Local composer Gerard Le Feuvre has been working with the Kings Chamber Orchestra to produce an album of classical music by Jersey musicians. Uniting as Kings Productions, the group has recorded a CD called Island Home which has attained Genuine Jersey product status. The ensemble has top-billing in this year’s Liberation Day celebrations which include a free gala concert in People’s Park.
From 5.00pm on 9th May, the audience will be able to hear Kings Productions’ hour-long celebration of Jersey, including two pieces composed by local musicians and previously thought to be lost. The Rock – Gerard’s own composition – is the grand finale.
Gerard said: “The music is a spectacular statement of Jersey Island pride and The Rock is a celebration piece which marks 800 years of our unique independence and loyalty to the crown.
“The vision for these celebrations is to unite the Island in thanksgiving. What better opportunity could there be to do this than a free concert! The work is written in a popular genre so as to appeal to all generations, bridging Jersey old and Jersey new. I hope that this formula makes the music truly accessible – the performance includes notable Jersey themes, a children’s song, folk songs and the original anthem, Island Home.”
Gerard began working with the Kings Chamber Orchestra as part of the 1204 celebrations. A true exponent of the concept of Genuine Jersey, Jersey-born Gerard can trace his family’s island roots back a thousand years. “This is Genuine Jersey in musical form,” he said of the CD.
Island Home goes on sale at the concert, priced at £10. Following Liberation Day, the CD will also be available in shops and online at www.kingschamberorchestra.co.uk.
A second new addition has also been welcomed to the Genuine Jersey fold. Ken Snarey of the Samarès Manor Garden Restaurant has been granted permission to use the logo on his menu, although nothing could have been further from his mind a few years ago when he gave up his 25-year career as a financial adviser.
“I always had a passion for food,” says Ken, “and when I left the financial advisory business I did a City and Guilds Certificate in Professional Cookery. I was nominated for the Medal for Excellence, a UK national award and won a high commendation. Just when I was wondering what to do next the chance to take on the concession at Samarès restaurant came up.”
The access to Samarès Manor’s herb garden, the beautiful grounds and the ability to keep dishes local and freshly made onsite proved just the inspiration Ken needed to start a second career. He took on the challenge in April 2006, employing a sous chef and setting out to create a fresh menu. Following the Genuine Jersey rule of using 80 per cent locally sourced ingredients, many of Ken’s new dishes qualify for product status.
House specialities include homemade breads, seafood and salads, all freshly prepared in the Samarès kitchen. Ken is especially proud of his sweet piccalilli, chutney and pickle relish and supreme of Jersey chicken with wild mushrooms and tarragon sauce.
He says: “The restaurant has been open for a month now, and turnover has doubled on this time last year so word is obviously spreading fast. There has also been a lot of interest for private functions. I hope the approach for good-quality food that’s locally sourced and not over-complicated is a winning formula.”
Samarès Manor allows free entry into the grounds for people who have booked a table for lunch. The restaurant is open from 9.30am until 5pm. Menus can be viewed online at www.tiptopnosh.com.
Genuine Jersey chairman Ken Syvret said: “I’m delighted to welcome these new members to the association. Both bring the essence of Genuine Jersey to the Island community, though in very different ways. Samarès Manor have committed to use as many local ingredients as possible on their menu, and this conforms to the ideals of our Menu du Terroir competition which will be launched on May 22nd. Kings Productions, meanwhile, are talented local musicians who have used their skills and acclaim to give us cause to celebrate our Island heritage.”