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I like people to look at my food and say, wow!  I like to use quirky words to invoke a memory.  I think if you’re having fun and smiling, you’re going to enjoy your meal. – Mark Briggs.

On Tuesday the 28th of August, Melbourne’s most ambitious chefs, sommeliers, awarded critics, and inspired restaurateurs, came together at the National Gallery of Victoria for a night hosted by The Age Good Food Guide that would see the coveted guide – an epicurean bible for Melbournians and foodies alike – award the industry’s finest for inclusion in the AGFG 2013.  Among the awarded was Young Chef of the Year, Mark Briggs, who at just 30 years of age holds the reins of Paul Mathis’ latest endeavour, The Sharing House.

Paul Mathis says of Mark’s win, “Mark brings a creative and unique style to the kitchen, his laid back persona and resilient attitude has helped to shape The Sharing House concept and created a menu with a fun twist on classic fare.”

With a creativity that Mark attributes to inspiration from everything he ‘does, sees, and feels’ and nine years of international experience under some of the worlds most accomplished chefs, Mark brings skill, passion, dedication and a hands-on approach to an industry he feels is being swamped with “deluded young chefs who’ve paid a fortune for college fees and can’t fillet a fish”.

Mark was food focused from a young age, possibly as a result of his grandparents regularly taking him to dine at pubs and restaurants around Lancashire, his keenness for fishing and hence cooking his catch, and his realisation that cooking would be “a good way to get out of the village”.

This very village, Croston, was home to Marks first gig in a kitchen and foray into the other side of dining; a small pub where he was employed ‘to do the washing up on sundays’.  From here he worked his way through England, one Michelin Star restaurant at a time, and after having worked with such revered and world-class chefs as Pierre Koffman and Mauro Bregoli, Mark brought his craft to Australia.

Suggested to Shannon Bennet by a friend and former colleague, Mark began the Australian leg of his culinary career as Chef de Partie in Shannon’s very first Vue de Monde.  From here he advanced to Sous Chef and finally to Head Chef of Vue De Monde, Rialto and after six years under Shannon Bennet at his Vue De Monde empire, Mark has nothing but praise for the man that gave him ‘such amazing opportunities’.

Having recently embarked on a new journey that’s placed him at the helm of The Sharing House, it’s fair to say that winning the AGFG 2013 Young Chef of the Year – which judge Alla Wolf-Tasker says is “about choosing the cooks that we think might be the nextgeeration of ambassadors; doing things that are noteworthy over a long period of time and having the skills to last in what has become a very difficult industry” – is one of many exciting opportunities ahead for Mark Briggs who plans to continue evolving the food, refining the menu and training the team at The Sharing House while playing his part in ensuring this ‘amazing, diverse city’ continues to thrive with inspired and well-taught chefs, supporting Everton in the ‘football’ and dreaming of a holiday somewhere along the way.

 

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