Interview: Steve Smith, Head Chef at Michelin-Starred Bohemia, Channel Islands
By Annalisa D'Alessio
World Food Tour magazine caught up with Steve Smith, head chef at Michelin-starred Bohemia in the Channel Islands. Over the course of his career, Steve has created truly outstanding dining experiences with his ingredient and flavour-driven tasting menus. Bohemia’s has an ever-evolving seasonal menu featuring fresh and exciting dishes has earned it the only Michelin star on the Channel Islands. Steve’s menus have a heavy focus on local ingredients and celebrate seasonal fruits and vegetables. Read on for our interview with Bohemia’s Steve Smith and find out his favourite dish to cook, inspirations and food fads.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the food business?
SS: It kind of started from enjoying eating initially, it then developed into wanting to cook. I was lucky and my first job was working for Jean Christophe-Novelli at The Gordleton Mill in Hampshire. Going straight into working at a Michelin-starred restaurant was key.
Q: What would you have been if you hadn’t been a chef?
I have no idea—I can’t think of anything else I would be doing.
Q: What is your favourite dish to cook?
SS: Any light and simple salad.
Q: What are the five ingredients you always keep in your fridge?
SS: My fridge is normally pretty empty, as I only normally buy food if I’m cooking at home. But you will always find grapefruit juice, Indian tonic water, yoghurt, apples and milk.
Q: What’s your go-to restaurant in London and why?
SS: I don’t really have a ‘go-to’ as I like to try and go to new places each time I’m in London. I do, however, like to return to The Ledbury and I also like Medlar for a great value lunch, or the Harwood Arms.
Q: Who are your inspirations, both in and out of the kitchen?
SS: I admire any chef who has managed to achieve a constant standard over a long period of time.
Q: Can you tell us about a particularly memorable moment in your career?
SS: I suppose anytime time you reach a goal is a memorable moment really, gaining a Michelin star, gaining 5 AA rosettes, winning head chef of the year at the Cateys Awards—they are all fantastic highlights.
Q: You can only live on one cuisine for the rest of your life. Which one would it be?
SS: It would have to be Italian!
Q: What is your favourite food fad and why?
SS: I don’t like food fads—I think that you either like something because it’s nice and you enjoy it, or you don’t like it and you don’t eat it.
Q: What’s your best-kept cooking secret or tip?
SS: If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret…
Q: Do you have any future predictions for the food industry?
SS: The food industry needs to work more with the education sector to help bring more people in the industry.