A celebrity chef based in Kent says he will be stepping away from his restaurant and pub empire for good citing "unresolvable differences" with his business partner.
Mark Sargeant, the former owner of the Folkestone restaurant Rocksalt and sister site The Little Rock, announced the decision today.
The Michelin starred chef opened the main eatery in the harbour just a stone’s throw away from his first fish and chip shop The Smokehouse.
But now after more than 10 years in the restaurant trade the 48-year-old has announced he will be stepping back from the business and a handful of other pubs in his portfolio, including The Duke William in Ickham, The Radnor Arms in Folkestone, The Woolpack at Warehorne, The Five Bells in East Brabourne and The Wife of Bath in Wye.
In a statement he said: "I would like to let you all know and with a heavy heart, that due to unresolvable differences of opinion between my business partner and I we both feel that it’s time to go our separate ways.
"I shall be moving on to pastures new but the businesses will all continue as normal.
"It’s been the most incredible 12 years building this mini empire and I am very sad to move on but the time has come for me to find a new challenge.
"Thanks for all the support over what has been the most amazing chapter of my life so far."
Mark starred in ITV's former flagship Saturday morning cookery show Saturday Cookbook alongside Nadia Sawalha.
He was born in Pembury and grew up in Larkfield, attending Oakwood Park Grammar School in Maidstone and Tonbridge College.
Before going it alone, Mark became the chef director of The Swan in West Malling and plied his trade at Michelin-starred Reads Restaurant in Faversham under head chef David Pitchford before making the move to London to eventually become Gordon Ramsay’s head chef at Claridge’s.
During his 12-year tenure with Gordon he appeared on his shows Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen and The F Word.