Meet Henrock's New Head Chef, Mark McCabe image

Meet Henrock's New Head Chef, Mark McCabe

Selected by renowned Chef Simon Rogan MBE, Mark McCabe has joined Henrock as the new Head Chef, bringing his rich culinary expertise to the renowned Lake District restaurant at Linthwaite House overlooking Windermere. 

We had the pleasure of chatting to Mark about his background and new role…

What inspired you to become a chef, and how did you get your start in the culinary world?

I never really intended to become a chef. I studied English and Music at University and spent a lot of my 20s trying to make it as a touring musician. However, I always found myself working in hospitality in between tours to actually pay my bills! I found that I came to a point where I enjoyed it just as much, so I decided to switch permanently to kitchens in my late 20s.
Can you tell us about your culinary background and experience before joining Henrock?

As you can imagine from my first answer, I haven't had much of a traditional education in the culinary arts. I've worked in a lot of different areas of hospitality, both front- and back-of-house, but I really started learning my trade at River Cottage HQ in Dorset. It's a cookery school and restaurant set on a working farm, and we did everything from scratch, so it was a great place to learn how to cook.
After that, I spent five years as head chef and then co-owner of The Ethicurean near Bristol - a beautiful little restaurant in a Victorian Walled Garden where we earned a Michelin Green Star and 3 AA rosettes.
What drew you to Henrock and Linthwaite House, and what do you hope to bring to the restaurant?

Working for Simon is an absolute dream, and to be able to do it in a setting like Linthwaite House… It really was a no-brainer for me. I feel very fortunate.
How would you describe your culinary style, and how will it fit in with Henrock's existing menu and atmosphere?
I love to cook with whatever is around me, and for food to have a real sense of place, so in that sense, I think it ties in very well with Simon's ethos.
The new tasting menu we have launched is an experience befitting the beautiful dining room, I feel, and hopefully the guests will too.

What's your favourite dish to cook, and why is it significant to you?

The grains and nettle dish that we have at the moment. It's really complex, but also very humble. I love that we can forage the nettles from the area around the hotel, as it allows us to connect the guests to their surroundings while they eat.
How do you plan to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients into your dishes at Henrock?

Local and seasonal produce is at the centre of everything we do at Henrock, as it is for all of Simon's restaurants. I hope we can grow new and interesting things on Our Farm, Simon's farm in the Cartmel Valley, that might not necessarily be used by the other restaurants, allowing us to recreate flavours from abroad without straying too far from Cumbria.

What do you think sets Henrock apart from other restaurants in the area? 

Being one of Simon's restaurants should be a pretty good starting point!
The knowledge and expertise available to us are unparalleled in the area, and hopefully we can use that support to our advantage. The hotel is absolutely magnificent as well, so between that and the incredibly talented teams we have, I think that really sets us apart.

Can you give us a hint about what's in store for Henrock's summer menu?

It's been such a whirlwind few months settling in that I have only just started to piece together the dishes for summer, which will include a new version of our Sunday roast. I've been out every day finding my foraging spots and discovering what will be available to us over the summer, so I'm sure between this and the amazing produce from Our Farm, we'll come up with something very special.

How important is sustainability in your kitchen, and what steps are you taking to ensure the freshness and quality of the ingredients used in your dishes?

Sustainability is incredibly important to me, as it is in all of our restaurants, and the biggest way to reduce our impact is by being respectful with our ingredients and making sure we use everything. Everything is picked fresh on the farm each morning and delivered up for the team to use at its best, so we are always mindful to make the absolute most of it.
What does an average day in the Henrock kitchen look like, and how do you and your team keep the work environment inspiring and energetic?

The team usually starts work at around 12, and we come in and have a briefing about the night ahead. Then it's a case of getting our heads down and working hard towards a great dinner service. I like my team to feel comfortable and able to have a bit of fun in the kitchen as well as being able to speak to me about any issues they might have.
We spend a lot of time together, so it's important that everyone feels respected and valued within the team so that they bring their A-game each day.

On being appointed Head Chef of Henrock, he commented: 

As a chef, I have always been compelled and inspired by nature, seasonality, and sustainability. So the Simon Rogan way of sourcing and cooking aligns so closely with my own personal ethos, it feels like the perfect continuation of the work I have dedicated my career to so far. Naturally, I am most looking forward to working with the ingredients sourced directly from Simon’s farm - it’s a true luxury to have access to produce of this quality and diversity, not to mention being located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. I can’t wait to be a part of the Henrock brigade.


We are excited to welcome Mark to Henrock and Linthwaite House and cannot wait for our guests to try his new dishes, developed alongside Executive Chef Paul Burgalières and the Henrock team.

The new tasting menu is inspired by global flavours discovered on the team's travels abroad, while showcasing the freshest seasonal produce from Simon Rogan's Our Farm and local suppliers.

The menu is exclusively available for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, alongside the three-course set menu.

Chat to our Guest Liaison team to reserve your table.

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