Cyrus Todiwala MBE - proprietor and executive chef of the Café Spice Namasté restaurant in London – visited Jersey in October to tutor catering students and to meet producers. He was so impressed by the quality of produce and the enthusiasm of the Genuine Jersey members he met, that he was inspired to create a menu in celebration of Jersey produce.
His Taste of Jersey menu is being promoted from Monday 23 November until Christmas Eve. It features oysters from Steve Luce’s Jersey Oyster Company, lobster, crab, scallops and fish caught by Peter Gay of Captain Lobster, beef and dairy products from Darren and Julia Quénault’s Classic Herd, combined with vegetables grown by Trevor Le Brun of Holmfield Growers. The Liberation Group is supplying the Jersey Brewery’s award-winning Liberation Ale.
The Café Spice menu is famous for incorporating the best of Indian cuisine with influences from Asia and Europe. Mr Todiwala’s speciality regional menus reflect his passion for fresh seasonal British produce which he cooks with natural herbs and his own spice blends.
He said: ‘I want to use my connections to put Jersey produce on the national culinary map because of the Island’s acknowledged reputation for dairy and agricultural produce and seafood.’
Mr Todiwala’s links to Jersey have quickly grown from the Island’s participation in the Real Food Festival held in May where seven producers promoted their businesses with the support of Jersey Enterprise. He gave an impromptu cookery demonstration using Jersey crabmeat.
‘Jersey produces a range of premium products that can hold their own against anything I have come across in my travels around the British Isles. Having discovered Jersey produce at the Real Food Festival I couldn’t wait to visit the Island to discover its provenance. The wonderful experience of meeting so many enthusiastic people, dedicated to what they are doing and, moreover, sampling their products at source, gave me the inspiration to create my special Jersey menu,’ he said.
The Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey, John Garton, said: ‘Having the support of such a prominent innovative culinary figure and advocate of local produce as Cyrus, can only be of benefit to the Island. The association hopes that the promotion in Café Spice Namasté, following so closely on the showcasing of local produce by Fifteen London will generate a wider interest among chefs throughout the UK.’