Mr Toad chats to one of the West Country’s most celebrated chefs, discussing all things delicious in Dorset…
Mark Hix is a celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer known for his original take on British gastronomy and passionate support of local, sustainable produce. Born in Dorset, Mark has overseen some of London’s most famous kitchens before launching the acclaimed HIX restaurants, which include HIX Oyster & Chop House, HIX Soho, Tramshed, and Hixter. Mark also has a weekly food column in City AM, and was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to hospitality.
But for all his success in the big smoke, Mark is still a West Country boy at heart so when the opportunity arose to open a restaurant in his native Dorset he jumped at the chance. Championing the area’s fabulous and often unusual produce, HIX Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis is one of the area’s most prominent eateries and should be on any foodie’s list of places to eat while holidaying in Dorset.
Mr Toad: Hi Mark, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions…
What are your fondest memories of growing up in Dorset and has it changed much over the years?
Mark: Fishing and playing golf as a kid, and having easy access to the sea. Dorset has changed an awful lot in foodie terms but certainly not lost its charm.
Mr Toad: How often do you get to visit Lyme Regis, and what are your favourite things to do when you’re here?
Mark: I’m here two or three times a month and get up to all sorts from shooting, fishing, foraging and, of course, working.
Mr Toad: You’re known for your passionate support of local producers, what local West Country products do you include in your menus and why?
Mark: Oh all sorts, and to name a few Somerset membrillo, Julian Temperley, Black Cow pure milk vodka, Whitelake cheese, all the local fishermen, Trill Farm and more.
Mr Toad: Do you have a favourite West Country dish?
Mark: I don’t really have one as eating is all about what you are in the mood for and all our dishes have West Country provenance.
Mr Toad: Apart from the food of course, what makes a meal at the Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis, special?
Mark: Well the view is second to none and we serve great seasonal cocktails
Mr Toad: We hear you collaborate on special events in the area. Is there anything coming up soon that might be of interest to our guests?
Mark: Oh yes, lots! From Smoked And Uncut at The Pig Hotels, Dartmouth Food Festival, Salcombe Crab Fest and of course our own festival, Food Rocks, which raises money for the RNLI and Fishermen’s Mission. This year it takes place 8-9th September 2018 with plenty of chef demos, and over 40 food and drink stands. We will also be having a meat feast on the 7th and our annual crab and mackerel feast on the 8th. The event is free – we just ask guests for a donation in order to eat the chef’s dishes at the demos.
Mr Toad: What are your top 3 things to do in Dorset that you would recommend to our guests whilst on holiday?
Mark: Catch some mackerel, walk the cliffs and beaches, and visit a distillery or two.
Click here to find out more about HIX Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis, along with foodie events in the area.
Planning a trip to Dorset? Toad Hall Cottages have a wide range of great properties in and around Lyme Regis to choose from. Click here to plan your West Country adventure today.