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Meet the chef: Marlon Sanchez, 1711, Judge’s Lodging, York

Marlon Sanchez <i>(Image: Judge's Lodging)</i>
Marlon Sanchez (Image: Judge's Lodging)

Philippine-born chef Marlon Sanchez is making his mark on the York food scene. Previously at Michelin-starred restaurant, The Black Swan at Oldstead, Marlon is now head chef at the 1711 based at the five-star Judge’s Lodging in York where he is spearheading its exciting new Asian-Mediterranean fusion fine dining restaurant, 1711. Here he shares his food loves.

A childhood food memory?

The earliest food memory I can recall is experiencing the street food vendors in the Philippines as a child. At night-time, the streets come alive with flavour, colours and laughter. It’s a place where families and friends gather and enjoy local delicacies with their loved ones - so it’s not only one of my earliest food memories, but also one of my most treasured.

Your most memorable meal?

Any meal that involves my mum’s pork menudo – a braised pork served with sofrito and glazed with red wine. It’s a dish that combines traditional Spanish and Filipino flavours and my mum’s secret is to add a splash of vinegar and soy sauce. My family has a strong culinary background and so every time we have a meal together, the table is always full of different flavours and cooking styles.

Who in the industry inspires you the most?

My cousin, William Mordido, has helped inspire my culinary journey as we share the same ideas of cooking. He’s an incredibly talented chef and last year even represented New Zealand in the prestigious Bocuse D’or – the biennial world chef championship which celebrates chefs around the world and their passion for cooking.

Chef Ferran Adrià from Barcelona is also a huge inspiration. His ability to think outside of the box and create dishes that no one else has ever managed before is truly inspiring.

Describe your cooking style:

I dig heavily into my Filipino roots. I love working with Asian ingredients such as ginger, calamansi, galangal, and lemongrass and I often infuse them into Mediterranean cuisine. My true passion is combining food cultures without stripping them of their identity, all while serving them in my own unique style. I also love to work with live fire – where possible, of course!

Great British Life: This pasta dish is made with wild garlic foraged near The Judge’s Lodging. The pasta is then filled with leek, potato and a chiffonade wild garlic in a silky butter sauce and finished with wild garlic oil. Photo: Judge's LodgingThis pasta dish is made with wild garlic foraged near The Judge’s Lodging. The pasta is then filled with leek, potato and a chiffonade wild garlic in a silky butter sauce and finished with wild garlic oil. Photo: Judge's Lodging

What is the flavour of the moment in your kitchen?

I would definitely say it’s a mix of sofrito and soy sauce, and 1711’s Paella Negra dish combines both of these ingredients. When we’re completing our food prep, it’s great to be able to work in an environment that’s packed full of the amazing flavours and smells that come with mixing ingredients from different cultures.

If you were a guest visiting 1711, what stand-out dishes would you order?

I’m a very curious guy so, for starters, I would order the tempeh served with polenta, asparagus, crispy parmesan and corn sauce. Tempeh is a dish made from fermented soybeans that originates from Indonesia and the corn sauce comes from Mexico, but our dish also incorporates cheese from France which gives diners that extra crunch and texture that they might not be expecting. For main course, my go-to would be my signature dish of Asian-style braised ox cheek, or the pasta with tofu, as the range of flavours is mouth-watering.

What’s your biggest tip for people looking to try fusion-style cooking?

Always be creative when cooking and don’t be afraid to take risks. I’ve always believed that there are similarities between scientists and chefs - both take ingredients or data to create a new recipe or formula. For fusion-style cooking, it’s all about coming up with a formula for a dish which seamlessly blends flavours from different cultures.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Lechon. It’s a dish that is very popular in the Philippines and Latin America and its basically pork from a full pig that is roasted at a low temperature over a few hours. I think in the UK, you would call it a hog roast. Those that know me well also know that I’m surprisingly partial to a Pot Noodle after a long day in the kitchen!

Favourite Yorkshire ingredient?

Without a doubt, rhubarb. When I first started working with Tommy Banks, he introduced me to Yorkshire’s native rhubarb and showed me how versatile the ingredient can be. Tommy taught me how to both plant and harvest rhubarb, as well as how to create flavoursome ice creams, gels and purees with it. As far as ingredients go, it’s extremely versatile.

You’re hosting a fantasy dinner party – who would you invite and what would you cook for them?

I’d love to invite Ferran Adrià, the chef who’s famed for creating the molecular cooking technique. In my eyes, he’s the god of the chefs and if I was lucky enough to cook for him, I would serve him a classic Spanish omelette accompanied by fresh sourdough and high-quality olive oil. I’d be paying homage to his first molecular dish – the Spanish omelette – but with my own twist, of course.



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