I have known Mark for some years now and always joke with him about being a Celebrity Chef, a title he quickly shrugs off with his famous chuckle. Without a doubt Mark is a Celebrity Chef and whether he likes it or not, his star is rising. Mark always fascinates me as he always has something on the go.
From his stint at representing his country on The Great British Menu to his recent appearance on Sunday Brunch, Mark’s Television diary is jam packed, so it was great to catch up and hear about the various bright studio lights Mark has been under recently, and what is next for our Edinburgh TV Chef…
M – “Well, currently it’s nearly two years since we opened, so we’re having a refurbishment here at Restaurant Mark Greenaway, we’re putting in a private dining room for 20, and getting new chairs for the restaurant. There’s also a new carpet and a freshen up with paint so we’re all ready for the Christmas season”
K – I’ve seen you quite active with two noticeable things recently which is Hospital Food and School Dinners, can you tell me a little bit about that?
M – The Soil Association are looking to give a bronze award to schools across the country which means that produce is more local. I was taken along to give a motivational speech on local and seasonal food. ‘Local and Seasonal’ isn’t just a tag line on your menu, it’s a way to look after an infrastructure of people. If we don’t support local businesses, how will they ever be a market leader if they’re not supported by other local businesses who use their product. Take someone like Natalie who makes Hebridean Sea salt, if we don’t support her, how will she take a share of the Maldon Salt market? At school, you find that it’s often the main meal of the day. The school dinner therefore is important and the school cook can make a massive difference to the nutritional value of the meals. For example, if you offer a child a salad or a burger, they will take the burger, but you can make healthy versions of burgers. Now the government is behind this scheme the schools will become more involved.
Hospital food came along when I was involved with James Martin when he was doing a similar thing, from the back of that, I was taken onto NewsNight to discuss if it was a good or bad idea, can we improve the food? Should we improve the food? The answer is yes. Luckily, the media have got behind the campaign, and they approached me and asked if I would be involved. I’d be interested in helping with research and development, hospital food can be cooked fresh, but it’s the waiting time that depreciates the nutritional value. The ordering system also needs looked at from a Chef’s point of view, a chef’s eye is very different to someone in an office. I’m happy to help either way.
K- You were on my dream program Sunday Brunch recently, just love Tim and Simon, what was that like and will you being going back?
M – Sunday Brunch came about as I was doing the ‘Scotland’s Secret Ingredient’ campaign, where people could submit their secret ingredient, which could have been potatoes from their garden, Hebridean sea salt, anything made in Scotland. The final was at Eat Drink Scotland in London in August. They came along and cooked their secret ingredient and I judged it. It turned out it was Goat Meat. After that Sunday Brunch said they’d like me to go along and I took some of the secret ingredients down to London and showcased Scottish produce. We have a wealth of produce on our doorstep, I took over 20 ingredients and cooked 3 dishes for Simon to try. I made a chocolate chilli mouse, made with Galloway Chillies, it was a great chance to show off the produce we have here. I’ll be back next year to do a cooking segment again, looking forward to that.
K- Well i’ll definitely be around for that! Everything is so exciting Mark, what next?
M- Well we have Christmas at the restaurants, here and Bistro Moderne, the refurbishment will have us ready for that. I’m involved with Nairns and that should be launched end of November, I will be on the packaging for the recipes I have developed, all Scottish produce again. It’s nice to work with an Edinburgh company as I’m an Edinburgh Chef. We are currently running a competition to win dinner in your office cooked by me, and the entries there are astounding. The effort people have put in is humbling, it’s going to be difficult to pick just one winner. I’m also just filmed with Ian Rankin for the Big Dinner on behalf of the 500 mile charity, where he hosted a dinner for 5 crime writers and prepped and cooked in the kitchen, that was great fun.
K- There’s so much going on here Mark!
M- I just sound like i’m bragging!
K – Not at all, I’m asking you what you’ve been up to, people are interested, you being an Edinburgh Celebrity Chef and all!
M – I’m not a celebrity chef! You stop that!
Massive thanks to Mark Greenaway for his time, if you haven’t been to Restaurant Mark Greenaway or Bistro Moderne yet, then I highly recommend both.
You’ll see more of Mark later on in this blog where he take of the HUGE task of teaching this non cooking girl how to cook a date night meal. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach right?! Stay Tuned!