In April last year Brighton couple Alex and Mark Wadsworth started holding dinner parties for their friends in Brighton…. Just small social gatherings with good food and great people. However, what started off as just a few get-togethers turned in to many.
This is their unique story of how hard work and dedication can turn something small and intimate in to ‘a must go to event’
In 2010, Mark who had a love of good food and cooking had already come to the decision that creating amazing food was his passion and one night after a stressful day at work and a discussion with his wife applied to 100 of the best restaurants throughout the country.
The Latimar at Penny Hill Park, responded immediately and he took an apprenticeship there learning new and creative cooking skills “It was hard work and being away from my family was tough but I learnt so much and my passion for food only increased”.
Having lived in Brighton all their lives, in 2012 after their daughter Molly was born and Alex had decided to leave her job as Virgin Atlantic cabin crew, they decided to uproot and leave their beloved hometown to move to Kent, where they started to run their family pub, The Woolpack Hotel in Tenterden, where Mark worked as the Head Chef.
However the draw of Brighton and their friends eventually beckoned them back, (yes, this town has a habit in doing that!). So in 2013 they returned with their little girl and Alex being pregnant with a little boy… Bertie.
Getting back to Brighton life (Mark now working at the Ginger Man) they decided to get their friends together for some good grub and conversation. Rather than just sticking to four of five guests they asked their good friend James Watts if they could borrow one of his houses for an evening (Beatnik Central), which held a huge dining table to gather their crowd together. The dinner party consisting of dozens of courses was a huge success. “We and everyone there had such a good night, it sort of created a bit of a buzz”.
Mark moved on to work as the Head chef at The Crab Tree, while Alex continued her full time job as Mum and settling them back into Brighton life. This whole time friends were texting, Facebook messaging and calling to ask when they might be having a culinary meet-up again, offering to pay towards the food or help in any way. ..and so the one off nights sporadically continued.
At the end of last year after the success of these one off evenings were spreading by word of mouth, and after seats becoming a competitive want and running out of space for their friends, they realised that people were wanting something different to a regular restaurant atmosphere and decided to try a business of POP up restaurants, outside catering and private dining…..MAW was created.
I have been lucky enough to attend two of these nights so far (I shall be going back), and can honestly say that the only places I have tried food this good is in some of London’s top restaurants. Usually a menu of six or more courses, Mark’s use of seasonal products (he is a big fan of game) produce some of the most creative mixes I have tried. It’s a cross between Heston Blumenthal (Mark’s pork crackling takes four days to make and is like a taste explosion in your mouth) and the Spanish trio of chefs The Roca brothers.
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