Book review – Ocean Voyage

01 July 2011 by
Book review – Ocean Voyage

Ocean Voyage By Mark Jordan
Network Book Publishing, £30
ISBN 978-0-956-7667-2-4

On arriving in Jersey in 2004 to take up his new position as head chef of the Michelin-starred Ocean restaurant at the Atlantic hotel above St Ouen's Bay, Mark Jordan was determined to seek out the island's indigenous ingredients. Back home in England he had been teased that there was no local produce on Jersey and he would have to fly everything in.

"I was curious and wanted to discover for myself, so I started talking to the locals," he explains in Ocean Voyage's introduction. As a result, for the first 18 months he was on Jersey, Jordan split his time between his new kitchen and roving the island on a voyage of discovery for quality ingredients.

His efforts were rewarded as Jordan discovered an entire network of artisan suppliers. Among them were Darren and Julia Quénault, the couple behind Classic Herd, who rebelled against the monopoly of the island's dairy, and now supply the Atlantic with a unique cheese and fabulous Jersey beef.

Ocean Voyage highlights the fact that Jordan's food at the Atlantic is totally ingredient driven, with dishes such as pan-roast sea bass fillet with fresh garden peas and seared Jersey scallops almost jumping out of the pages with their freshness.

The images, in fact, speak volumes in this enormously glossy book. Breathtaking photographs of the sea and landscape surrounding the Atlantic hotel, alongside the largest and most detailed food images I've seen in a long while, make this a tome to drool over.

But it is also practical. As well as the 60 or so lavish recipes and accompanying images that fill the main part of the book, there is also an excellent appendix of basic recipes from langoustine jus to passion fruit and lemon curd.

Rounded off by an insightful chapter on the changing nature of hotelkeeping on Jersey by Patrick Burke, Jordan's supportive boss and the Atlantic's owner, the book serves as something of an impressive culinary travelogue for the island as well as a celebration of one man's search for gastronomic gold.

If you like this, you'll love these:
Handmade Homemade: Recipes from Jersey Tony Dorris
British Regional Food: In Search of the Best British Food Today Mark Hix
Full English: A Journey Through the British and Their Food
Tom Parker Bowles

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