The number of participants in the competition, which is organised by the Genuine Jersey Products Association, in association with Victor Hugo Wines and Laurent-Perrier Champagne, is higher than ever as the contest continues to grow in popularity.
Genuine Jersey chairman, Ken Syvret, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better response from the Island’s restaurants and pubs. Their support means that the Menu de Terroir 2006 will be bigger and better, and ultimately will provide diners with a great variety of top quality local dishes to choose from. This year’s competition truly promises to represent the stunning diversity of Jersey’s seasonal produce.”
The Menu de Terroir was established two years ago with the aim of showcasing the finest local ingredients. The Island’s chefs are encouraged to put their culinary skills to the test by creating a menu which extensively features Jersey produce, ideally in the region of 80 per cent. The concept is based on the practice of many restaurants in France where a regional menu – a ‘Menu de Terroir’ – is offered alongside other general menus.
Details of the venues are available on www.genuinejersey.com and a leaflet is also being produced and circulated among participants. Menus will be judged by an international food and wine writer-critic, who will visit Jersey in September. The winners will be announced at a special presentation.
As well as the main judge there will also be a panel of local mystery judges who will be visiting all the venues throughout the season to taste the food and assess the prominence of the menus. Diners are also being encouraged to give their comments through the Genuine Jersey website and all feedback will be used to inform the judge’s final decision.
Last year’s winner of the restaurant category was the Green Olive in Anley Street. The judge was “particularly drawn to this restaurant by its charming lack of pretension, the warmth of the welcome, the passion of the trio in the kitchen and the inventive cooking giving marvellous flavours at very reasonable prices”.
The winner of the 2005 pub category was the Castle Green Gastropub. Speaking at the time, chef Roger White said he felt very strongly about the importance of raising awareness of good local produce. He continues to urge the general public to cook with Jersey goods as much as possible.
Both of last year’s winners are participating in this year’s competition.