Mark is the founder of Street Kitchen, who have recently opened a fourth site over in London Fields; it's their glorious hot roast chicken sandwich that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats. We had a lovely chat with Mark, here's what he had to say.
1. Tell us briefly what your business is about
Slow Food, Fast. Real chefs serving restaurant quality food using natural and organic UK ingredients. Our food is super accessible; it's served in minutes and it's at street food prices.
2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.
Environmentalist, turned chef in high-end French restaurants, turned street food trader, turned entrepreneur.
3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?
I love some of the more obscure Chinese dishes on the menu at HK Diner on Wardour Street - their baked eggs are epic.
Otherwise, I have been trying the new wave of Israeli food in London - The Palomar, Honey & Co, The Good Egg - as we are launching a Middle Eastern brunch and an evening sharing menu at the new arch in London Fields.
4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu?
It's all about 'Edible Soul' - if you don't feel stirred by eating our food, we haven't done our job. The dishes are inspired by the ingredients - we only source natural free range meat directly from UK farms, so we start with amazing ingredients and treat them with respect.
We are all about flavour first and presentation later. I spent a year forging relationships with farmers who believe in great animal husbandry, and who farm in a natural and sustainable way.
5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.
My first culinary experiment was at five years old when I tried to make chicken ice cream. At the time it made perfect sense - mix my two favourite things. The results were not so impressive.
6. What's the most popular item on your menu?
Crispy chicken salad, warm crushed potatoes, pickled red onions, bacon, croutons, soft lettuce, rosemary vinaigrette, Old Winchester Mayo - it is addictive.
7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?
My wife's meatballs are the most amazing food on the planet - I could eat them every day without getting bored. They encapsulate the essence of 'Edible Soul'; it is impossible to eat them without making an 'mmmmmm' sound.
8. What's next for your business?
More sites building on the products that we have developed over the last four years. Investment into our supply chain to allow us to maintain the direct link as we scale.
9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?
Wendell Berry (Wendell would be talking), Miles Davis (Miles would be playing), Thomas Keller (Thomas would be cooking).
10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?
I love Tong Kanom on Harrow Road, an amazing little Thai Cafe. And Alounak on Westbourne Grove; I love their yoghurt marinated chicken skewers.
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10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro