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Celebrity chef Paul Rankin is one Northern Ireland’s and the UK’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs.
In 1994 Paul and Jeanne presented the 15 part network BBC1 TV series Gourmet Ireland – showcasing the best of Irish ingredients plus their own distinctive cookery talents. The third series was transmitted during 1996 and BBC Books published two cookery books linked to the series.
In 1984, Paul and Jeanne arrived in London and signed up at Le Gavroche, Paul washing dishes and Jeanne waitressing. Within months they were elevated to the kitchens. During the next two and a half years they gained a classical grounding and the ability to be organised under pressure. They cooked in Canada and then Napa Valley before returning to Belfast in 1989 to open their award winning restaurant Roscoff.
Roscoff’s combination of ridiculously low-priced set meals, jazz music and laid back atmosphere fuelled its popularity. In 1991 Paul and Jeanne were awarded Northern Ireland’s first Michelin star and subsequently Roscoff was named the Courvoisier Restaurant of the Year.
Their second restaurant Cayenne opened to much anticipation. The name illustrates the food they serve, spicy vibrant and most of all fun. Since then additions to Paul and Jeanne’s restaurant empire are two Rain City Café Grills and six Café Paul Rankin. In the new Time Out Guide to Great Britain and Ireland Cayenne is rated the No 8 restaurant overall, and No1 in Ireland.
Paul has appeared on Masterchef, Who’ll Do The Pudding? and The Good Food Show and in 1996 Paul was the featured chef in BBC series Techno: Food aimed at making older school children aware of good eating habits, which was awarded the Glenfiddich Award for Television Programme of the Year and the coveted Glenfiddich Trophy for 1996. Paul has also filmed his own series for BBC Northern Ireland called The Rankin Challenge, which was broadcast during summer ’98, with a second series broadcast during spring ’99, and a celebrity edition broadcast in 2000. Paul and Jeanne had their own special cookery strand on GMTV in ’96. Paul continues as a member of the regular team on Ready Steady Cook, now in its 11th year, and is a frequent guest on Saturday Kitchen.
Paul and Jeanne published their third cook book called ‘Hot Food’ as well as ‘Cooking with Ideal Home’ a compilation of their recipes from their monthly column in the same magazine.
BBC Books published New Irish Cookery in September 2003 and St Patrick’s Day 2004 saw Paul on the prestigious Today Show in New York cooking Irish dishes live to an audience of 14 million. In 2007, alongside Antony Worrall Thompson, Paul released the book ‘The People’s Cookbook: A Celebration of the Nation’s Life in Food’.
Paul was appointed International Ambassador for Bushmills Whiskey. He has his own range of Irish breads with Irwins Bakery available in major supermarkets throughout the UK. He has his own range of white tableware with Ulster Ceramics and has developed a range of cookware with Ultimate Cookware.
In 2005 he was asked to overhaul the menus at a Belfast Care Home for the elderly and his enthusiasm for this cause has led to him addressing conferences and events for care industry professionals and this in turn triggered a Trevor McDonald special programme on the subject for ITV in which Paul featured.
Most recently, Paul graced our screens on ITV 1’s Celebrity ‘X’ Factor singing as part of ‘The Chefs’. The group did fantastically well and managed to make it all the way through to the last stages of the competition.
For speaking enquiries or to book Paul Rankin please call Specialist Speakers on +44 (0)203 002 4125 or use our contact form