Appetitea local fire.

a local fire.

There’s a dining experience we’ve been missing in Jersey, and one that will be warmly welcomed when it arrives this month; fire.  Controlled fire has been a revolutionary part of the human existence, and cooking over it has transformed the way we eat, what we eat, and the experience we have whilst eating. It’s a technique unique to us as humans and is a ritual that we have taken part in for some 700,000 years or so. 

It’s a back-to-nature, primitive way of cooking, eating, experiencing and enjoying our food. A humbling and almost contradictory way of cooking: Such a simple (yet not easy) way to cook that allows such complex and distinct flavours.  The charred taste that smoke and flame gives is one very difficult to replicate at home.

Fire cooking and barbequing is something we love to enjoy during the summer, but something we rarely get to enjoy in a restaurant setting. Perhaps this is why the charred taste appeals to so many of us. It’s food akin to being on holiday. Think charred- seasonal vegetables, same day caught fish served whole and simply, and basque inspired meats served over coals. Heightened versions of classics we all know, a comfort thats done differently.

Introducing Pêtchi; Native produce cooked over fire. 

Pêtchi promises to be a unique dining experincing not only enjoyable for the palette and senses, but thoughtful of our environment too. Quality, local and sustainable food isn’t hard to come by on our plentiful island, and it sounds like we can expect Pêtchi to be a place in tune with and highlighting the natural world and the gifts it gives us to enjoy. Oysters, seafood, and seasonal produce; all elevated by Joe Baker’s (previously of Number 10) cooking. 

Joe and his team have been serving, and pleasing palettes of restaurants visitors for years. Producing joyous and comforting yet refined food, creating menus and dishes with quality, interesting ingredients, and creating an atmosphere and service that allows guests to relish in the overall dining experience.   We caught up with Joe and Charlotte to talk about all things Pêtchi and see what  we can expect from their new venture. 

What inspired Pêtchi? 

Jersey, to be honest. We wanted to really showcase this Island’s potential, both through the food, the design, the branding and name. We’re even housed in an iconic old building. Also so much time spent eating in the Basque country, where I [Joe] also used to work. They have a true reverence for their land, their products. I find that inspiring; looking inwards not always outwards for inspiration. Also the opportunity to cook over fire is really exciting, and feels like a natural progression (or regression – it’s where cooking started!?). Done well it’s such an art and actually really subtle, with fire you’re working with something that’s alive and volatile and all the more interesting for it. 

Why the change? Has it been hard to let something that’s proven to be very popular and successful go? 

It felt time to change because we felt like we had outgrown our environment. In order to be more true to what we believe and put the best product out there we felt we needed a different space that had that potential, whilst also allowing us to have a beautiful bar & private dining room. We’re so glad we found it. The new space will allow us to express more clearly what we believe and also simply give a more fun, engaging experience- the kitchen is completely open and there will even be a few counter seats at the pass. It’s a huge leap of faith, the easy thing would be to keep doing what was already working well. But great things never come easy and we love a challenge! In order to stay the same you have to change.

A huge number of people had fallen in love with number 10, food you served and the environment you created. How have you found people’s reaction to you announcing the closure? 

It’s been genuinely heart-warming. We put so much into that place and to see the love reflected back feels good. It was great to go out on a high and we’re so grateful for each and every person that chose to come and eat and put their faith in us. People have also been excited to hear about Pêtchi, and our plans. Which is also nice!

What can people expect from Pêtchi? 

They can expect the absolute best native produce cooked over fire. All served in a relaxed and beautiful setting where the craftsmanship of everyone involved will be plain to see, from potters, to furniture makers to to our bespoke  grills. There will be a sense of theatre from the open kitchen, think the scent of wood smoke in the air, sharing immaculate seafood with friends and of course great drinks.. 

What can we expect from the new menu? 

The menu will be pretty different to Number 10. Though there will be some common threads. I don’t think I could not put our tempura oyster with house hot sauce on, so you can come in and order them by the bucket! Some re-iterations of classic Number 10 cocktails (Sweet Dilly & English Rose) will be featured too. 

The menu will be designed to share, but in an elegant way. There will be a bunch of small plates all focused on iconic local produce, woodfired flatbreads, oysters etc. But then we will also have larger format sharing dishes too, when you walk up the stairs you’ll be greeted by whole ribs of beef and whole fish in our dry-ageing cabinets. I want to connect the dots a bit. I imagine being there with best friends and devouring a whole turbot cooked over fire with whey & vin jaune, or a beautiful duck roasted in the wood oven with St Ouen’s honey. But we can’t give too much away!

Pêtchi-Native produce cooked over fire. It’s a Jérriais name, what Jersey specials can we expect? 

We wanted a name that was different, and Pêtchi translates as ‘to try to catch a fish’. I love that, the pursuit of local bounty and then the joy of sharing it. The journey is the film. In terms of Jersey specialities, that will be more in the produce itself, working with the Island’s suppliers. The actual dishes will reflect our unique approach, not so much traditional cooking.

Joe and Charlotte have certainly made an impact on the hospitality scene, and we expect they will continue to do so. Pêtchis ethos feels a bit like a love letter to Jerseys history, coastal environment and the joys of sharing food. All the things that feel like summer, and we love about summer, just in time for summer! We can’t wait to walk up the stairs (past the ribs!) into Pêtchi and see what they’ll have to offer. They’re due to open doors very soon. Look out for the soon-to-be-flying Pêtchi flag outside Liberty Wharf. 

Favourites…..Joe and Charlotte

Is there a meal you couldn’t go without? Turbot cooked over wood, little crispy potatoes and a pool of beurre blanc. 

Your favourite at-home dinner? 

Macaroni cheese, English style with leeks, bacon and English mustard.

What staple wouldn’t you be without? Peanut butter.

A favourite place to eat out in Jersey? Watching the sun go down at Le Braye, their lobster and chips they do in the summer and a glass of vin du patron.

Favourite drink in Jersey? 

 A Hemingway daiquiri at Number 10, rest in peace!

Jersey’s best seafood? 

Tough one to call, probably chancre crab.

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