Paul Rankin changed the face of culinary Northern Ireland when he opened Roscoff, the restaurant that was to become the first to win a Michelin Star in the country. Paul is best known for being one of the longest standing and most successful chefs on Ready Steady Cook which regularly pulled in viewers of nearly 3 million.
Ready Steady Cook’s Paul Rankin, one of the UK’s most popular celebrity chefs, has also starred in Step up to the Plate, Local Food Heroes, Saturday Kitchen, Ten Mile Menu, and alongside Nick Nairn on Paul and Nick’s Big Food Trip. He is an experienced and consummate awards host.
Paul’s appearances on Ready Steady Cook, have made him a TV chef to be reckoned with, but his original endeavour, the Roscoff restaurant, changed the culinary face of Northern Ireland.
Paul and his then wife, Jeanne, arrived in London in 1984, and worked in the kitchen at La Gavroche, before embarking on their own project, Roscoff.
The restaurant became the first in the country to win a Michelin Star and the Courvoisier Restaurant of the Year award, and established itself as the meeting place of choice for the Belfast business and arts community, with regular visitors from Dublin, who travelled simply to experience what was considered to be the best cuisine in Northern Ireland.
He also ran the neighbourhood restaurant Cayenne in Belfast. The name illustrates the food they served, spicy vibrant and fun. In the Time Out Guide to Great Britain and Ireland Cayenne was rated the No 8 restaurant overall, and No1 in Ireland.
Since 2011 Paul has presented Paul and Nick’s Big Food Trip, with fellow chef Nick Nairn, traveling around the coasts of Northern Ireland and Scotland by boat to explore their Ulster-Scots culinary heritage. The fifth series, Paul and Nick’s Big Canadian Food Trip, aired in March 2017 on UTV in Northern Ireland and STV in Scotland.
Paul has appeared on Step up to the Plate (BBC1), Local Food Heroes (UKTV), Saturday Kitchen (BBC1), Celebrity X Factor. He has presented several of his own series including Gourmet Ireland (BBC1) and The Rankin Challenge which won two coveted Glenfiddich awards. Gourmet Ireland was also transmitted in the USA, with an accompanying book. In 2013 Paul appeared in Chefs: Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is, and in 2014 on series 4 of Pointless Celebrities on BBC One. In 2014, he appeared in three episodes of Win It Cook It on Channel 4, and as a panellist on BBC Two’s The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice.
In 2005 Paul was tasked with overhauling 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, which triggered a Tonight with Trevor McDonald special programme on the subject for ITV1. He has his own range of traditional Irish breads ‘Rankin Selection’, launched in 2002 through a partnership with Irwin’s Bakery. The phenomenal success of the bread range in UK supermarkets inspired Paul to develop the brand further and in 2004 he launched an Irish sausage range.
Paul won the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry Award. Able to share stories of how he built his business empire and the secrets to his culinary success, Paul is the perfect speaker for all food themed events.