Chef revelations: Mark Dawson

13 January 2017 by
Chef revelations: Mark Dawson

The executive head chef at contract caterer Dine tells us about his likes and dislikes

Mark is a hugely experienced event chef who started his career with the RAF before moving into hotels and joining contract caterer Dine in 2009, where he oversees the catering at the Mansion in Leeds.

What was your first job?

I had a paper round, was a soft drink delivery boy and taxi receptionist before I was 16

What is your favourite drink?

A nice cold lager

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Keith Floyd

What is your favourite cuisine?

Indian for its flavour combinations

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

Definitely coffee (and milk)

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Richard Branson

Tell us a secret…


What irritates you most about the industry?

The lack of skilled chefs

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Gerard Butler

What's your favourite book?

Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab

What was your first job in catering?

I trained as a chef with the RAF at the school of catering at Aldershot

What is your favourite prepared product?

Jaffa Cakes

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Coffee with milk and toast

What's your favourite hotel?

I don't have one; I'm happiest under canvas

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Chris Bull and Dave Close, two chefs in the airforce, and outside the RAF, Peter Chubb, general manager of Hanover Hotels, and Dan Gill, founder of Dine

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

I've been in the business for 30 years and I still love it. I decided this was the career for me when, as an air cadet aged just 13, I found I was having great fun making bacon sandwiches in a field

When and where was your last holiday?

Kielder in Northumberland for a camping holiday in July. We also enjoyed a trip to Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland in March

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