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Meet The Team: Getting to Know Mark

Head Chef, Mark Young from our New Forest Restaurant tells us a little bit about himself…

We managed to grab a few moments with our busy Head Chef, Mark Young to talk all things work, food and everything in between.

1.) Hi Mark, thanks for taking the time to talk you us today! Let’s start with how long you have worked at The Bell Inn.

Hi – I’ve been working at the Inn for 9 months so far.

2.) So what’s a typical day like at work?

My day starts around 9am with checking in the orders, briefing the brigade and planning the day’s mis en place. We also look at any special menus or dishes. This is followed by lunch where I work the sauce section cooking the meat and fish. 14.30 to 17.30 is spent working on any menus and managing the paperwork involved in running a busy kitchen, as well as planning new dishes and meeting the producers and suppliers of the excellent produce available in the forest. Evening service starts at 17.45 and goes on until 9.30pm where I am back on sauce. The day closes with a clean down and ordering and planning for the following day!

3.) Out of the entire menu, what would you select as your favourite dish?

I would have to say that my favourite dish is currently the Estate venison with jus ravioli. It represents everything I love about the forest on a plate, so I highly recommend it.

4.) Here at The Bell we love the seasons and we know you do too – what is your favourite time of year?

Autumn into winter. At this time of year there is fantastic game available on our doorstep. These big, robust and hearty flavours really suit my style of cooking.

5.) Imagine it’s summer or winter and after a long week serving fantastic food, what do you sit down with to relax?

I love winter with the roaring fire, big red wines like Malbec or a good port with some of Richard’s amazing Isle of Wight blue cheese.

6.) We are lucky enough to spend our working days in the New Forest. So tell us – what do you love about the New Forest and why?

I feel blessed to be working in such a beautiful place, the commute from my home in Milford on Sea is probably one of the best in the world. I get to witness the ever-changing colours, work with an amazing pallet of great produce and there is always something interesting to inspire me and keep the creative juices flowing.

7.) Everyone loves the fact that The Bell Inn is dog-friendly. Do you have a dog? If so, what is their name and breed?

No, I don’t have a dog. Being a chef doesn’t allow the time required to look after a dog properly. If I did have one though it would have to be a springer! I would call him Deefer.

8.) Out of these New Forest wild animals, which would you choose to be and why? Pig, Cow, Horse, Sheep, Duck, Hare or Pheasant.

Horse I think (only because I wouldn’t end up on a menu at The Bell!)

9.) To finish, can you share with us your favourite memory at work so far?

Certainly. I’ve not been here long enough to share as I hope to make my mark here for a long time! Getting the offer of the Head Chef Position was a special day and one that I remember fondly.

If you’re keen to try some of the Head Chef’s food at our New Forest Hotel, then be sure to contact us to reserve your table or make your booking online. We look forward to serving you!