Mark Poynton and Colin Starkey host gourmet night at Restaurant One Eighty

Colin Starkey, Executive chef at Restaurant One Eighty with Michelin starred chef, Mark Poynton

Colin Starkey, Executive chef at Restaurant One Eighty with Michelin starred chef, Mark Poynton - Credit: Archant

The Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wilmslow hotel welcomed a guest star...a star of the Michelin variety, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Michelin-starred chef Mark Poynton joined his friend Colin Starkey in the kitchens of Restaurant One Eighty at the Best Western Plus Pinewood, to the delight of gourmets.

Mark learned his craft in the likes of The Queen Hotel in Chester, Shrigley Hall Hotel and Paul Kitching’s Juniper in Altrincham. He is now chef patron of Alimentum in Cambridge, holder of a Michelin star and three AA rosettes.

Last year, he took a busman’s holiday, joining his old friend Colin, the executive head chef at Restaurant One Eighty, to present a gourmet evening.

It proved such a success that Mark and Colin teamed up a second time to produce a seven-course tasting menu at the hotel. And there was no shortage of takers for the 50 places for the £70-per-head feast.

First up from Mark was roast scallop with curry, cumin dahl, apple and coriander - a bold, aromatic, feisty palate-wakener. Next was another of Mark’s recipes: quail breast and leg, brimming with lip-smacking umami goodness, and a light yakitori duck liver with peanut and lime - an intriguing oriental fusion dish.

Colin took care of the fish dish with a lush fillet of turbot, artfully arranged with little cylinders of charred leek, mussels and a classic Sauce Bercy. Mark then delivered a very slow-roasted fillet of beef teamed with salt-based celeriac, snails and a heady puree of Mont d’Or cheese.

Mark’s dessert of baked yoghurt was a fruity feast with pistachio and olive oil cake, blackberry and tarragon granita. Colin’s sweet was a calorie explosion of caramel mousse, peanut caramel and Michel Cluizel salted dark chocolate which I can only describe as a very posh deconstruction of a Snickers bar...and utterly fabulous.

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Each course was accompanied by a specially selected wine, chosen and provided by Neil Goldie from House of Townend wine merchants.

Colin said: ‘Last year’s event was not only a great success, but we had real fun working together. We just had to do it all over again.’

Mark added: I have very fond memories of working with and learning with Colin early in my career, so to prepare a menu and cook with him once again is a real pleasure.’ w

Restaurant One Eighty is at the Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wilmslow, Wilmslow Road, Handforth, Wilmslow, SK9 3LF. Tel 01625 529211. See