Mark Apsey at Wokingham Food Festival

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Mark Apsey at Wokingham Food Festival

Sous Chef Mark Apsey wows the crowd at Wokingham Food Fesitval

Mark first worked at L'Ortolan in 2005 as Alan Murchison's first apprentice at the age of 15. He left in 2007 to broaden his Michelin experience working with Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall then with John Campbell as part of the opening team at Cowarth Park. Mark's ambition and enthusiasm earned him the position of Sous Chef at L'Ortolan aged just 23. He believes in using the best ingredients available, locally sourced where possible, and is an expert forager making the best use of traceable ingredients from the surrounding countryside. As a natural teacher Mark is keen to share his knowledge and passion with people who enjoy great food and want to learn more.

Last week Mark Apsey took to the demonstration stage at the Wokingham Food Festival, captivating the audience with his classical to contemporary cuisine as part of the three-day event promoting the best in local food and drink. Mark's Lemon and Chocolate Tart was a clear favourite amongst the foodie festival goers, so we asked Mark to share the secret behind his delicious dessert recipe.

Lemon and Chocolate Tart Recipe

1 Egg Yolk
125g Plain Flour
50g Icing Sugar
75g Butter

Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, and then fold in the flour gently. Rest for 1 hour before rolling out to 3mm thickness and cook on 180°C.

75g Lemon Juice
2.6g MSK Hy-Foamer
150g Sugar
30g Water

Whisk the lemon juice and Hy-Foamer until forming stiff peaks. Boil the sugar and water until 121°C and pour onto the stiff peaks. Whisk mixture until cold.

100g Cacao Barry Altosol Chocolate
90g Cherry Purée
30g Cream

Boil the cherry purée and pour onto the chocolate. Mix together until fully smooth and glossy.

Poached Cherries:
100g Stoneless Cherries
100g Cherry Purée
50g Red Wine
50g Sugar

Bring the purée, wine and sugar to the boil and add the cherries. Return to the boil and then remove from the heat.

tom and dora bbq alan murchison demonstration kitchen at lortolan restaurant reading


L'Ortolan Cookery Demonstration Programme

Wednesday 4th Sep - Art of Home Smoking
The art of producing your own smoked foods at home and how to make your own small smoker.

Wednesday 18th Sep - Bread at Home
The home baker. Machine vs hand made, yeast vs natural leaven. How to make perfect breads to suit even the least experienced baker.

Wednesday 2nd Oct - Simple Vegetarian Cookery
Michelin starred vegetarian dishes to suit all budgets.

Wednesday 16th Oct - Sunday Lunch
The perfect Sunday roast - with all the trimmings!

Wednesday 30th Oct - Sweet Tooth
A handful of Michelin starred desserts you can create at home to add the perfect finish to your dinner parties.

Wednesday 13th Nov - 3 Course Dinner
Michelin inspired 3 course dinner party to cook at home.

To book your L'Ortolan demonstration please call 01189 888 500 or email