of delectable. Highlights were discovered with virtually every bite and there was pure thrill each time a new dish arrived to table. But my two favourite moments from the meal were experiencing Mark’s scrumptious squid ‘rice-less’ risotto and Pascal’s moreish halibut with abalone. And I’m not just playing fair by selecting a dish from both chefs. They truly are a dynamic duo, and decided to team up when they first met on Mark’s home turf for the Eat Jersey Food Festival in November 2015.

One of Jordan’s signature dishes, the so-called ‘rice-less’ risotto (comprised largely of teensy chopped squid shaped somewhat like pieces of rice or pastina) was a fresh taste of the sea (oh that anchovy cream!) served with novelty and fun – and deference to squeamish souls less inclined to enjoy a plate of tentacles.

The halibut and abalone proved equally masterful, yielding a spectrum of big flavours capably melded to please and intrigue. A regular feature on the menu at One-O-One, it’s a dish to seek out and one I would be more than delighted to enjoy again.

Here’s hoping this seafood buddy system continues to flourish for the cause of smart recipes made with fantastic ingredients. I know I’d jump at the chance to try another menu put together by these two amazing chefs. Of course, I certainly wouldn’t mind a few courses from either of them cooking solo as well.