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New kid


on the block

Meet MARK CAMPBELL, sous chef of Yammo, on Walcot Street in Bath

When did you begin in the kitchen? I started cooking from a very young age, helping to prepare family meals, but I began professionally about seven years ago.

Fondest foodie memories from my childhood?

When I was a child I would stay at my grandparents, and I would help my grandfather with his vegetable patch in the back garden. I especially remember getting to dig for the potatoes – that was fun!

What inspired you to do the job professionally? My inspiration for cooking was growing up around fresh food. Coming from a big family there were always family gatherings with plenty of tasty food about, and I wanted to learn how to make it.

Where might we know you from? I previously worked for Charlie and Amanda at the King William Pub and Dining Rooms on London Road. I was the sous chef there.

How would you describe your cooking? Simple, fun and tasty.

Any old pizza won’t do for Mark; he likes his the Yammo way, with San Marzano tomatoes...

What attracted you to Yammo? It was the chance to work on a completely fresh, new idea that Bath had never had before. The produce we’re using is great, and the whole team are really passionate about great food. The opportunity was too good to turn down.

How have you approached the menu at the restaurant? We are sticking true to the Neapolitan style of food. This is really important, because everything about Yammo is authentic. The food is truly unlike the Italian food that we usually see in Britain. We mix this ethos with some of the best local suppliers and ingredients, and the result is amazing.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career so far? Probably when I was a commis chef; it was hard taking in all the information that was thrown at me. Working in this trade is tough, and you need to have a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn.

What are your favourite ingredients? Beetroot, as they are delicious and very versatile. Squashes are great too – there are so many varieties, and we have fun using them in Neapolitan food. ‘Zucca’ is very popular in Naples; it’s a really nice light dish of simply steamed squash, which is puréed then mixed with virgin olive oil and Parmesan – so simple, but so delicious!

Do you grow anything yourself? I live in a flat, but I’ve got a window box with my favourite herbs in.

What do you like to cook at home? Like the Neapolitans, I love fish and I like to cook simple dishes like tuna steaks or salmon with roasted vegetables, or a tasty lasagne. I can’t wait to start working on a fish menu at Yammo!

What piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? At the moment it’s the pizza paddle. You can’t really carry a pizza with your hands!

What, and where, was the best meal you’ve eaten? The pizzas at Yammo are great! Neapolitan pizza is not the same as your average American-style pizza; the dough is light and airy, and the San Marzano tomatoes are incredible.

Where do you like to eat out in Bath and Bristol? I like Allium and Yak Yeti Yak. I don’t get a chance to go to Bristol much but, if I did, I would like to go to Bell’s Diner, as I hear it’s very nice.


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