Mark Poynton has announced his departure from Alimentum in Cambridge, revealing plans to open a new restaurant in the city centre later this year.
Poynton joined Alimentum in 2009 as head chef from Daniel Clifford’s two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House and won a Michelin star in 2012, which he held for five years until it was removed in the 2018 guide.
The former chef-patron, who was a minority shareholder in the restaurant, has created a website to share details of his new opening, which bears the mantra “Simplicity. Flavour. Seasonality.”.
He said: “I have been with Alimentum for nearly a decade and feel it’s time for a new perspective. I leave Alimentum in the capable of hands of head chef Samira Effa and wish her and the entire team at Alimentum the best for the future.
“There is a unique opportunity to take the best of what I have learned over the last 10 years, and try to create something that is really fresh. I want to address some of the challenges in our industry, while delivering an exceptional, affordable experience for my customers.
“Meanwhile, I am going to take a very open approach to developing my new business. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at how I am re-thinking all the intimate details of what I do, then sign up at my website.”
Last year Poynton spoke to The Caterer about stepping out of Clifford’s shadow at Alimentum. He said: “It’s difficult to break away from someone so strong-minded and strong-willed. It takes time.”
In the same interview Poynton said he put in eight shifts a week, adding: “I must be the worst-paid Michelin-starred chef in the country.”
The Caterer’s 2017 interview came shortly after the opening of the chef’s first pub restaurant, the White Horse in St Neots, which has since closed.