Paul Rankin

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Paul has been credited as the pioneer of the restaurant revolution in Northern Ireland. He first opened the doors of Roscoff in 1989 at a time when Belfast was in desperate need of quality restaurants. He represented the first Chef in Northern Ireland to receive the coveted Michelin Star and, nearly twenty years later, most of the emerging restaurants in Belfast are headed up by Chefs who trained under Paul in the early days.

Paul first became interested in cooking when he was traveling the globe in his twenties. It was on these travels that he met his Canadian wife Jeanne in Greece, where he was working as a boat painter just outside Athens.

The couple returned to Canada where Paul started working as a waiter and instantly fell in love with the excitement of the restaurant world.

After further travels through India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China, Paul and Jeanne returned to work for three years under the expert guidance of Albert Roux.

Following a period as Head Chef in a Californian Restaurant, Paul and Jeanne returned to Belfast in 1989 to open their first Restaurant - Roscoff - and soon had been credited with Northern Ireland's first Michelin Star.

Paul's TV career took off soon after with three series of the popular Gourmet Ireland - a showcase for Irish produce and the country's artisan producers.

Paul's TV career is still flourishing and most recent ventures include The People's Cookbook with Anthony Worrell Thompson, a new series and new format of 'Ready Steady Cook' and 'Local Food Heroes' with Gary Rhodes. In addition, he appeared in 'Take on the Takeaway' and a brand new series called 'Food Poker' which started in the autumn of 2007 on BBC2. He is also a regular guest on Saturday Kitchen.

To date, Paul & Jeanne have written five books and contributed to countless others. 'Gourmet Ireland I & II' accompanied the television series. 'Hot Food' and 'Ideal Home Cooking' followed with the fifth title, 'New Irish Cookery', a compendium of over 140 mouth-watering recipes with an authentic spirit that reflects their shared passion for cooking with fresh and tasty Irish ingredients. The Peoples Cookbook has also just been released following the very successful TV series.

20 years since first opening Roscoff, and a decade of TV appearances and projects under his chef hat, Paul is focusing on his flagship eatery Cayenne, which rests in the heart of Belfast's city centre - Shaftesbury Square. If you have a meal in Cayenne these days, you will probably see Paul meeting and greeting his guests as he has returned to the Cayenne kitchen, doing what he loves best.

Above and beyond the restaurants, cafes, TV and books, Paul's passion for great quality Irish produce has led to the development of an award winning range of premium Irish products under the Rankin Selection brand which are available throughout the UK.