Culinary Tours des Forces Unite in Cambridge

Category : News

Mark Poynton, Chef Patron of acclaimed Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge and one of the country’s most up and coming chefs, has rallied a team of 6 of the UK’s finest culinary wizards to raise money for a truly moving cause.

On Monday 31st October 2011, Mark will host a unique evening of fun and gastronomic flair at his Cambridge restaurant in aid of Tommy’s charity. Tommy’s funds research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, premature and still birth and provides information to parents** – a cause personally close to Mark’s and his team’s hearts.

Mark and award winning chefs Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House), Will Holland (La Becasse), Ben Spalding (Roganic), Matt Gillan (The Pass), and Russell Bateman (Colettes at The Grove) and Paul Foster (Tuddenham Mill), will create a 7 course tasting menu to tantalise even the most adventurous of taste buds.

Mark comments, “this is an exceptionally important cause for me and I want to do everything I can to raise crucial funds and awareness for Tommy’s. Having a young son myself, I can only begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, so the more money we can raise for research towards preventing complications at birth, the better. I’m really excited to be bringing together such a great team of chefs at Alimentum – the evening will be fantastic! I can’t wait to make it a success.”

Compering the evening will be charismatic food and travel journalist/author Sudi Pigott. Sudi will be cajoling the diners to bid for a range of fantastic prizes, including an iPad; day of beauty and hair treatment at top Cambridge salon Elajé; mounted collection of celebrities’ dockets from Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant Dinner, signed by Heston himself and Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts.

Sudi comments, “this is a fantastic cause to be involved in with an incredible line up of chefs. Mark is working really hard to ensure the evening is a huge success and I am looking forward to helping raise lots of money by encouraging guests to dig deep!”

Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2012

Category : Main, News, Reviews, Work

The Grove, Colette’s
Star-struck venue with eye popping food
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 807807


Modern British | £65
Cooking score: 5

These days, the sleek, glossy Grove is synonymous with a certain sort of stardom, and there may be gasps of ‘OMG!’ given the celebrity count here – it’s a home-from-home for football’s moneyed aristocracy, after all. As the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Colette’s puts on a suitably ostentatious show, with a ‘sexy’ bar area, huge canvases and abstract sculptures in the dining room. Prices are pitched at premiership WAGs rather than fans on the terraces, and the supremely confident kitchen aims to dazzle. Continue Reading


Category : News

I’m back on the radio this Saturday with Nick Coffer on Three Counties, should be live around 2PM. Listen live online at:


Optima Magazine Review

Category : News, Reviews, Work


10th June 2011

The Grove • Chandler’s Cross • WD3 4TG • 01923 296015

Reviewed by Jill Glenn

It’s the attention to detail that makes Colette’s, the fine dining restaurant at The Grove, stand out from the crowd. That, and the elegant atmosphere that envelops you from the moment you walk through the door. Sitting in the smart little lounge (on some of the wackiest and most covetable chairs I’ve seen in a long time), sipping a Kir Royale made to Colette’s own recipe, and overlooking the beautiful grounds on a balmy summer’s evening, it’s hard to believe you’re only a stone’s throw from the centre of Watford.

It’s even harder to believe when you move through into the quietly sophisticated dining room and start tasting the food. Have I died and gone to heaven? It may seem excessive to rave over something as simple as risotto, but – trust me – this is not risotto as you know it. The delicate starter sized portion of Fresh Pea Risotto, served with Richard Woodhall Ham, Moroccan Mint and Pea Shoots, is intensely green and utterly delicious. The grains are perfectly cooked, and new levels of flavour reveal themselves with every mouthful. “This is possibly,” I murmur to my companion, “the best risotto ever.”

