CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

Meet the chef: Jean Gysemans at No 34 at The Orchid Hotel

PUBLISHED: 16:02 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 August 2017

Jean Gysmen

Jean Gysmen


No 34 at The Orchid Hotel is setting foodie’s pulses racing thanks to the locally inspired menus of Michelin-starred chef Jean Gysemans

Michelin-starred head chef, Jean Gysemans, trained alongside his father in the family restaurant in Biarritz on France’s Basque Coast, before working at the world famous Hotel George V in Paris. Focussing on carefully sourced local produce, Jean and his team at No 34 use seasonal ingredients in simple flavour packed dishes. Drawing on Jean’s French upbringing and reflecting customer feedback, the new menu brilliantly showcases outstanding ingredients from the coast, countryside and forests of Dorset and Hampshire.

What role did cooking and local food play in your childhood?

I was always trying to steal food from my father’s kitchen as it looked so good! He inspired me to be a chef – I wanted to prove that it was possible to be good at horse riding, tennis and be a great cook!

My grandmother was also an inspiration. Biarritz has a few local dishes - Poulet Basquaise and Piperade being two of the most famous. My Chef’s Signature Hake uses the classic Piperade from my home town with Bayonne ham, it’s one of my favourite dishes on the menu.

How did you devise the No 34 menu?

Most importantly I started off with the food I like to cook. Then between myself, Christina (Operations Manager of No 34) and customer feedback, the final menu was created.

And locally sourced ingredients are at the heart of this new menu?

Indeed they are, it’s all about knowing where to find the best locally. Certain areas in Dorset and Hampshire are famous for specific ingredients - the sweetest strawberries come from the New Forest, lamb from Canford Magna, asparagus from Sopley and crab from Lymington. We wanted to showcase these on our menu.

What dishes capture the No 34 ethos?

We’ve taken some classic French dishes and made them different, but not so much that it becomes fine dining - that is not what we are trying to achieve. Food should not be too complicated. So for example we have asparagus on the menu but we wanted to give it an interesting twist; so we mixed the mayonnaise with smoked haddock and yusu (a Japanese lemon) and serve it with a shot of green asparagus gazpacho. Then there are dishes like 1000 Leaves of Crab - Dorset crab with layers of tomato, guacamole and vanilla oil - the colours make this dish look almost too good to eat!

And what’s for dessert?

Christina our Operations Manager reminded me that women must have chocolate, so we have a Trio of Chocolate Delights to give the ladies (and of course gentlemen) something to indulge in! Tatin is my favourite dessert in the world and customer feedback for this dessert during our market research was outstanding. The blackcurrant and hibiscus cheesecake was an interesting combination we came up with, we love it.

What would be your perfect supper?

Scallops roasted in their shells, followed by duck confit and apple tatin, shared with my wife on the beach.

No 34 at The Orchid is open seven days a week, midday – 2.30pm & 6.30 – 9.30pm. More details at or call 01202 553737.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Step back into the kitchen between Christmas and New Year and cook for pleasure with these warming winter recipes from Gill Meller’s latest book Time

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

Roaring open fires, hidden nooks and crannies and huge comfy armchairs are all signature traits of a cosy pub – and Dorset has cosy pubs aplenty. Here are just some of the best inns to snuggle up in this winter

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

The Crown Hotel at Blandford Forum offers wonderful riverside walks, stylish bedrooms, deeply satisfying suppers and even a dandy highwayman

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

When Friday night arrives you can’t beat a traditional fish supper from the local chippy. With some help from our readers and in no particular order, we pick eight great ‘plaices’ for fish and chips in Dorset

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

From farmhouse to country house, tea room to hotel Sue Quinn leaves no crumb untested as she seeks out some of the finest cream teas in the county

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

Sunday afternoons are made for lazing in a cosy pub, beer in hand and an overflowing plate of delicious roast dinner on the table. We pick 10 great places for Sunday lunch in Dorset

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Fanny Charles is impressed by her lunch at Seasons at The Eastbury

Read more
Friday, September 28, 2018

Here are our Dorset Food, Drink and Farming winners for 2018; nominated and voted for by you

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

You can’t beat a pub lunch after a scenic country walk with your four-legged friend. In no particular order, we pick some of the best dog friendly pubs in Dorset

Read more
Monday, September 3, 2018

Robert Ndungu, Head Chef of the award-winning pub The Acorn in Evershot, reveals what is making his tastebuds tingle as summer gives way to autumn

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

We are delighted to announce our 2018 finalists

Read more
Monday, July 23, 2018

Asian flavours combine with seasonal Dorset ingredients at The Ollerod - an exciting new relaxed dining venture in the heart of Beaminster

Read more
Friday, July 20, 2018

From creamy classics to inspiring new flavours of gelato, Dorset is home to some of the best ice cream parlours in the south west. With some help from our readers, we pick eight great places to indulge in a scoop this summer

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Kieran Perree, scallop diver and Golden Scallop founder shares his recipe for pan fried Lyme Bay scallops

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search