Kitchen Confidential | Mark Brankin
Originally from Yorkshire but now labelled one of the South West’s most exciting Chefs, Mark Brankin returns to the Grand kitchen after a two-year sabbatical. We caught up with him before service to find out what makes him tick…
What brings you back to the Grand?
Well, I was at the St. Mellion Golf and Country Club just over the Tamar and had been due to start at Abode. I meant to start at Abobe in Exter on the 30th October 2016. The thing is, well, it burn down on the 28th October! Like so many people I was devastated to see the building go up, but also my job! Luckily, I’d always kept in contact with Chris (Bailey Lewis) and around Christmas time we got chatting and just really liked what he said. I always got along with him when I was last at the Grand, and new what a great kitchen it was to work in. Coming back just seemed the right thing to do. So here I am.
Where do you like to eat out?
I try and take the missus out to a 2 starred restaurant at least once a year as a treat. But as a more everyday thing I really like good country pubs (The Puffing Billy in Exton is especially nice) and curries, I love a curry and will always head to The 3 Sings every time I go back home to Yorkshire.
Who would you like to have dinner with?
Thierry Henry, general legend and footballing hero!
What’s hot right now/latest food trends?
BBQ and Nordic food are both huge at the moment, pickles, preserves, fermenting are also on the up. That’s partly why I’m so excited about being back at the Grand- We have just started making our own Richardson Produce including pickles and preserves inhouse. Vegetables are big now, lots of kitchens are moving away from the old school ‘meat and two veg’ and towards the Noma in Copenhagen for starting Scandi gastronomy trend which is sweeping across the globe
Wish you had known 10 years ago?
Gordon Ramsey before he became famous. What a Chef!
Beer or Wine?
Good quality Premium beer- to go with my favourite curry of course.
Your favourite way to cook
Water bath, more control, consistent and less wastage – I even have one at home. I also a big fan of experimental techniques in the kitchen. I love experimenting particularly spherification of juices and other liquids, and other techniques that use molecular gastronomy to give the real wow factor.
If you want to try Mark’s exciting style of cooking, he is hosting a special gourmet taster Menu, Taste of Torbay at the Grand Hotel Fridsay 5th May. Find out more and see the menu here.
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