Celebration is in the air at New Place Hotel as head chef Mark Grieveson marks ten years of service at the Hampshire venue.
Making his first steps into the industry gaining his qualifications at Andover College, Mark held his first chef job at The Mayfly, Stockbridge. After building his experience and techniques, he furthered his knowledge and skills by training at the prestigious Chewton Glen Hotel under the tutelage of Pierre Chevillard. Moving on to the Marriott Meon Valley, Mark furthered his craft and climbed the ranks before joining the team at New Place in 2008 as head chef.
A strong believer in using food and flavours to provide comfort and evoke emotions, creativity and innovation has been a continual presence in the New Place kitchen. Creating an adapted Eton mess recipe using chickpea water, Aquafaba, at the request of a vegan guest; inventing sesame lollipops and fizzy lifting ribs for a wacky themed dinner event; developing the venues most popular dish Fish in Gin & Tonic batter; and seeking out inspiration through every opportunity and discovery; Mark has ensured his menu is kept fresh and forward thinking.
Throughout his decade at the Grade I listed manor house, Mark has witnessed a variety of shifts in the dining preferences of guests. “The obvious one for me is that diners are becoming a lot more health and body conscious, with a big rise in veganism being talked about in the media. Aside from this, I’ve been watching with interest the growing attention around probiotic ingredients such as kimchi and kefir being popularised for their digestive benefits; that will be an interesting one to see if it goes mainstream. Then I’m thrilled that our fascination with overseas flavours is expanding even further to African flavours and techniques, something I’ve been passionate about introducing more for some time.”
Applying his extensive knowledge of upcoming trends and his own creativity has been highly successful at New Place. With a wide mix of leisure guests, families, corporate clients, and personal events guests, Mark has become a master at identifying the differing needs of each group and producing food to best suit their occasion. “I consider a range of things before drawing up my menus such as the weather, what is seasonally available, the event being held, and the people we are expecting. I find that strategy meetings and sales conferences attract more health-conscious guests and so I focus on helping them perform and sustain energy levels. However, with residential conferences and travelling business people, being away from home for longer periods of time can mean they need food that gives them a hug and a pick me up. A great chef can recognise these differences and pin point dishes that will best support the guest.”
Of his anniversary, Mark commented; “I don’t think I can quite believe it’s been that long! I’m very much a ‘hands-on’ chef, getting involved in absolutely everything that affects my kitchen meaning long days are expected. But I’m certain my passion and hearing amazing feedback from my diners has been so rewarding that it’s always a pleasure to come to work every day.”
Dining is available for both resident and non-resident guests at New Place with restaurant dining for lunches, afternoon tea and dinner, private dining, or as part of a corporate package. Contact the sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01329 836504 for more information about dining opportunities at Hampshire’s premier venue.