Chef Mark Sargeant steps away from businesses The Rocksalt, Smokehouse and collection of pubs

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Mark Sargeant is stepping away from the Pickled Egg Pub Company behind the Folkestone restaurants he founded: Rocksalt, smokehouse, as well as pubs The Duke William in Ickham, The Little Salt, The Radnor Arms in Folkestone, The Woolpack at Warehorne, The Five Bells in East Brabourne and The Wife of Bath in Wye, due to what he said were "unresolvable differences" with his business partner.

Twelve years after starting to build what the chef called a "mini empire," he said that he was "very sad to move on," but that the time has come for him to find a new challenge. 

He said: "I would like to let you all know and with a heavy heart, that due to unresolvable differences of opinion between my business partner and I we both feel that it’s time to go our separate ways.

"I shall be moving on to pastures new but the businesses will all continue as normal. It’s been the most incredible 12 years building this mini empire and I am very sad to move on but the time has come for me to find a new challenge. Thanks for all the support over what has been the most amazing chapter of my life so far!!!"


The chef, originally from Kent, spent most of his formative years working for Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay - where he helped earned three Michelin stars in 2001 - and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, where he was at the helm when it won a Michelin star. He won the Craft Guild's Young National Chef of the Year in 1997, and Knorr's Chef of the Year award in 2001. 

He also oversaw the openings of the Gordon Ramsay Holdings pubs including The Narrow, The Warrington, The Devonshire and The Foxtrot Oscar, and took part in many media and TV activities, co-authored twelve cookbooks with the chef and had regular columns in the Times Magazine, Olive and BBC Good Food magazines.

In 2009, Sargeant resigned from Gordon Ramsay's restaurant group, and in June 2011 opened his first two solo projects in the coastal town of Folkestone in Kent, Rocksalt Restaurant and The Smokehouse Fish and Chips.

Rocksalt has since won a string of awards including 5th best restaurant by the sea in the Times magazine, 2 AA Rosettes and 4 AA stars for Rocksalt Rooms.

When contacted by The Staff Canteen, Mark declined to comment further on the announcement for the time being.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 1st November 2021

Chef Mark Sargeant steps away from businesses The Rocksalt, Smokehouse and collection of pubs