British Regional Food at its best

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British Regional Food by Mark Hix was the last cookery book I  bought, early this year – after making a promise not to buy another cookery book.

It’s fantastic in many ways – unpretentious, simple and has the wow factor in local produce, food, and some classical local recipes. The author runs a good restaurant called ‘The Hix Oyster & Chop House,’ situated in its own little street near Smithfield Market, London.

Best known as the Chef Director of Caprice Holdings, Hix was the man in charge of what the customers ate at The Ivy, Le Caprice, J. Sheekey and, latterly, Scott’s.

Known as one of the best executive chefs in the business, Hix can be credited with redefining a kind of contemporary, template seasonal menu that has since been much copied elsewhere. Earlier this year he decided to leave the corporate world and branch out on his own.

This is his first stand-alone restaurant, where he has utilized many of the antique and junk shop finds he has collected over the years to add a personal touch to the table settings. The pewter finger bowls, whisky water jugs, cook book collection and copper pans on the walls all belong to him. Always keen on using the best of local  British food, he has a diviner’s touch when it comes to sourcing quality produce. If it’s on a Hix menu, it is going to be good and if it features on a Hix wine list, someone will have thought carefully about its inclusion.

Lastly this book pictured in the photograph above by Mark Hix, has a short piece about the Suffolk Red Poles, a rare breed of  ginger cattle that can be seen grazing on Cambridge’s Midsummer Common. One can buy this fantastic meat on our Sunday market or through a web site called