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Luxury Hospitality Magazine speaks with Head Chef at Bohemia, Jersey; Callum Graham

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Retaining the Michelin Star at Bohemia is of course a massive career highlight, and most recently being awarded four AA Rosette’s this year. I’m also really proud of how we handled Covid-19 in the kitchen and managed to continue offering the best possible guest experience, despite the affects that it had on the hospitality industry. I believe we’ve bounced back bigger and better!

Run us through your day to day at Bohemia

I get into the kitchen most days between 8am-9am (or 7am if I’m making bread) and usually start with a coffee. I’ll check in with my team of nine, and then I’ll perhaps speak to suppliers about what they have in that’s exciting or new or just particularly delicious. Next is fish prep, meat prep, and then generally going round and tasting or checking things, ensuring everything is ready for service. I’ll look at the reservations for the day ahead to see if we have any dietary requirements or special requests and go through them with my team and front of house. After lunch service, I’ll help clean down the kitchen then take a break – I pop home to walk my dog most days! I’ll go back in the evening for dinner service and do much the same routine as earlier in the day.

Talk us through the current menu, are there any autumnal delights?

Our current tasting menu features lots of seasonal produce but one of my favourites is the Roasted saddle of Venison with a braised haunch pithivier, parsnip & vanilla purée, mulled port gel and chocolate venison jus.

How important is it to use high quality and seasonal produce?

Very important. We prioritise using fresh, local, and high quality seasonal ingredients to create exciting, modern European dishes, with a range of menus to suit all occasions. We’re fortunate to have great independent local suppliers, farmers and fisherman that can source incredible ingredients to use within the dishes at Bohemia. For example, depending on the season, we can forage for unique sea herbs such as sea beet, bronze fennel, sea purslane and sea bean on out coastal walks. There are also fish and shellfish from our waters such as oysters, ormers, clams, lobsters and crabs which arrive to our kitchen door within an hour of them landing on the fishing boats, and not forgetting the world-famous Jersey Royals!

Congratulations on the recent four AA Rosette’s in the 2022 AA Hospitality Awards, how did it feel to be a part of the team that helped achieve this?

It was an absolutely brilliant feeling and a brilliant night. The awards haven’t taken place for the last couple of years due to Covid-19 and so I think it felt even more special because it was the first big event for a while in which everyone in hospitality has been able to get together. It really was a “who’s who” of the cooking world. It was just phenomenal. To receive four AA Rosettes is a spectacular milestone for myself and the team at Bohemia, we are immensely proud. It is amazing to see that the work the team puts in day in, day out is being recognised. This is certainly a moment to treasure and fills us with even more motivation to continue to improve and delight our guests.

What is your signature cooking style?

There is an element of classical cooking which comes from my time in Geneva and Paris. I try to make flavours lighter and flavoursome, and dishes which are ingredient led with a touch of fun.

With Christmas fast approaching, have you started working/ experimenting with a Christmas menu?

Our multi-course Christmas Lunch and Dinner menus are actually available to book now and will run from 22nd November – 23rd December. Some of the highlights include Aged jersey Angus Beef & Manor Farm Beetroot Tartare with Hibiscus, Dill and Horseradish; Glazed Confit Turkey Leg with onion textures, English Black Truffle, Trompette Mushrooms and Roasted Rump & Braised Lamb, Potato Terrine, Garlic, Kale, Rosemary and Lamb jus.

What is one of your favourite Christmas dishes and can you give us any helpful cooking tips?

I love Christmas foods from the cheeses, cranberry sauce to lunch with all the trimmings through to all the delicious leftovers like a Turkey pie. I often find that you can be really creative when it comes to leftovers and it’s a great way of utilising all your ingredients and reducing food waste.

When it comes to tips, preparation is really key for Christmas and anything you can prepare ahead of time you should do. Alongside peeling and cutting your vegetables on Christmas Eve, you could also make your cauliflower cheese so that it’s ready to just pop into the oven the next day. My top tip would be to make your Yorkshire pudding batter 24 hours before it’s needed, as that gives it ample time to rest and helps ensure you’ll get a good rise.

In a few words tell us why everyone should book a table at Bohemia?

Bohemia is in St. Helier, Jersey and is the island’s only Michelin-Star restaurant and has firmly put Jersey on the gastronomic map, becoming a destination in itself.