Five minutes with… Mark Kempson

The executive chef at the newly opened The Six restaurant at the Kings Arms Hotel in Hampton Court on butter, adventure and why he always has a notebook with him

Food and Drink 3 Dec 2019

Kings Arms Hotel at Hampton Court
The Six at Hampton Court

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your career and why?

Work hard and always give 110%. I believe by going the extra mile you will always stand out from the crowd. Hard work gets noticed and leads to success.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?

My biggest role model is my father. He has always been the most hard-working person I know.

He influenced me by setting an example of work ethic. Work hard, empower yourself with knowledge of your craft and be the best you can be.

What ingredient can you not live without and why?

Butter. It’s an amazing ingredient that adds such a depth of flavour and can be used in many ways.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

My notebook. Travelling is always inspirational and there are so many times that you need to log a thought. I couldn’t be without my little book.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London and why?

Smoking Goat. The food is so amazingly tasty. It is great value for money and the feel and vibe of the space is just great.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Spend time with my family and enjoy my wife’s cooking.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Food is my life, but I also love family time, adventures and travel.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

My late grandfather. Such a witty man with hundreds of stories and a real laugh at the dinner table.

The Six restaurant at the Kings Arms Hotel in Hampton Court serves classic British cuisine with a modern twist, crafted from local produce. Mark Kempson has designed the menu and the kitchens are headed up by Jack Scoines. Mark’s career has spanned more than 20 years, and includes working at two-Michelin-starred The Vineyard in Berkshire, before heading up his own restaurant, Kitchen W8, where he secured a Michelin star.