In the 1920s, Jenkins & Sons had a reputation for selling the finest local meat and fish in the area. Fast forward the best part of 100 years, and not much has changed. The relaxed bar and restaurant, located in Penn Hill, Poole, plays on its fishmonger/butcher background, with wooden tables and glossy wall tiles reflecting the building’s original character. 

For the past two years Jenkins & Sons has evolved, promoting their strong ethos for fresh, local, sustainable food. 

Part of the Urban Guild - set up by Owner Mark Cribb in 2005 - Jenkins & Sons is just one of its sites which include; Urban Reef, Urban Beach, Urban Renaissance and Urban Farm where they grow their own produce.

Group Chef Dean Starling, 34, is the creative mastermind, working with head chefs at each site they craft seasonal menus that promote the finest produce from the south west.
Dean says: “I started my career at Bournemouth & Poole Catering College, one of the most renowned catering colleges in the UK which gave me a good grounding of knowledge.  

“I got to work with great famous chefs Jean Christophe Novelli and Albert Roux. I also worked at the Royal Berkshire Hotel, Ascot, a 3 AA rosettes establishment during my one year working apprenticeship.

“My Dad has been a big influence, he was a Catering Officer for the Royal Marines. From the age of 10 my dad was entering food competitions so I was helping out in the background and learning the trade early on. 

“My dad is a great inspiration, he’s won many gold metals and I even got to go to Buckingham Palace with him when I was 8. He bakes Royal family wedding cakes, most recently making the Queen’s Jubilee cake.” 

Upon graduating from Bournemouth & Poole College, Dean worked with the BBC TV series Food and Drink to produce episodes where he ventured to the South of France. 

In 2002, at the age of 21, he was chef de partie at Michelin star restaurant The Walnut Tree in Wales. He later worked with Stephen Terry, renowned  chef at the double AA rosette establishment The Pear Tree and later went on to command head chef positions at Pier Point, Branksome Beach and the Edge in Bournemouth. 

Dean has also worked with multi-Michelin starred Gary Rhodes in his restaurant on-board the 5* Arcadia cruise ship. After working at sea for a year, Dean joined Etihad, the Abu Dhabi's Royal family’s airline, as a private chef for three years. 

Dean has put his remarkable culinary background into full use, creating mouth-watering British menus and daily specials. 

“Good food and drink should be available for everyone - it’s about dining in a relaxed, comfortable, informal environment that’s welcoming for all and I love that, that’s what food is about,” says Dean.
Jenkins & Sons oozes a stylish, rustic charm – customers can delved into delicious ribs or sharing platters at the bar or enjoy a three course meal in the restaurant, it’s a very social place. 

They serve some of the best meat in town and to do this they cook all their meat and fish in a unique Josper Oven, one of the only restaurants in the country to have one. The Josper Oven cooks over charcoal (no gas or electric). This ‘BBQ in a box’ cooks at around 400 degrees, instantly sealing the juices into the meat to retain full flavours with a smokey taste. 

Dean enthuses: “All our meat goes through the Josper Oven so we try and keep everything on the bone for the fullest flavour. It’s amazing and has been going down a storm.

“For me, cooking is something that has been going on since the start of mankind and something that's not massively changed apart from advances in technologies.

“I feel part of something when I am working with mother nature’s amazing produce, more so when I have sourced it myself, I feel inspired and rewarded at the same time,” continues Dean.

“Every smell, colour and texture of food does something to me - from a memory to a taste explosion, I get excited. It’s very rewarding.”

Their new September menu offers an array of succulent meats cooked in their exclusive Josper Oven – you may never have tasted meat quite like it, until now.

Signature Dish – Porterhouse steak
A 750g Porterhouse sirloin steak is cooked on the bone over charcoal in the Josper Oven to seal the juices into the meat. 

The steak is served with chunky home-cut chips, roasted herb crust tomato and béarnaise, peppercorn or smoke garlic aioli sauce. Dean plates it up ‘Jenkins style’ on a wooden board with a big steak knife.

“Served for two (around £20 per head), customers get nearly a kilo of meat for that - it’s not for the faint hearted!”