Top chef Sargeant eyes pub rollout

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Pub grub: according to Sargeant, 'at its best, a meal in a pub can compete with any restaurant'
Pub grub: according to Sargeant, 'at its best, a meal in a pub can compete with any restaurant'

Related tags: Pub company summit, Inn, Tenanted pub company summit

Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant has told MCA he is keen to secure a joint venture to increase his portfolio.

Sargeant, who already runs the Duke William in Ickham, Canterbury, Kent, alongside his restaurant estate, said the pub sector offered the greatest opportunity in the current eating-out climate.

But, he criticised the gastropub movement, saying it had robbed pubs of the essential community element.

Sargeant will be the special guest speaker at MCA’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit’s evening dinner on 1 February at the Bloomsbury Hotel in London.

He said there were exciting trends within pub food but insisted it had to stay true to its roots.

Searching for the right partner

He said: “The phrase 'pub grub' is sometimes used almost as an insult but, at its best, a meal in a pub can compete with any restaurant. Local, seasonal produce, cooked well is going to be a winner every time.

“What’s always been really important for me is that a pub remains a pub. You should feel like you can go in there for a pint but also know you can get a great meal. The problem with the gastropub movement, when they started putting white tablecloths everywhere, is that it robbed the pub of everything that made it special.”

On plans for further pubs, he said: “I would love to find the right partner and open more pubs, either on a consultancy basis or as a joint venture. Pubs represent a real opportunity in London, where it’s so difficult to get to scale with restaurants without paying ridiculous rents. But I’d also be really interested in an estate of pubs in Kent, for instance.”

Sargeant is also set to reveal the details of his first project in partnership with catering company CH & Co.

To book your ticket for the Tenanted Pub Company Summit, please contact zvpunry.oynxrfyrl@zpn-vafvtug.pbz​.

Related topics: Chefs, Other operators

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