THERE may be a new face in the kitchen at the Farrars Arms but it’s a familiar one to many Saddleworth diners.
Mark Pemberton spent 14 years as chef at the White Hart, Lydgate and The Old Bell in Delph plus 18 months at Albion Farm farm shop and café.
Now, he’s been employed to put his unique twist on the menu at the historic Grasscroft inn.
Less than two weeks into his new job Mark, a former pupil at Dobcross and Saddleworth Schools, is hard at work creating meals to boost the food trade.
The 38-year-old’s appointment is another forward step for The Farrars Arms, which was saved from potential extinction last summer by Muse owner, Rob Norbury.
“I enjoyed my time at Albion Farm but after 18 months I felt I needed to get back into proper cooking,” Mark told the Independent.
“I wanted to get creative again after really being restricted to bacon and eggs and burgers.
“This is a good opportunity. My ethos is all about creating old classic recipes and bringing them up to 2018.
“The menu has been a bit confused up to now so hopefully that’s all going to change.
“It will take a few weeks to get used to the kitchen but the new menus will be out soon.
“We will also be introducing three-course lunch time menus.
“Within six months the aim is to have built up a really good, solid lunch trade.
“The Farrars is perhaps seen mainly as a drinkers’ pub at night.
“But hopefully people will have enjoyed the food at lunch which will want to make them return to try our evening menu.”
Mark started his catering career aged 14 years, working as a kitchen porter and pot washer.
From there he graduated, via the Moorcock Inn at Littleborough, to the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
But it was at The Old Bell where his talents emerged, helping the Huddersfield Road establishment win a number of coveted food rosette awards.
The increase in family commitments meant Mark left The Bell after nine years, moving half a mile up the road to Albion Farm. Wife Natalie worked alongside him as a pastry chef.
Now he’s opened another culinary chapter and you are invited to sample the results.