Born in Caerleon, Sommerin baked with his grandmother on Saturdays as a child. Determined to become a chef, his father secured him his first Saturday job in an Italian restaurant in the hope of dissuading his son from getting into the industry, but the job only served to convince Sommerin of his vocation.
After school he undertook formal cookery training, and then worked in a local hotel, before heading to the Farleyer House Hotel in Aberfeldy, Scotland. There he trained further under Richard Lyth, who gave him his under-stated French style.
Returning to Wales to be closer to his family, Sommerin joined The Crown at Whitebrook in Monmouthshire in 2000 as Sous Chef. In December 2003 he became Head Chef, which under his control gained a Michelin star in April 2007.
In April 2013, Sommerin announced that he was going to open a new restaurant at Beachcliff in Penarth.
- "Whitebrook chef James Sommerin on Great British Menu". Wales Online. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- "BBC Chef Bio's – James Sommerin". BBC Food. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- Rayner, Jay (16 December 2007). "Rising stars: The chefs to watch in 2008". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- "Crown at Whitebrook awarded a Michelin Star". The Crown at Whitebrook. Retrieved 2 June 2009.[dead link]
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