Bruce Rennie

Born in Fife, Bruce studied architecture and music technology before deciding on a career in hospitality. A series of jobs in Edinburgh – including at Number One Restaurant at The Balmoral hotel – led to a head chef position at Rhodes and Co in Jenners department store. In 2002, Rennie moved to Northern Ireland to work at Shanks in Bangor with the late Robbie Millar, then returned to Edinburgh to head the kitchen at Martin Wishart’s Michelin-starred restaurant and help set up the Wishart Cook School, before relocating to Cornwall in 2009.

Once in Cornwall, he fully embraced local produce while working as head chef of Rick Stein’s restaurant in Porthleven and the Gurnard’s Head in St Ives.

It was therefore no surprise that when Rennie chose to open his own restaurant, it was based around Cornish fish.

Now proprietor and chef at The Shore restaurant, in Penzance, Cornwall, he enjoys putting together a creative menu inspired by the seashore using daily, fresh produce. With Newlyn fish market one mile from the front door of his elegant 28-seat restaurant, he’s ideally placed to source the best.

Bruce is proud to be the only chef at The Shore Restaurant, making everything himself including the restaurant’s sourdough bread, ice-cream and cheese biscuits.

The Shore Restaurant offers a seafood menu using ethically sensitive produce from day boat fish to local growers and farmers.

The Shore Restaurant, Cornwall
A relaxed neighbourhood restaurant in Penzance, Cornwall.
More about this venue

John Dory

By chef Bruce Rennie


Put the split peas into a pan and cover with water; stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a ladle and turn down to a simmer. Cook the peas, stirring regularly, for 35-40 minutes or until just tender – adding more water if necessary. When the lentils are tender, remove the pan from the heat and whisk to break the lentils down. Set aside until required.

Warm the vegetable oil for the dal in a pan on a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds. Add the onion, chillies and ginger and fry for four to five minutes until lightly coloured. Add the ground spices and nigella seeds to the pan and cook for a further minute; mix well and season with salt to taste. Blend the garlic and tomatoes in a food processor and add this to the pan; mix well and season with salt to taste again.

Cook the mix over a medium heat until the oil has started to show on top of the sauce. Add the cooked lentils to the sauce; stir and mix well. Add a little water as needed to thin the dal to desired consistency. Bring the mixture to the boil and season to taste.

Put all of the ingredients for the coriander and mint chutney into a food processor and blend to a fine paste. Store in the refrigerator until needed.

To serve, heat a frying pan with a little vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. Season the fillets with salt and fry until one side is lightly coloured and the fish is cooked halfway through. Turn the fish over and cook on the other side until just cooked, but still moist. Meanwhile, heat the dal gently and check the seasoning. Spoon a little on to each plate. Top the dal with the fish fillets and serve a little of the coriander and mint chutney on the side. Serve immediately.

The Shore Restaurant, Penzance, Cornwall

This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information

Ingredients for ten servings:

Chana Dal

  • 150G Yellow Dried Split Peas, Rinsed Until The Water Runs Clear
  • 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Chopped
  • 1 Green Chilli, Finely Sliced
  • 2cm Ginger, Peeled & Finely Diced
  • 3⁄4 Tsp. Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp. Garam Masala
  • 11⁄2 Tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. Nigella Seeds
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Chopped
  • 4 Tomatoes, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Coriander & Mint

  • 70G Coriander
  • 70G Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 100G Onion, Peeled & Diced - 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 35Ml Lime Juice
  • 1 Green Chilli, Chopped

John Dory

  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying
  • 6 John Dory Fillets
  • Salt, To Taste

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