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Quick Bite with Mark Jankel, co-founder of The Food Initiative

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

We spoke to Mark Jankel, co-founder of The Food Initiative, bespoke event caterers, on his career so far and what inspired him to become a chef.

What would you say is the most defining moment in your career?

Launching a street food business that sourced 100% of its ingredients from the UK – all directly from organic and sustainable farms.

What inspired you to become a chef?

The Maitre D called Roberto who ran the local Italian restaurant where I grew up definitely inspired me. He had such class, warmth and hospitality. You could feel that he loved every minute of service and took such immense pleasure and pride in making your meal a memorable occasion. When I started to have a feel for cooking I realised that I could emulate this immense passion through food.

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry who wants to be successful?

Think about the customer experience before anything else. Eat in your restaurant to evaluate whether you are delivering your vision.

Any favourite ingredients at the moment or menu trends you are really enjoying?

I love spices. With Shuk we incorporate an array of spices sourced from the Middle East and I love the depth and personality that these spices deliver.

Favourite dish on the menu that uses an ingredient / ingredients from Woods?

I love our beetroot salad, we use raw spiralised beetroot and dress it with Capirete 6 year Aged Sherry vinaigrette, dill and horseradish mascarpone.