David Dorricott, Founder of i-Chef announced today that Mark Thatcher, i-Chef’s New Business Development Manager & Ambassador had recently passed away after a short illness. Here he spends a few moments reflecting on Mark’s life as a chef and i-Chef colleague…
“Mark and I had some very good times together. From work in the Houses of Lord’s and Commons which included swapping eggs and other items, to sharing the not-so-odd glass (bottle) of champagne, He was simply one of the good guys and a gentleman. You will be greatly missed my friend. RIP.”
Mark, started his catering career as an apprentice chef for The Grand Metropolitan Hotel group back in May 1973 working at Slatters Hotel, Canterbury. During this time he attended Canterbury College of Technology and finished his apprenticeship in July 1976. In October of that year he was promoted to Chef de Partie (at Slatters) and then went on to The Penta Hotel on Cromwell Road, London as a Senior Chef de Partie then promoted to Junior Sous Chef in April in the same year.
Following a transfer back to Slatters in August ’77 as Sous Chef then saw Mark become Grand Met’s youngest Head Chef when he took on the role in January 1978 aged 22.
Mark left Grand Met in 1980 and he went on to be Head Chef of The Kings Head Hotel, Wateringbury, Maidstone. In June ’81 he became Head Chef at Ye Maydes Restaurant, Biddenden, Kent, where he won AA rosettes for three consecutive years 81,82,83.
In June 1983 Mark joined the House of Lords (Refreshment Department) as Sous Chef, looking after both the Peers Dining Rooms and banqueting. Three years later he was promoted to Head Chef and in 1987 he opened The Barry Room a la carte restaurant. In 1990 Mark was promoted to Executive Head Chef and in 1997 opened The Reid Room, Home Room and Attlee Room further increasing the facilities to the peers at the time of the House of Lords Reform. In 2000 he opened a further restaurant for Peers and staff in number 2 Millbank House.
In 2004-2006 he had major involvement in the 15m refurbishment of the refreshment facilities in the House of Lords. Mark was responsible for 30 chefs, 5 storemen, 12 kitchen assistants and 11 kitchen porters in 6 kitchens during his time. He catered for up to 2000 covers per day dining in 6 restaurants, 3 function rooms a terrace and sandwich bar.
On the 29th August 2014 Mark left the House of Lords after 31 years of service.
Mark Thatcher was a founder member of The League of Club Chefs as well as ex-chairman and Vice President. Since semi-retiring Mark joined i-Chef as New Business Development Manager and Ambassador and was often seen at our events.
Our thoughts go out to his Cassie and family, other friends and colleagues at this sad time.