AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Mark Pilgrim
Mark Pilgrim

Mark Pilgrim

Born: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

History: I joined the Vue Grand in October of 2008 after seventeen years experience in the industry. 

I started my career as a full time student at a catering college in Plymouth, UK, earning student of the year awards for both of my years there. I then went on to work in some of Europe's finest five star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants in Amsterdam, Germany, Switzerland and London. From there I went to other five star/Rosette properties in Bournemouth, Channel Islands and back to Bournemouth again. 

Eventually I made my way to Head Chef in Bournemouth, at the age of twenty four, and opened my first à la carte restaurant which I helped design, build and establish in 1998. 

I then received the opportunity to teach at the school I learnt at as a teenager in the same year and embarked on a new era earning a degree in education, winning cookery competitions with students and creating my own regional event, 'Food 4 Thought' in the year 2000. 

I then found my way back into the kitchen in 2006 to open a new restaurant again, this time with celebrity chefs; The Tanner Brothers, in the historic Plymouth Gin Distillery built in 1789, and earned my first AA Rosette of my own. 

After this I immigrated to New Zealand in 2007 working in a five star Hotel complex in Rotorua and won the “Lamb Class” in the Chef of the Year Competition in New Zealand's premier cookery competition. 

I then joined Vue Grand eighteen months later and have been passionate about installing an exciting seasonal menu; changing to meet the availability of produce in each season, with a dedication to using local high quality produce from around the region.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
When I was at school, I wanted to be a fireman! I went to catering college to 'FILL IN' a year, and then fell in love with the job, and still do to this day.

How would you define your style?
Classical European with a modern twist.

Obsessive compulsive about?
Things being done correctly!

Your greatest culinary inspirations?
August Escoffier, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey College Tutor.

Most 'eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Sardine and potato terrine, sauce gribiche, red chard and caviar.

Signature dish: I don't have a SIGNATURE dish, there are too many things I like to cook and eat to pick one. We offer a seasonal menu which changes frequently and we like to change the content of some dishes to accommodate that, but my favourite dish the moment is the Chocolate tasting plate which has FOUR miniature chocolate desserts all showcasing chocolate!

Vue Grand

Vue Grand

Built in 1881 right in the heart of Queenscliff, the Vue Grand is a stunning boutique hotel with all the grandeur, making for a truly spectacular experience. The Grand Dining Room is a breathtaking room with a 24ft high ceiling, chandeliers & antique furniture creating a beautifully intimate ambience.

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