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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Mark Hix, Hix Oyster and Chop House, Hix Soho

01 July 2011
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Mark Hix, Hix Oyster and Chop House, Hix Soho

Overall ranking: 36 (ranked 23 in 2010)

Chef ranking: 8 (ranked 7 in 2010)

Mark Hix - Snapshot

Mark Hix is the former chef-director of Caprice Holdings who now runs three of his own restaurants: Hix Oyster and Chop House and Hix Soho in London and Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis, Dorset. His dedication to British cooking and produce has helped a fuel a renaissance in the cuisine, and contributed to him winning the 2010 Chef Catey award.

Mark Hix - Career guide

After favouring domestic science over metalwork in his fifth year at school, Hix went on to pursue a career in catering, completing his City & Guilds qualification at Weymouth College.

After joining the staff canteen at Hilton as commis chef, Hix worked for two years at London's Grosvenor House hotel under Anton Edelmann and Vaughan Archer before moving on to the Dorchester under Anton Mosimann, where he was promoted after a few months from commis chef to chef de partie.

Two years later he joined small restaurant group Mr Pontacs as sous chef. Two months into the job and at the age of 22 he was promoted to head chef of the group's Candlewick Room restaurant in the City of London after the previous incumbent left.

Hix quickly won a Michelin Red M for the Candlewick Room, the only restaurant in the City to hold this award.

After four years Hix became head chef at Le Caprice, the venue that legendary restaurateurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbin had acquired in 1981.

When Caprice Holdings reopened the Ivy in Covent Garden in 1990, Hix became executive head chef for the group and oversaw all subsequent additions.

In December 2007 Hix left Caprice Holdings after 17 years to concentrate on his own projects. His first was working with Rocco Forte, taking the role of director of food at Brown's hotel in Mayfair.

In April 2008 Hix opened Hix Oyster and Chop House in the Farringdon area of London. He also opened Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis, Dorset, and, most recently, Hix Soho in the West End of London.

He won the Chef Award at the 2010 Cateys, and recently picked up Cookery Journalist of the Year award at this year's Guild of Food Writers' Awards for his food writing in the Independent newspaper.

Mark Hix - What we think

Hix, who has become celebrated for his modern approach to British food, played a key role in the phenomenal success of Caprice Holdings, alongside restaurateurs-du-jour Chris King and Jeremy Corbin. But after 17 years with Caprice, owner of the Ivy and J Sheekey, Hix decided to quit and plough his own furrow. His first move was to start consulting for Brown's Hotel, helping launch The Albermarle restaurant.

Hix had no plans for further expansion until the opportunity arose to take on the site of failed Japanese restaurant Aaya in London's West End. Hix Soho was born, featuring, in Hix's words "my own brand of British food". Since then, he's added HIX Restaurant & Champagne bar at London department store Selfridges.

It was his dedication to popularising classic British dishes, and reinventing them for 21st century fine-dining standards, that helped Hix win the Chef award at the 2010 Cateys.

He continues to write a column in the Independent and has written a number of cookbooks including Fish etc, British Seasonal Food and British Regional Food, reflecting his interest in traditional, local and sustainable produce.

Mark Hix's ranking in the 2010 Caterersearch.com 100 >>

Menuwatch: Hix Soho >>

Mark Hix wild at heart >>

Hix Soho website >>

Hix Oyster & Chop House website >>

Mark Hix website >>

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