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Mark Speller, Head Chef at New Park Manor

PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:55 20 February 2013

New Park Manor

New Park Manor

Find out about New Park Manor's head chef Mark Speller - taught by his dad to cook, inspired by Marco Pierre White, and influenced by all the best of the Forest...

New Park Manor Hotel and Equestrian Centre
Lyndhurst Road
New Forest
SO42 7QH

+44 (0) 1590 623467

Describe your menu in four words:
Fresh, local, seasonal, innovative.

How often do you change the menu?
We like to change the menu at least every three months to coincide with the seasonal produce available.

What local product do you value most?
Being situated in the Forest I really appreciate the game I am able to source locally especially the venison.

Which dish on your menu do you most enjoy preparing and why?
Saddle of venison with potato and celeriac rosti. I like preparing this dish because I'm using fresh local ingredients and venison is probably one of the nicest meats to cook because of its richness in flavour.

What do you like about your restaurant?
The view from the restaurant looks straight onto the Forest where you can see the famous new forest ponies and deer roaming at their leisure.

Who or what switched you onto cooking?
I was taught to cook by my Dad who really enjoyed cooking and has a great knowledge of Italian cooking through friends of the family.

Tell us about a kitchen disaster or culinary disaster:
In my days as a commis chef, I left a pan of condensed milk unattended and because the cans weren't completely covered with water one of them exploded over the entire kitchen! Luckily no one was in the kitchen at the time.

Which is your favourite cuisine?
I like to involve many styles of cuisine in my menu, but the Italian influence is most overriding.

Marmite: love it or hate it?
Love it!

What are your favourite flavour crisps?
Tyrrel's sweet chilli and lemon.

Where was the last farmers' market you visited and what did you buy?
Ringwood farmers' market, I bought a lovely zucchini relish.

How do you source local produce?
I have managed to source many local suppliers through The New Forest Marque.

Name the cooking hero/heroine who inspired you:
I've always admired Marco-Pierre White.

How do you relax?
Being a chef we work unsociable hours but in the afternoon between lunch and dinner service I sometimes manage to play a round of golf in the beautiful Forest.

Sample menu:
Lymington crab and crayfish tian, basil crme fraiche; Artichoke and chestnut pat, sun blush tomato toast; Carpaccio of smoked beef fillet, horseradish and watercress mousse.
Main courses:
Herb-crusted fillet of monkfish, baby artichokes and balsamic potatoes; Forest mushroom and broad bean open ravioli, spring onion cream sauce; Pan-roasted saddle of venison, potato and celeriac rosti.
Hot chocolate macaroon, raspberry syrup and thyme ice-cream; Praline and griottine cherry mousse, morello cherry granite and pistachio cream; New Forest peach melba, poached local white peach in a tuile cage, vanilla and cinnamon ripple ice-cream and fresh raspberries.

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