The fish was THIS big

Twice Michelin-starred-chef Atul Kochhar and TV wine expert Olly Smith returned to Jersey last week for an evening of fine food and wine to raise funds for Jersey Hospice Care.

Atul, who runs Kanishka in Mayfair, London, created a five-course feast of modern Indian cuisine, paired with wines from all over the world chosen by Olly Smith.

Sponsored by Santander International, the event turned the Royal Yacht’s Celestial Hall into Jersey’s largest Michelin-star style Indian restaurant – serving over 270 guests.

The evening began with champagne and canapés: Louis de Sacy Champagne served with Indian street food nibbles – prawn pakora, chicken tikka, and lentil fritters.

Dishes included Thukpa, a Tibetan chicken dumpling soup; Jalpari Aur Gobhi, seared Jersey scallops with textures of cauliflower; Tandoori Machhi, grilled salmon with butternut squash, coconut and tamarind sauce; Gosht Aur Shalgam, rump of lamb with spiced turnip, kale, and Rogan gravy; and Chaklet, a chocolate bombe served with a warm spiced chocolate sauce.

Wines included Mendoza Torrontés from Bodega Norton, Chilean Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay, Ken Forrester FMC Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc, Post Scriptum de Chryseia Quinta do Roriz, and Quady Elysium Black Muscat.

Atul was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star in the UK back in 2001 when he was head chef at Tamarind in London. He went on to open Benares, which secured him a second Michelin star in 2007.

Atul said: “It’s a pleasure to return to Jersey to produce such an exciting menu of Indian cuisine for this special event. Creating a fine dining experience for such a large group is a wonderful challenge, as we effectively want everyone to enjoy the food as much as they would in a Michelin star restaurant. We use as much local produce as we can, enhancing the natural flavours with a unique combination of Indian spices and cooking techniques to offer a memorable dining experience.”

Olly Smith is a resident wine expert on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen. He writes a wine column with the Mail on Sunday and has been awarded Drinks Writer of the Year 2019 at the Great British Food Awards – an award he has received for the third year running.

Olly said: “Spicy food always makes wines tastes a little sharper – especially whites. Pinot Gris is a great safe bet from Alsace but tonight I’m pushing the boat out with a sumptuous spectacular white from South Africa, the FMC Chenin Blanc, which is like buying the Crown Jewels for the price of a dodgems token!”

The event builds on the success of Atul and Olly’s first fundraising dinner in Jersey in 2015, established by Steven Hunt, Chairman of Fundraising at Jersey Hospice Care.

James Pountney, Managing Director of Santander International, said: “I’d like to thank Atul and Olly for coming to Jersey to help create such a fantastic event for a very good cause. Santander International was delighted to sponsor the dinner as part of our continued support for Jersey Hospice Care.”

Last year Jersey Hospice Care supported over 1,300 Islanders with services including pain-relief and help with complex symptoms. 570 people were nursed at the end of their lives, and 300 people received emotional and bereavement support. Three in four people in Jersey who died last year chose to receive some level of support from Jersey Hospice Care.

Emelita Robbins, CEO, Jersey Hospice Care, said: “Thanks to the generous support of Santander International, every penny raised at the event will be able to go towards enabling our patients to live the remainder of their lives to the full. Events such as this make a huge difference to the funding of Jersey Hospice Care and are vital for us to continue offering the high standard of palliative care we make freely available to anyone in Jersey when they require our support.”