Michelin starred chef, Mark Poynton to open The White Horse pub next month

The  Staff Canteen

Mark Poynton, head chef and owner of Alimentum, which holds a star in the Michelin Guide UK, to open his second venture, the White Horse pub in Cambridgeshire next month.

On July 3 he will take over the reins of The White Horse in Eaton Socon. The pub is set to offer classic and simple food, with a relaxed style of dining, ideal for families. With the hope of a quick turnaround, Mark plans to have the pub open for business by the July 5.

Mark Poynton
Mark Poynton

“We wanted something that was going to compliment Alimentum and not work against it. The White Horse has an outside beer garden and outside bar and we’re going to try and run it as a classic English food pub. We’re not going down the gastropub route, we just want to cook really good, simple food,” explains Mark.

Although the dining style will be remarkably different, Mark’s intention is for the food to be of the same standard as his Michelin star restaurant, Alimentum. He hopes that the menu will appeal to most, as it will offer traditional British favourites, including fish & chips, steak pudding and Sunday roasts. Mark has also chosen to use Hannan Meats for his dishes.

He reveals: “We will be using things like their sugar tipped, cured bacon chops and we’ll be serving them with red cabbage coleslaw and roasted new seasoned potatoes. We will also be using their Himalayan salt-aged lamb shoulders for the roasts on Sundays. For the steaks, we’ll be using their beef too, which is all Himalayan aged as well.”

Richard Rogerson, Mark’s head chef from Alimentum, is now set to run the cooking side of things on a day-today basis at The White Horse. Mark will not be taking on the role of head chef himself, as most of his time will still be spent at Alimentum.

“It’s my baby and I’ll still be cooking there five days a week,” he tells us. “Alimentum will always be my number one.”

On average, Mark will be spending about 20 hours a week at The White Horse. He explains that he will mainly be there as and when he is needed. However, as the restaurants are only a twenty-minute drive from one another, Mark can easily get to The White Horse if any problems were to occur.

Unlike Alimentum, Mark states that he definitely won’t be looking for a Michelin star at The White Horse. “As the restaurant is both inside and outside, we want it to be based more for families. They’ll be a bouncy castle outside for children and we’ll probably be having live music events over the summer, like mini festivals. It will have a very relaxed dining atmosphere,” he explains.

>>> Read more about Mark Poynton here

When asked what advice he would give to upcoming chefs who are looking to open their own restaurant he says: “Make sure you do your research. Research on what style of food you want to serve, who you want to serve it to, what your customer base is and how much your average spend is going to be.”

He also advises that it is never a good idea to rush straight into things and that a clear, long term business plan is extremely important if you want to succeed.

Once The White Horse is up and running, Mark will be concentrating on this business for the time being.

“If this works, then we would rather replicate something like The White Horse than something like Alimentum,” he said. “Who knows what the future might hold!”

By Alice Lewis

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th June 2017

Michelin starred chef, Mark Poynton to open The White Horse pub next month