1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Sommerin, chef patron, Restaurant James Sommerin

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th January 2018

James Sommerin is the chef patron of the one Michelin starred, Restaurant James Sommerin in Glamorgan, Wales.

James’ love of food began at an early age, getting his first job at the tender age of 12, working for an Italian restaurant in Newport on Saturdays.

Restaurant James Sommerin

Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth, Wales, Michelin starred restaurantsThe Esplanade, Penarth CF64

Website: jamessommerinrestaurant.co.uk

Telephone: 02920 706559

Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday – Sunday 12pm – 2:30pm; Dinner Tuesday - Thursday 7pm – 9:30pm, Friday – Sunday 6:30pm – 9:30pm; Closed Monday

Chef Patron: James Sommerin

Restaurant Manager:

Facebook: Restaurant James sommerin

Twitter: @RestaurantJS

Instagram: @JSommerin


James’s first full time position came at the age of 16, at the Cwrt Bleddyn hotel near Usk after he finished school. From here the chef decided to take the next step in his career, moving to Scotland to work under Richard Lyth at the Farleyer House Hotel. It was here that James learned all about seasonality and working with flavour combinations.

James Sommerin, chef patron, Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth, Wales, Michelin star chefs
James Sommerin

During his time in Scotland, James met his future wife, Louise and was shortlisted for Young Scottish Chef of the Year. After the couple had their first child, they decided to move back to Wales.

The Crown at Whitebrook

In 2000, James was taken on as a sous chef at The Crown at Whitebrook, situated south east of Monmouth in Monmouthshire, Wales. Three years later, he was promoted to head chef, obtaining his first star in the Michelin Guide UK in 2007. The chef and his team held onto this feat until the restaurant’s closure in 2013 which, at the time, also made it the longest running Michelin starred restaurant in Wales.

Restaurant James Sommerin with Rooms

After the sudden closure of the Crown at Whitebrook due to financial difficulties, James and his wife opened Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth in May 2014.  His eponymous fine-dining restaurant boasts impressive views of the Severn Estuary, and it is popular with residents of the local area, many of whom are returning customers. Within a year, they added nine bedrooms upstairs, five of which also have views of the Estuary. Midweek full-board prices start from £120 per person.


Within two years, Restaurant James Sommerin received numerous accolades, including their first Michelin star in 2016 and AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales 2016-2017. It was also listed at Number 34 in the Good Food Guide Top 50 Restaurants 2017. The restaurant has since retained its star in the Michelin Guide UK 2018 and it was awarded four AA Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide 2018.  

Great British Menu

James has 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 with a  pea ravioli dish.

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. The theme for the competition was to create a menu that captured the Olympic spirit, inspired by Olympic athletes. In the Welsh heat, James was runner-up.

Food Style

James’ menu champions local produce. He sources his meat and fish from local suppliers and would like to have his own kitchen garden in the future. He also gets inspiration from travelling and the whole family will visit restaurants abroad to get a different dining experience.

Videos with James Sommerin:

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th January 2018

1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Sommerin, chef patron, Restaurant James Sommerin