Mark Stone

Mark Stone

My greatest culinary inspiration comes from my time in Four Seasons Hampshire, where the hotel was set in the 500-acre Dogmersfield Estate.
Born:

Ashford, Middlesex, England, but I grew up in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.

History:

I studied to be a chef at Basingstoke College of Technology for 3 years. At the end of my course I did a 3 month work placement in a Michelin starred restaurant in Normandy, France. This was my first real opportunity working with amazing shellfish, seafood, cheese and local ingredients.

Once a week the head chef and I would drive to Rungis market in Paris. I was amazed at the size and scale of the market, the amount of produce was beyond what I was used to! I had never seen all the different seafood, the variety of cheeses, and it was also the first time I saw a truffle.

After leaving college I worked in renowned hotels and restaurants throughout England.

For the last 10 years I have worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, starting in Hampshire England, then Dallas USA, and here in Sydney.

After taking some time off I set up a consulting company to help cafes and restaurants, when an opportunity came up at Timbah; and after meeting the owners and seeing the bar, I realised the potential that it had.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

I have always wanted to be a chef from an early age. I always enjoyed helping my Mum and Nan at home in the kitchen, although I’m not sure they always saw it as a help. My Mum and Nan were great home cooks, always baking and making home cooked delights.

When I was at school I enjoyed learning to bake in Home Economics. This was one of the few subjects that I really enjoyed at school. When it became time to choose a career, I decided that I wanted to take it up professionally.

How would you define your style?


Using native Australian produce and incorporating these with food from my heritage and my travels.

What is your feature flavour these days?

Native Australian produce.

Obsessive compulsive about?

Seasoning, being ready for service and cleanliness.

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:


My greatest culinary inspiration comes from my time in Four Seasons Hampshire, where the hotel was set in the 500-acre Dogmersfield Estate.

This was when my passion for using locally sourced or native food started. Our beef, lamb and venison came from the estate. We had our own kitchen herb garden, each section in the kitchen was responsible for a certain area in the herb garden, every day we would have to go and pick our own herbs which was great in the summer, but not so great in a wet or cold English day.

Our restaurant would feature fruit and vegetables from our orchards on the estate, such as apples, pears, raspberries, blackberries, figs and mushrooms.

A lot of our cheeses and dairy produce came from local dairy farmers. This is one of the things that I love about being a chef, not just cooking but knowing where the food comes from. Listening and speaking to farmers and growers, and hearing their passion about their produce inspires me as a chef, as I want to do justice to what they have produced.

Nowadays I love going to the markets most Mondays where I look at what’s around, see what’s new and what’s in season.

The two most influential people in my life would be my college lecturer Mr Tony Hall, who saw something in me and believed in me.

Most recently Jess Ong. Observing how he worked with his kitchen team, and his passion for food and eye for detail inspired me to be a better version of myself and taught me to become a better leader.

What do you love about this business?

Being able to do a job that I’m passionate about, where I can inspire and teach junior staff.

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Anything from our rooftop garden at Timbah. I’m also always looking for what is in season and any item that I can get inspiration from when I’m at the markets. I’m always looking for farmers and producers who are as passionate about their food as I am.

Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?

Most recently, lamb and saltbush scotch eggs with bush tomato ketchup.

Signature dish:

Gin cured salmon, cucumber water, pickled cucumber, muntries, gin and tonic granita, or lamb salt bush sausage roll with bush tomato ketchup. 

Timbah

Timbah

Timbah restaurant carefully collates the magic of the Australian outback and serves it up to Sydneysiders from a trendy Glebe Point Road venue. With a glass of boutique wine in hand, diners sit back and relax in rustic surrounds; a combination of exposed brick walls, rough timbers and a palate of dark colours reflect a menu of earthy delights. Dishes flow with seasonal changes, the availability of fresh, local produce from artisan suppliers as well as herbs grown in the restaurant’s own terrace garden. Every plate features an element of Australian Bush Tucker, from kangaroo fillets to baby bush tomatoes and locally caught fish. Perhaps delve into crispy squid with aromatic lemon myrtle and native pepper-berry or tender lamb riblets with mixed bush dukkah, pomegranate and crumbled feta.

Read more


More Chefs

Chefs
Chefs