Mark Elvin, head chef at Barnham Broom, has cooked for the Queen and loves both a crisp sandwich and a glass of whisky!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mark Elvin and I am the Head Chef of the Brasserie at Barnham Broom. I was appointed last October and I’m loving it! Every day is different with so much going on, ranging from fine dining, to golf groups and conferences.
Where did you train?
I trained at City College Norwich for three years, in catering and hospitality. We are so lucky to have one of the best catering colleges in the country right here in Norfolk. I got my first job at Weavers wine bar in Diss, where I started doing kitchen porter duties, before moving into the main kitchen as a chef. I learnt so much from chef proprietor William Bavin; I owe so much to him and am really grateful for everything he did for me as I started my culinary career with him.
Who is your favourite chef?
The one and only Raymond Blanc. I have so much respect for this man who is a gentleman in the kitchen and a complete master of the industry. Also, local chef Tom Aikens, who trained in Norwich. I was lucky enough to cook for Tom a couple of years ago when he came for lunch.
What three ingredients are always in your cupboard?
Arborio risotto rice, coconut milk and Worcestershire sauce!
What is your foodie guilty pleasure?
A salt and vinegar crisp sandwich. Who doesn’t like a crisp sandwich?!
What’s your favourite tipple?
Malt whisky. I do love a glass now and again.
Describe a perfect meal
My mum’s roast dinner for sure – with the whole family around the table spending good quality time all together. My wife’s family lives in South Africa so, when we visit, we enjoy sitting around a roaring fire outside, drinking South African wine and having a braai.
Where do you like to eat out in Norfolk and beyond?
With my wife also being in the trade and having a young family, we don’t get out as much as we would like but, when we do, we like exploring the North Norfolk coastline and dining in all the great establishments it has to offer.
Tell us something we don’t know about yourself
I cooked for the Queen and the late Queen Mother at Windsor during a Royal Garden Party. It was a great honour to be involved.
What’s your foodie prediction for the coming few months?
We all know that vegan food is very popular nowadays, and I can see more plant based restaurants opening up. I can see them using ‘root to shoot’ methods, meaning they use all the vegetable when cooking – not wasting any part of it. I think we have to accept that it is now a massive part of the culinary scene.
Featured in issue 36 – May 2019