Mark Poynton is one of the UK’s leading chefs and is Chef Patron of the award- winning Alimentum restaurant in Cambridge. Mark applies classic cooking techniques to seasonal British produce to achieve complexity of both flavour and texture. Actively working with sustainably sourced and ethically produced ingredients, chef Poynton has earned a great deal of acclaim.
Mark entered the world of hospitality at the tender age of 15 and, after just six months he persuaded his way behind the stoves. 18 months with Paul Kitching at the Michelin-starred Juniper restaurant in Altrincham led Mark to make a career-defining move to Daniel Clifford’s two Michelin-starred Midsummer House. During his seven year tenure, Mark worked his way up from chef de partie to head chef, during which time the restaurant gained two Michelin stars, four AA rosettes, and 7/10 in the Good Food Guide.
Within a year of arriving at Alimentum and taking the head chef position, the restaurant gained three AA rosettes. In 2010, he took over as Chef-Patron. In October 2012 the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in the 2013 guide. Mark was shortlisted for The Craft Guild of Chefs ‘Restaurant Chef of the Year’ award 2013.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words…
Seasonal, tasty, approachable, simple, quality
How did you feel when you were awarded your first Michelin star?
It was surreal; it’s the highest form of a pat on the back and it never really hits home quite how much it will change your life. It will be a feeling that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Produce – vegetables in particular – inspires me because it is always changing.I don’t agree with farms trying to make everything uniform to please the eye, everything should be natural.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
Salt, my carving knife, and my iPad
- Michelin star, 2013 – Alimentum
152-154 Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PB, UK
+44 (0)1223 413000