Mark Sargeant, the former protégé of Gordon Ramsay, has opened an Art Deco-inspired brasserie in his hometown of Folkestone – his first independent restaurant.
The Brasserie MS will use local suppliers of seasonal produce to serve a menu inspired by classics of French cuisine, with dishes on the menu including a red onion tart tatin with Kentish blue cheese, smoked ham persillade with black garlic purée and a truffle dressing, and île flottante for dessert.
Given Folkestone’s proximity to the sea, fish will also feature prominently on the menu.
Sargeant, formerly head chef of Claridge’s and Ramsay’s sous chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Chef of the Year in 2002, has returned to his geographical roots, but has also brought some of the fine dining flair from over three decades in the kitchen: ““Kent has some wonderful producers of fresh food and it is important to me that it features in The Brasserie. Not only does it keep our food miles down, but it also supports the local economy.”
Claridge’s was the first restaurant in the UK to have a chef’s table, and The Brasserie MS will also be offering guests the chance to be greeted with Champagne before surveying the kitchen in operation as they are served eight to 10 courses.
As for the interior, while much of the decor is based on 1920s Art Deco, the walls will display the works of celebrity photographer (and local) Brian Aris.
Sargeant notes that these are difficult times for hospitality: “The industry is facing a number of challenges, but that hasn’t deterred me. I wanted to bring something special to the town I am proud to call my home and I am delighted that I have been able to achieve that.”