Meet the chef: Talking food with restaurateur/chef Mark Jarvis of Anglo and Stem
Mark Jarvis is not a stranger to pressure or hard work. With a restaurant career that started when he was just 16 years old, he is used to the competitive nature and often gruelling hours that the industry is known for.
His résumé is dotted with stints at top eateries such as Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford where he first cut his teeth, followed by Raymond Blanc’s The Thatch, Michelin-starred Texture where he worked under Agnar Sverrisson, the Blueprint Café where he took on his first Head Chef role, and The Bingham Hotel in Surrey where he headed up the kitchen for 2 years.
Jarvis now has two of his own restaurants in the capital, Anglo in Farringdon and Stem in Mayfair. After sampling dishes from his newly-launched plant-based menu alongside some of his signature meaty bites, I decided to put some time in with Jarvis to get a better understanding of what makes him tick and why we should be excited about Modern British cuisine.
What has your culinary journey been like?
It has been fun, but tough—long hours and hard graft. Going from being a chef to a restaurateur has been my toughest but most rewarding challenge yet.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing right now?
I would be either a butcher or some sort of high-end vegetable supplier.
What does Modern British cuisine mean to you?
It’s a combination of all the different styles of cuisines on offer in the UK today.
Who are some of the chefs you look up to and why?
Jason Atherton because of his success as a chef who owns multiple restaurants and Raymond Blanc for his passion for flavour.
Why did you decide to launch a plant-based menu?
I have a real passion for vegetables and think this menu is the way to showcase that.
Which ingredient are you really excited about right now?
All the best UK produce starts to come into the kitchen at this time of year and we have just begun using Lavinton Lamb from Lincolnshire. It’s amazing!
In your opinion, what is the most underrated British dish?
Sausage and mash. I love it, especially if the sausages are handmade and the mash is perfect. Delicious!
What made you decide to open Anglo? How did it feel to finally open a place of your own?
I wanted to own a place where I could cook exactly how and what I wanted. It feels great and it takes a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t change it.
The dishes I tried at Anglo had really innovative flavour combinations and used a lot of interesting techniques. Where do you get inspiration for the items on your menu?
A lot of it comes from trial and error. I also read cookbooks and just bounce ideas off the team.
How would you describe the food and atmosphere at Stem as compared to Anglo?
The food and style are similar, but Stem also offers an à la carte menu. Both have straightforward, minimalist design interiors – we want guests to focus on the food and the personal service, not a fancy design.
What would your last meal on earth be?
Sausage and mash – a good one!