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 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 with his wife. The name illustrates the food they served, spicy vibrant and fun. They added two Rain City Café Grills and six Café Paul Rankins to their business empire, although the restaurants have all now been sold. In the Time Out Guide to Great Britain and Ireland Cayenne was rated the No 8 restaurant overall, and No1 in Ireland.
Paul has appeared on Celebrity X Factor, as one ‘The Chefs’ – a group so popular that they made it to the final stages of the competition. Paul 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 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.