What can you learn from a British chef, restaurateur and food writer who has thrown all his culinary passion into being one of the UK’s greatest ambassadors for British gastronomy? Well, we confess it’s a loaded question, but after having the pleasure of working with Mark Hix for six years he has taught us a lot and it’s only fair that we share this with you. Today we celebrate Mark Hix’s birthday and what he has done for our little isle and its blossoming restaurant scene!
If your postcode begins with a DT or BH you’ll be proud to hear that Mark is a Dorset boy through and through. Having grown up in West Bay he advocates Dorset’s produce as some of the best in the country, and he utilises it in the seasonal menus in his impressive line-up of restaurants. For anyone who happens to be passing by Bridport in particular, Mark fondly recalls fishing for crabs and mackerel here with his grandfather. So, if you fancy yourself a seafood lover, this might be a great spot to follow in his footsteps and source some great fresh fish.
Although Mark’s most well known contributions to the British restaurant scene are in London, his dishes are simple yet refined, letting the flavours take centre stage and hinting at his West Country roots. Indeed, back in 2010 when he first wrote the foreword for our Dorset Food and Drink Guide he confessed “It’s funny that customer’s expectation of me opening the Hix Oyster & Fish House (Lyme Regis) were somewhat too high and the lack of fancy dining with swirly foam on plates and tablecloths, occasionally disappointed.”
A regular festival attendee, Mark spent last weekend at Padstow Christmas Festival, demonstrating his culinary prowess to Cornwall. He has always dreamt of the South West becoming “a bit of a gastro destination”, and now he’s helping to realise his wish. A lot has changed in the region throughout Mark’s career, and he himself says the area was once a “restaurant desert”. Mark is heavily involved in improving the area’s food festival scene and he is directly involved in Food Rocks.
With so many strings to his bow, and many new plans on the horizon, we sincerely wish Mark a happy 53rd birthday, and a year filled with success.