Everyone’s heard of The Ivy, one of London’s first proper celebrity restaurants; during its heyday you couldn’t get a table for love nor money, and the paparazzi had a permanent pitch outside waiting for the latest celebrity to stumble out after having one too many glasses of Champers. Its gastronomic glory, however, was largely thanks to Mark Hix, who worked as chef director at The Ivy’s parent company, The Caprice Group. Dreaming of his own brand of fame, Hix went on to open his own restaurant in Farringdon, simply called Hix Oyster & Chop House. This was followed shortly after by the opening of Hix Oyster & Fish House in Dorset, a number of cookbooks and a regular food column at The Independent. And with a new opening in Soho and another at Selfridges, the world, apparently, is not enough.
Photo: Courtesy of Mark Hix
Check out Mark’s London here
Name Mark Hix.
Are you a hedonist? I wouldn’t say hedonist, but I enjoy life.
There are plenty of chefs out there. Why do you think you’ve become so well-known, and what marks you out from the culinary crowd? There was a quote in Jamie Magazine that helps me answer this; “Mark Hix is a great British cook. Hix is one of the too-few British chefs who have managed to move into the big league of cooking by looking inside Britain rather than overseas.”
What defines your restaurants? The team and I go to great lengths to source the very best ingredients Britain has to offer and cook them in an exciting but simple way.
If you were a city, which one would you be and why? New York; great restaurants, late restaurants and just a good vibe.
Favourite city to live in? London or New York.
Favourite city to holiday in? My ideal weekend break would be Paris or Florence.
Favourite food? Honest ingredients, simply cooked.
Favourite drink? Negroni.
Favourite restaurant (aside from your own)? Chez L’ami Louis in Paris.
Favourite hotel? La Colombe D’or, France.
Favourite shop? eBay.
Favourite club? Groucho or Quo Vadis, both in London.