Slinfold Golf and Country Club have recently been holding Chef Taster evenings, in order to showcase new head chef, Mark Young. As my wife and I both enjoy our food, we decided to pop along and give it a try.
On arriving at the club we entered the main lobby of the bar area. It’s normally arranged for members, meetings and private hire; however, for our evening, it had been transformed into a softly lit restaurant, with candles and a roaring fire – very nice.
As this was a chef taster evening, we were totally in Mark’s hands, when it came to the menu. 4 courses were on offer: Asian inspired salmon tartare, beetroot & honeydew melon, slow braised lamb and coconut pannacotta. An interesting mix of style and flavours was promised and duly delivered. I won’t go into each and every dish, but will say that, on taste and presentation, Mark clearly has a passion for food and fine dining.
We caught up with Mark after our meal for a chat and were impressed with his humble demeaner. Seemingly unprompted, he circled the room and spoke with the various groups of diners, speaking candidly about his dishes, travels and experiences, which led him to where he is now.
The following interview appears on Slinfold Golf and Country Club’s website. It’s Mark’s first, since joining the club, where he gives us ‘a sneak peek’ into his culinary background, including which famous person he would love to cook for:
‘So where did it all begin?
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, I was thirteen when it all started, I worked weekends at the local pub in the kitchen as the Kitchen Porter. That’s when I really found my passion for food and my enjoyment for the kitchen.
Mark, can you tell us a little about your previous experience?
I started my apprenticeship when I left school at the local pub before leaving to join Tony Tobins restaurant “The Post”. I then went traveling around Australia where I found my passion and style for Thai, Asian infusion. On my return to England I joined a gastro pub and worked my way up from pastry Chef De Parti to Head Chef at one of the company’s other sites.
I worked in London temporarily, before joining a golf course, where I did banqueting, golf societies, weddings and other large functions. Before joining Slinfold I was at a two rosette and Michelin guide recommended restaurant, I join as the Sous Chef and then got promoted to Head Chef in July 2014.
What are your favourite ingredients?
Salmon, pork, beef and cumin. Anything that’s in season and at its best!!
What is your signature dish?
At the moment my current signature dish is my trio of pork.
My classic dish is parma ham wrapped and mozzarella stuffed chicken breast with a tomato and basil sauce, garlic crushed new potatoes and wilted spinach.
As for dessert, that would have to be a warm chocolate fondant with rhubarb and orange compote, vanilla bean ice cream and a dark chocolate sauce.
If you were to invite any famous person to Slinfold for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook?
Julian Speroni (goalkeeper, football) – I would cook parkin spiced fillet of beef, white chocolate mash and dark chocolate jus.’
Food and Beverage Manager at the club, Matt Tobin, had this to say: “Our new Head Chef has really raised the bar in terms of the quality of our food offering here at the Club. We are receiving incredibly positive feedback from both members and visitors to the Club, especially on our Daily Specials that almost look too delicious to eat!”
Slinfold Golf & Country Club is located on the A29 Stane Street, just 5 minutes from Horsham town. The Lounge Bar is open 7 days a week for members and visitors with Daily Specials, plus a Sunday Carvery (booking strongly advised) and on site Costa Coffee if you prefer a quick drink and a snack. Parking is free.
For more details please visit Their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.