1 Michelin Star Chefs: Marc Wilkinson, Chef Patron, Fraiche

The  Staff Canteen

Marc Wilkinson is an award-winning chef with a Michelin star for his work at Fraiche.

Marc Wilkinson describes Fraiche as 'a very personal journey for me, building a modern cuisine on a classical trained foundation to keep my sensibilities in check.'

Fraiche

Fraiche seats

11 Rose Mount , Oxton, Wirral, CH43 5SG 

Phone: 0151 652 2914 

(Phones are manned from 9am until 7pm Wednesday through to Sunday.)

Website: www.restaurantfraiche.com

Email: [email protected]staurantfraiche.com 

Head Chef: Marc Wilkinson 

Twitter: @marcatfraiche

Biography

At the age of 15 Marc was impecunious but wanted to buy a bike. He went to work for a chef at a hotel’s restaurant in Anglesey, where he attended school after his family had moved from the Wirral. 

marc wilkinson portrait
Marc Wilkinson

The job worked out well, he took on more and more responsibilities and managed to buy the bike that he craved. 

One day, when watching a cooking show on the television, he was inspired by what he saw and asked to be taken to a Michelin-starred restaurant as an 18th birthday present. 

Marcs passion for food soared. He studied at a catering college and was hired at a French restaurant in Yorkshire where he gained experience in a wide range of cooking roles and techniques. He then moved on to Arkle, a Michelin-starred restaurant at The Chester Grosvenor where he spent two years improving his skills.  

After a brief period at Winteringham Fields in Lincolnshire, which had two stars at the time, he decided to go travelling, and spent a year working in Canada at a five-star Relais and Chateaux hotel. On his return to the UK he took up a number of prestigious roles which included being the Head Chef at the Mirabelle in Eastbourne's Grand Hotel and also head chef at Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park Hotel, in Surrey. 

Fraiche

In April 2004 Marc went it alone and opened Fraiche, heading back to his native land of the Wirral. In his sixteen-cover restaurant Marc was the only person working in the kitchen, whilst having to balance every other aspect of the business: plumbing, maintenance, pot washing, taking calls and helping the one person in the front of house.

 He also had problems sourcing the quality ingredients that he could obtain easily when working in the south of the country, closer to France, with many suppliers simply not delivering as far north as the Wirral. 

His steely determination and desire to succeed drove him on, and he has formed good relationships with local producers and customers. 

What the guides say:

Michelin Guide

Michelin star

AA Restaurant Guide

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Accolades

The restaurant was awarded four AA rosettes and became the first on Merseyside to win a Michelin star, which came in January 2009. 

Fraiche was also listed in the Good Food Guide in successive editions, and this year the restaurant celebrated its tenth anniversary, an admirable achievement that shows what hard work and an unimpeachable passion for food can bring.  

Marc takes a strong interest in the molecular gastronomy, in order to bring out and enhance the flavours of each ingredient. He loves to travel abroad to sample new dishes as well as revisit favourite restaurants, especially in Barcelona. He states his biggest inspiration as Pierre Gagnaire, who constantly pushes the boundaries with technique and science, creating stunning flavours. 

He would like to expand the business, either by offering guest rooms or by launching another restaurant.

He recently announced that Fraiche would be closing at the end of 2018 and moving to a new location in 2019. 

Videos with Marc Wilkinson:

By Nada Olson

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th December 2018

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Marc Wilkinson, Chef Patron, Fraiche