A chef for all seasons: Steve Smith at Bohemia
Spring's arrived in Jersey and brought with it plenty of new season produce. We caught up with Bohemia chef Steve Smith - known for working his Michelin-starred magic on rare ingredients - to find out what his new menus have in store.
How's the menu changing?
The biggest thing that changes at this time of year is the influx of new season veg. Morels, spring garlic, wild leaves, nasturtium leaves, they're all coming through now and we reflect that in our dishes. So for example, the pre-desserts have changed colour from a paler mojito creation to a much more vibrant rocket and lemon with fermented ginger. The haddock with hen's yolk on our tasting menu has changed to a strawberry and red pepper soup. And there's spring lamb on the menu with Jerusalem artichokes, sunflower seeds and goat's cheese. Our tasting menu is a tasting of the seasons, so it's constantly changing to reflect what's arriving from the fields and the sea. We're even working on serving Jersey royals three different ways…
What have you discovered since moving to Jersey?
That the island's full of wonderful wild ingredients to forage. From wild garlic to sea purslane and alexanders (edible wild greens), you can walk along the seashore and pick them for yourself. You ensure that you're getting natural ingredients at the height of their season. We're also exploring creating a kitchen herb garden here at Bohemia and working with a micro herb grower to develop a range for us.
What local ingredients are you excited about working with?
Already the Romesco cauliflowers are stunning, the beetroots are great too, and I think I'll be blown away when everything starts coming through in late April. It's exciting when new ingredients arrive - you want to work with them straight away so that people can taste the produce at its freshest and best.
What's new at Bohemia?
When we talk about a dish, it's the whole experience for people, from its visual presentation and colour to its taste and texture. How you serve it can often have a bearing on how it's experienced, which is why we put thought into everything, right down to the colour of the crockery.