People in Private: Mark Longton

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Mark Longton, Executive Chef, The Perth Clinic

What do you love about your job? And why?
I do love changing people’s perceptions about hospital food in particular. Leading a team that can deliver fresh innovative food in a hospital environment and seeing people’s reactions and how they are surprised by the food we deliver.

Food is one thing that people can generally have an opinion about, whether it’s a piece of toast or a five course meal, everyone cooks something.

How long have you been working in your current role?
A chef for 23 years and I’ve been with The Perth Clinic for 13 years.

Do you have a favourite quote or phrase?
Do what you do and do it well.

What is something interesting about you your colleagues don’t know?
My kitchen team know a lot about me, but all the other staff in the hospital might not know that I love rock ’n’ roll and live music in particular.

How do your friends describe you?
Laidback. One close friend said if I was any more laidback I would be dead. I don’t let too much worry me.

What do you do in your spare time/any hobbies?
I ride (cycle) to work every day. But I do truly enjoy cooking for my family and friends. I also get a lot of enjoyment out of coaching junior football.

Favourite meal you cook for family and friends?
Risotto is my go to dish, it’s something I know people like to eat.

What is something you want to achieve this year?
Personally I want to tick Uluru off the list of places I have been to.

On a professional level, it might sound clichéd, but I want to continue to do what we are doing. Change the menu, keep the food modern, and ensure that people are surprised and impressed when they have our food.

Why did you create a cookbook (Health Food Health Mind)?
All of our recipes were written down for the chefs to look at, and a lot of patients that came in asked for recipes. So I asked Moira about writing a book and we did. All of the money went to the Private Mental Health Consumer Care Network.

We have sold out, so a goal for this year could be to put out a second edition of the book. A lot of people still ask for it so we just need to update it.

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