Wednesday, 22 October 2014


In the first of our new series called Behind the Scene, we took a trip to Grimsby’s Humber Royal Hotel.

The award winning hotel is a stone’s throw away from Grimsby town centre, Grimsby Docks and Europarc. Its brasserie offers a casual dining experience, where you can sample an exciting seasonal menu created using the finest ingredients Lincolnshire has to offer.

We caught up with Head Chef Mark Belcher to ask where his passion and inspiration comes from.

Tell us about your background, how you came to Humber Royal Hotel?
Before becoming the Head Chef at Humber Royal Hotel in Grimsby I held three Head Chefs positions throughout North East Lincolnshire. I started my career from Commis Chef and worked my way up over the past 20-years. I believe its hard work and determination which helps you succeed. I’m always willing to learn and want to satisfy customers every time. Being versatile, yet well organised is essential. Everything needs cooking to perfection, be it a small sandwich or large banquet for 300 people!

What’s your favourite food fantasy/recipe and why?
There has been so many over the years…….but the one I’d choose because of found childhood memories and sheer greatness and simplicity is Lincolnshire Lamb Shank, with root vegetables, mint, caper and smoked bacon. It’s all braised for five hours till tender and served with Marries Piper Mash. Delicious!

Mark's Lincolnshire Lamb Shank
How have you channelled your food passion within your business and personally?
Every day at Humber Royal we talk Lincolnshire and think Lincolnshire. Our menus try to contain as much Lincolnshire ingredients as cost, availability and season can dictate. We consistently produce food that is simply cooked to perfection time and time again, and give all the produce the respect they deserve, but with a fine dining twist.

What does Lincolnshire mean to you?
I love the Lincolnshire Wolds, the open fields, the big farms, the local markets bursting with producers. Not to mention our sausages!

Who is your food champion?
My main influence is Marco Pierre White, because if his dedication and passion. And the way he talks about food is inspiring. It’s the art of consistent perfection he believes in.

Tell us about your team
My team at the Humber Royal is relatively small but very dedicated to serving four star food using the best Lincolnshire has to offer - time and time again. They have a passion to satisfy even when it is very busy, consistently. My Sous Chef Adam Harris brings his passion and experience to us that keeps me excited every day.

Tell us which local producers do you use and why
I am passionate about using local wherever possible. My suppliers include Enderbys Smoked Salmon, which has excellent Smoked Salmon and Haddock. Poacher Cheese and Butter, because it’s the nicest cheese I have ever tasted.  I also use Patterson’s Pickles and Chutneys, which is traditional and consistent. Windy Ridge Farm, for our fresh green vegetables and cauliflower……say no more! I also use The Pastry Room Elsham, for its ready-made French style pastry. And another favourite is Duffies Chocolate, which produces artisan chocolate in Cleethorpes.

What would you say to other Select Lincolnshire members? Use as many companies and products from Lincolnshire as you can, and fresh is always best. We can be proud of the diversity of the different products this county has to offer. And give all the products the respect they deserve.

How do you work with community groups or local education providers and charities?
We try to work with local collages and charities as much as we can. We encourage our chefs to get NVQ qualifications through the company with on job training.

On an international platform where does Lincolnshire sit?
With its diversity of products, foods and companies, I’d have to say that Lincolnshire must be up there as one of the best counties in the country and now worldwide.

More information visit the Humber Royal website. 

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