I could have eaten more, of course, but, realistically, the ideal starter should merely awaken the appetite, hinting at the promise of things to come. The next course on our ‘Taste of the Market’ menu (which, at £45 per head for four courses, strikes me as great value and an astonishingly good way of showcasing all the ingredients that are perfectly in season, either at Colette’s suppliers or harvested from the hotel’s kitchen garden) is Cornish Mackerel, Chorizo, Garden Asparagus and Heirloom Tomatoes. Oh, those tomatoes! Picked just a few hours earlier, they have flavour like you’ve never imagined. The asparagus, perhaps just slightly over-seasoned, is the babiest I’ve ever seen; the nuggets of chorizo add strength and contrast to the mackerel. Light, delicate, fresh; a very clever dish. Fish course: tick.

Main course: tick too. De Dombes Duck Breast, Broad Beans, Grelot Onions, Orange, Liquorice: cooked to perfection, beautifully presented, full of flavour. This man can cook.

Dessert – the deceptively simply named Upside-Down Strawberry Cheesecake – is a triumph, with powerful fruit exploding onto your tastebuds, crumbly biscuit topping and soft creaminess. A final tick. That’s one for every course, plus a few extra: for the amuse-bouches, the pre-dessert, the petits fours.

The quality of the food is outstanding. Head Chef Russell Bateman has real skill and a philosophy of fresh food, quality ingredients, simply enhanced. Colette’s is a real destination, and it deserves to be. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to eat here.

Don’t get the idea that it’s pretentious, though. It’s not. Yes, it feels sophisticated, out-of-the-ordinary, special – but it combines that with a comfortable easy air (the Earl of Clarendon would turn in his grave if he knew they’d relaxed the rigid dress code; there were even chaps in jeans…) and friendly professionalism. Former diners such as Queen Victoria, Edward VII and Lord Palmerston might feel that standards of decorum had slipped – but they wouldn’t say a word against the food…

Review can also be found at Optima Magazine

Kai We Care

Category : News

We’re creating a pop-up restaurant to raise funds following the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand

It’s on Monday 4th April 2011 … for 1 night only at One Moorgate Place, EC2R 6EA London

A sensational 7-course dinner, cooked by award winning chefs, followed by an auction of fabulous prizes, hosted by TIM HAYWARD

Champagne & Canapes at 6:30pm….Carriages at 1am

The chefs: Simon Hulstone, Dominic Chapman, Mark Poynton (& Me) Russell Brown, Matthew Tomkinson, Adam Gray along with Alex Wood, Adrain Oliver and Darren Goodwin

Mark and I will be cooking the main: Slow cooked NZ lamb, broccoli puree, smoked garlic, Olde Yorke cheese, almonds, wild garlic jus

There are 200 tickets available. Tickets cost £150 per person (including wine)

To buy a ticket, please email kaiwecare@gmail.com

Michelin Guide 2011

Category : News, Reviews, Work

After working under a number of amazing chefs in Michelin starred kitchens throughout my early career it is fair to say I look out for the guides release every January. It is considered by many, even after 100 long years, “The” premier restaurant guide. Whilst I haven’t made it into the guide this year a couple of my friends & former bosses have. I would like to pass on my congratulations to them.

Adam Simmonds who has achieved a star against his name at Danesfield House’s, Oak Room Restaurant.

Tom Kerridge, my old friend at The Hand & Flowers in Marlow for retaining his star.

My old bosses Daniel Clifford Midsummer House & Marcus Wareing for both retaining their second stars.

Also out of the UK guide in Spain another friend of mine Oriel Ivern earned his first star for his Barcelona eatery Hisop. Nice one Ori.

Last but not least Gordon Ramsay, the media have beaten him up a little this year, everybody needs to remember that he remains one of the top chefs in the country’s history. He has changed the entire culinary scene in the UK for the better and I like many other chefs am enormously thankful. We don’t see anyone in France beating on Paul Bocuse’s door for cooking what he believes in. I wish in this country we could be the same.

So a big congratulations to all that appeared in the guide this year and to those of us that didn’t, we’d better push on!