Having been frustrated with a lack of UK grown produce featuring in the London restaurant market Mark Jankel has spent the last year travelling the country in search of a sustainable and quality food supply chain.
Having discovered this supply chain, in a group of farms that are passionate about connecting themselves to the end user without often inefficient middle men, Mark has created The Food Initiative which will open a restaurant in the new year that focuses on a sustainable supply chain as its core ethos.
Mark was Executive chef for First Restaurant group for two years where he learned how to run and manage a group of five restaurants. He was Head chef of the Notting Hill Brasserie where he achieved three AA rosettes, a Harden's Remy award and a nomination for Harper's and Queen Chef of the year.
Mark has been building up his culinary experience for the last ten years, working with amongst others, Philip Howard at the Square, Jun Tanaka at Pearl and Raphael Duntoye at La Petite Maison.
Mark holds a B.Sc. (hons) in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia.
Since Mark is passionate about food - its source, production and distribution - it was inevitable that his culinary and environmental interests would fuse.
Born in the US to Japanese parents, Jun Tanaka has headed up the kitchen at Pearl since its opening in June 2004. During this time, the restaurant has gained an excellent reputation for its modern French cuisine, served in the beautiful surroundings of the historic Pearl Assurance building.
Having started at Le Gavroche at the age of 19, Jun spent the next ten years working with some of London's best chefs in seven top Michelin star restaurants, where he perfected the art of fine French cuisine.
Prior to Pearl, Jun worked and trained at Le Gavroche, Chez Nico, The Capital, The Square and Les Saveurs. He also worked under Marco Pierre White at both The Restaurant Marco Pierre White and The Oak Room. This refinement and high standard of cooking is now evident throughout the dishes at Pearl, where the menus are changed regularly to incorporate the best seasonal produce and ingredients.
Jun is a firm believer in using the best ingredients in season and ensuring that all ingredients used are not masked or over complicated, but enhanced to bring out their natural flavours, producing a clean and distinct taste.
In May 2009, Jun launched his first recipe book, "Simple to Sensational". The book demonstrates easy, everyday recipes and then shows how these recipes can be transformed into spectacular dinner party dishes in just a few simple steps.