Revelations: Mark Birchall, head chef, L'Enclume

27 June 2014
Revelations: Mark Birchall, head chef, L'Enclume

What was your first job in catering?
KP, waiter and commis chef at the Bayhorse, Adlington, serving prawn cocktail and steak Diane

What do you have for breakfast?
Banana and muesli

Which is your favourite restaurant?
Shunka in Barcelona

What is your favourite drink?
White Rioja, 1999 Viña Tondonia. At the moment…

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Sea cucumber

What flavour combinations do you detest?
Spice in desserts

Tell us a secret…
I get grumpy when I'm hungry

What is your favourite prepared product?
Dried pasta

How would you describe your desk?
It usually features some kind of herbs or vegetables

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Thomas Keller, as he hasn't sold his soul to the devil!

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Steven Gerrard

What is your favourite cuisine?
Thai and Japanese

Describe your ultimate nightmare?
Not being able to taste

When and where was your last holiday?
Two weeks ago in St Ives, Cornwall - our first holiday with our son

Who would be in your "fantasy" brigade?
My current team with the addition of Alain Passard (L'Aperge), Jordi and Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Thomas Keller (French Laundry and Per Se), and Michel Bras (Bras)

What irritates you most about the industry?
Young chefs trying to climb the ladder too fast

What's your favourite film?
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Plenty of ice-cold beer!

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