‘The Singing Chef’ and owner of The Dining Room in Worthing , took to The Worthing Food and Drink Festival stage on Sunday 16, to create some kitchen alchemy.
Jean de Rien, who sings while he cooks, says his ambition is to get the town recognised as a gastronomic hotspot – by offering fine dining to foodies who traditionally flock to Brighton.
During the show, Jean cooked up a storm by showing budding chefs how to turn liquid into ‘pearls’ a process called ‘spherification’. His dishes of gin-cured salmon with lemon pearls and G&T sorbet featured ‘Slake Gin’, which is distilled in Shoreham.
Friend and Masterchef winner, Kenny Tutt, who is also from the town, also appeared at the festival, which drew record crowds over the weekend.
Jean said: “The festival grows each year and is a fantastic celebration of the best local food and drink. Myself, Kenny and other local chefs hope that by supporting events such as The Worthing Food and Drink Festival, we can show people what the town has to offer and what calibre of top-quality, local food is available. We serve bream caught by Worthing’s fishermen and try to serve as much locally-sourced produce as possible.
“We are committed to putting Worthing on the culinary map and also pushing the boundaries for people by encouraging them to try new dishes and flavours – there are so many amazing tastes to discover. We also collaborate with other great restaurants in a bid to build the town’s reputation as the place to go for an incredible dining experience.”
Kenny added: “Worthing has some great restaurants and is in a beautiful location. I would like to see it established as the destination of choice for people to enjoy food of the highest quality.”
It’s been a busy summer for Jean with no sign of things slowing down. “The Singing Chef” (also known as Jonathan Nulty), has cooked live at several events including The Weald and Downland Museum Food Festival in May, at West Dean Chilli Fiesta in August and Horsham’s Big Nibble in September. He is due to appear at Parham Harvest Fair, Storrington, on September 22 and at the Green Dreams Festival, Field Place, Worthing, on September 30.
Jean regularly collaborates with other quality restaurants and will welcome a guest chef this October from Bubble&, which recently appeared in the television series “Million Pound Menu”. Mestiza Philipino Food, as featured on BBC2’s “Top of the Shop”, will also be serving its street-food inspired dishes at The Dining Room, with visits from other top chefs planned.
The restaurant, in Crescent Road, Worthing, prides itself on being innovative and unique, offering diners the chance to act as food critics and decide which newly-created dishes from the ‘test kitchen’ make it onto the menu.
Jean, who runs the restaurant with wife Rosanne, said: “Many people are moving out of Brighton to Worthing and the town is becoming more vibrant and diverse with the addition of new events, such as Worthing Pride. It’s exciting to see the heart of the town being regenerated and developing a real buzz.”
The “Singing Chef” YouTube channel featuring Jonathan is due to launch at the end of October – with footage from The Worthing Food and Drink Festival and an array of local food and drink producers, including a gin distillery and a cattle farm.
Since opening in 2017, the restaurant has gone from strength-to-strength and Jean hopes it will be the first from Worthing to be included in the coveted “Waitrose Good Food Guide”. Find out more by visiting www.the-dining-room.co.uk