Brakes customers to benefit from new alliance with award-winning chef Mark Sargeant

In an enterprising move designed to further strengthen its culture of collaboration and innovation, leading foodservice supplier Brakes has announced an alliance with multi award-winning chef Mark Sargeant.

Mark Sargeant - Brakes
from l-r, Raj Tugnait (Brakes Operating board director), Mark, and Adam Collett (Marketing director – Brakes Independent)

Founded in 1958 by three brothers from Kent and based on strong principles of innovating in food and service for caterers, the Brakes business has grown to supply 200,000 foodservice customers with 1.5m products every day across Europe. Understanding the needs of chefs is at the heart of everything Brakes offers, and the new partnership affords the opportunity to harness Sargeant’s passion for food and his flair for appealing to diners on all levels.

Announcing the alliance Raj Tugnait, Operating board director at Brakes, said: “Our business is built upon the principle of ‘for chefs, by chefs’ so we are all very excited about working with Mark and seeing how his approach to ‘great food kept simple’ will further improve our range and bring greater success for our foodservice customers. Over the last 12 months Brakes has been transforming its business by building four new state of the art multi temperature sites, strengthening its fresh offer with Fresh Direct, and enabling caterers to access the broadest range of ingredients 24/7, 365 days-a-year via a new fully priced transactional online site. Focusing on enhancing our food credentials by working with Mark is the next stage in this metamorphosis. At Brakes we are all chefs at heart and what we want to do, in conjunction with Mark, is ensure that food is at the very centre of our proposition.

“What attracted us to Mark in the first place is that he remains actively involved in the day-to-day running of his restaurants. As a result, he understands the challenges facing modern foodservice operators and, having achieved so much at such a young age, is a dynamic role model for aspiring chefs up and down the country.”

Sargeant – who was born in Kent – first came to prominence as a Sous Chef in the brigade that helped Restaurant Gordon Ramsay win three Michelin stars in the early nineties and was subsequently

rewarded with an appointment as Head Chef at the new Gordon Ramsay at Claridges in 2001. Here, he not only gained a Michelin star, but was also awarded the title of Chef of the Year. He opened his first restaurant, Rocksalt, in 2011.

Relishing this latest challenge, Sargeant says: “I’m blown away by what Brakes have to offer but, being a chef myself, what impressed me most of all was their obvious desire to make sure that chefs are at the heart of their business. My primary focus will be to make the food the centre of attention, inspiring chefs through innovation, quality, locality, sustainability and provenance – words which really mean something to them – and to help Brakes build an outstanding reputation in all of these areas.

“Rest assured I’m here to get my hands dirty, not just to act as a figurehead at product demonstrations and corporate events; I look forward to working with chefs at the sharp end and helping to shape their businesses going forward.”

About Brakes

The Brakes Group is a leading supplier to the foodservice sector in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden. The Group is committed to provide its customers with outstanding service, products and foodservice solutions, its people with a ‘great place to work’ and its suppliers with a great company to partner.

The Brakes Group comprises a family of specialist businesses which are able to deliver everything the caterer needs. It provides a professional, friendly regional service supported by a national network of depots, which ensures it offers an exceptional and individual service to each and every one of its customers.

Brakes Group is committed to reducing the environmental impact the business has on both the communities it serves and the countries it operates in. It has ISO 14001 accreditation – an internationally recognised standard for environmental performance.