Man Behind the Chef: Mark Poynton

The Staff Canteen

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites – next up is Mark Poynton, head chef at Alimentum which holds a star in the Michelin Guide UK and three rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide.

Mark Poynton started his culinary career at 15 years old working part-time as a waiter in the Queen Hotel Chester.

Within six months he’d moved into the kitchen under executive chef Ian McDowall. He then worked 18 months with Paul Kitching at the Juniper restaurant in Altrincham, followed by seven years with two Michelin-starred chef, Daniel Clifford at Midsummer House in Cambridge.

In 2009, Mark took his first head chef position at Alimentum, taking over the business in 2010. Alimentum currently holds a Michelin star and three AA rosettes.

Mark Poynton
Mark Poynton

What item of food do you hate cooking?

It’s not necessarily an item of food I hate cooking but I despise honey and can taste it in most things. It's a child hood thing, it always reminded me of cats piss!

What food, if any, are you allergic to?

I'm allergic to Rabbit fur which can be problematic but not as bad as some people's allergies.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

Wild fish, I love the way every portion is different from every fillet, and I think it takes real skill to cook fish well.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?

I'd have to say cheap pizzas, it’s my down fall at the end of each service.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

If I could take them in limitless amounts I would choose butter because everything tastes better with butter, top quality red wine to have something to drink and cook with, and flour to make bread for the butter.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

Probably unemployed as I'm pretty shit at most other things!

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

No music, just concentrate on the product.

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

Grace in Chicago, I love the way Curtis Duffy creates his dishes and runs his kitchen.

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

Both have a place when the person using them is trained properly on them.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

I have been lucky enough to work with and follow The Staff Canteen for eight years since I started at Alimentum. Any opportunity to be involved is always a pleasure.

>>> IFE takes place on March 19-22, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Mark Poynton