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Friday, 16 August 2013

Mark Sargeant added to Newport Food Festival!

The latest exciting addition to a very strong Chef line up at the Newport Food Festival is Michelin Starred Mark Sargeant!

Kent born and based Mark will be one of the highlights of this year's festival on 5th October and will, I am sure, draw even more to attend.

Running two restaurants in Folkestone, Rocksalt and the Smokehouse Fish and Chips, Mark was previously best known as a mainstay of the Gordon Ramsay group being head chef at Claridges and co-writing some of Ramsay's books, as well as appearing regularly on Hell's Kitchen and advising on Kitchen Nightmares.

Photos of Rocksalt, Folkestone
This photo of Rocksalt is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Mark uses local and seasonal produce as much as possible and has access to two farms for vegetables and eggs as well as having the harbour not just near, but under his cantilevered restaurant! Doesn't get much more local than that!

Photos of Rocksalt, Folkestone
This photo of Rocksalt is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I love the fact that the children's menu at Rocksalt is called Small Fry and features such dishes as Big Strong Mussells, Fish Fingers (and Thumbs) and Grown Up Steak. No pandering to children here with nuggets and curly chips, but a scaled down adult menu presented with an attractive sense of humour.
According to some interviews Mark's favourite piece of kitchen equipment is his Sausage Machine and the development of in house charcuterie would bear this out.  Some dishes are very simple but pack real flavour and texture, for example a starter of Radishes with Anchovy Sauce, two ingredients and a little sourdough on the side but the kind of starter that really does act as an appetiser, refreshing the palate and making you crave more.
In addition to co-writing Gordon Ramsay's books Mark also has his own, My Kind of Cooking out and it has been one of my well thumbed books for some years.
Adding Mark to the line up shows how the Newport Food Festival is gaining a strong reputation although only in its third year. With Masterchef finalists Larkin and Dale, rising star Matt Dawkins and Spice Supremo Anand George already confirmed the chef line up goes from strength to strength, and there may well be some more additions to come.
Mark will be one of the really hot tickets for this year, and once the box office opens the lines will light up, so get in early or miss out.
By visiting the Newport Food Festival website you can register to get news about the box office opening.

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