Welshman James has been in the kitchen since the age of twelve when he kept a Saturday job in an Italian restaurant in his local Newport. James journey then saw him travel to Scotland where he learnt the importance of seasonality, cooked for the opening of Scottish Parliament and was shortlisted for Young Scottish Chef of the Year. James and Louise also met in Scotland, marrying and welcoming their first of three daughters to the world before moving back to his homeland in 2000. Being awarded the coveted Michelin star as Head Chef of The Crown at Whitebrook in 2007 is an achievement James is hugely proud of, and he retained the star until the restaurant closed its doors in 2013.
My connection with seafood
I believe some of the freshest flavours can only be found by the sea and surrounding areas. Located in Penarth, Restaurant James Sommerin has uninterrupted sea views where customers can enjoy the finest quality fish. Seasonality is key to the menu and there is nothing better than being able to buy directly from the local fisherman daily and serving freshly caught fish straight from the boats. The menus are named in Welsh after elements of the restaurants dramatic sea backdrop, each evoking a distinct flavour of the restaurants surroundings and local heritage.
Why sustainability is important to me
I work closely with my suppliers to ensure that our fish is responsibly and locally sourced. Customer knowledge on sustainability has definitely increased in the last few years and there is an open-mindedness about trying new sustainable fish amongst my customers which is great. My mission is to bring the highest quality seafood to the table and this cannot be done without thinking carefully about where you source your fish sustainability and responsibility are a key focus on my menus.