1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Sommerin, chef owner, Home

The  Staff Canteen

James Sommerin is the chef and owner of one Michelin-starred home in Penarth

James and his daughter Georgia share the kitchen at the restaurant, relaunched after James' eponymous restaurant closed in the midst of the pandemic

Home by James Sommerin

1, Royal buildings, Penarth CF64 3EB

Website: https://homeatpenarth.co.uk/

Telephone: 02920 706559

Opening hours:

Sunday    Closed
Monday    Closed
Tuesday    Closed

Wednesday    6–9pm
Thursday    6–9pm
Friday    12–2pm, 6–9pm
Saturday    12–2pm, 6–9pm

Facebook: @homeatpenarth

Twitter: @homeatpenarth

Instagram: @home.penarth

Biography

James started working in kitchens at the tender age of 12, with a Saturday job at an Italian restaurant in Newport, South Wales.

He secured his first full-time position when he finished school at the Cwrt Bleddyn hotel near Usk, before moving to Scotland to work under Richard Lyth at the Farleyer House Hotel

While in Scotland, James met his now wife and business partner Louise, and after the couple had their first child (Georgia), they decided to move back to Wales.

Photo credit: Aga Tomaszek

The Crown at Whitebrook

In 2000, James was taken on as a sous-chef at The Crown at Whitebrook, situated south east of Monmouth.

Three years later, he was promoted to head chef and was awarded his first star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland in 2007; an accolade he and the team held onto until restaurant’s closure in 2013.

After the sudden closure of the Crown at Whitebrook, James and his wife opened Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth in May 2014.

Within two years, Restaurant James Sommerin received multiple accolades, including a Michelin star in 2016 and AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales 2016-2017

Sadly, due to the pandemic, Restaurant James Sommerin closed its doors in the summer of 2020.

Determined to revive the business in Penarth, in August 2021, the Sommerins opened their new restaurant, Home. Less than six months later, it was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022.

Photo credit: Aga Tomaszek

Home

Cooking alongside his daughter and Great British Menu 2020 contestant Georgia, James Sommerin's Home is a family affair, with food served by Louise and one of their two other daughters, Angharad (the youngest, Elin, is only 11), as well as Louise's twin sister Cath.

What the guides say...

Michelin

three stars

 

The windows are blacked out, guests must ring the bell to be granted access, and once inside they are made to feel like they are being welcomed to the Sommerins' home.

The family-feeling extends to the layout of the restaurant, which seats 24 with the kitchen set dead centre in the dining room, giving the whole restaurant a chef's service experience.

A surprise eight-course menu, priced at £98 a head, reflects the seasons and the best meat, fish, fruit, veg and even wine available from local suppliers. A four or eight-course lunch is also available on Fridays and Saturdays.

In an interview with The Guardian reflecting on winning a star for Home, James said: “It’s more special than it ever was before.”

“Just purely because it’s us as a unit, there are no other investors, no business partners, no nothing. We are running it solely and it’s such a huge achievement.”

James and Georgia Sommerin 
Photo credit: Aga Tomaszek

Great British Menu

James competed on the BBC’s Great British Menu four times in total, representing Wales. His first appearance was in the third series of the show, in 2008. He then returned the following year, and won his heat against fellow chef Stephen Terry.

After the competition changed in format, James returned once again in 2010 but unfortunately lost his heat to Aled Williams. His final appearance to date was on the seventh series of the show, in 2012. Georgia Sommerin took part in Great British Menu in 2020.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th March 2022

1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Sommerin, chef owner, Home