My Man of Substance for November is the Michelin starred chef, Shaun Rankin, executive chef of Ormer Mayfair Restaurant at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair. Shaun is a Yorkshire-born British chef, restaurateur and television personality. He has been awarded two Michelin stars and runs his flagship restaurant, Ormer in St Helier, Jersey as well as his new Mayfair outpost at Flemings hotel. Shaun is highly acclaimed and ranked as “a chef at the top of his game” in the prestigious Good Food Guide and described as “masterful” and “a champion of Jersey produce” by Square Meal.
Shaun lives in Jersey with his wife and two children. We caught up at Ormer Mayfair over lunch recently.
Shaun, you are now a Michelin starred chef ‘at the top of his game’ - may I wish you congratulations and ask you to tell us the story of how you became so successful?
I am lucky that my job is also a passion of mine, and when you love what you do and work hard that can often be translated into success.
When did you first realize you had an absolute passion for cooking and what continues to inspire your love of cooking?
When I was 10 years old my Mum used to let me help her out in the kitchen on rainy Sundays, preparing meals for the family. Cooking was something I enjoyed very much and quickly became second nature to me. It lead me to pursue an apprenticeship in London, at the age of 16, in the culinary industry. I am continually inspired by a growing love for great ingredients and seasonality.
Michelin star and a new restaurant at Flemings, Mayfair. Do tempt us to visit you there - what will be on offer?
Our main focus is on Jersey, ingredients and seasonal cooking, with a changing menu which is our unique selling point. Guests can expect signature dishes like my Jersey Lobster Ravioli that have been a big hit, and a great and very affordable wine list, featuring British still and sparkling wines, to accompany the food.
With famous restaurants in Jersey and Mayfair please share with us what you love about each place. And would you ever plan to open in your home town in Yorkshire?
Jersey is home for me and where I consider my kitchen garden, I have built relationships for over 20 years with all my suppliers, from growers, fishermen to dairy farmers. Mayfair is an ever changing and dynamic area to be in. The market is very different to Jersey, London is obviously the mecca of the food industry and the clientele are well traveled and appreciate variety and new cuisines. Yes I would love to open a restaurant in my home town, that would really be a dream come true.
What do you do when you are not cooking?
I have two young boys Harry and Ethan. As I travel a lot when I am working, I try to spend as much quality time with them as possible. I also enjoy going fishing with friends.
I know you adore cashmere – what piece would you love if Winser were to design a menswear collection?
I think it would have to be a V-neck jumper that is comfortable and versatile that I could dress up over a shirt.