The Mobile Food Guide observes that The Neptune makes ‘proper use of the region’s produce – especially seafood – for a repertoire of sharp contemporary dishes’, like Brancaster lobster salad.
Yet, Mangeolles isn’t a one-trick pony or a chef trapped in nostalgia or one stuck frying fish all day – as he told the Lynn News, ‘We always want to evolve and make it better.’ He says his Pacojet revolutionised his kitchen when he bought it, and cites his fondness for adorning rustic, inexpensive cuts of meat with foie gras as a signature technique.
Mangeolles started cooking as a teenager, serving an apprenticeship at Leeds’s Dragonara Hotel (now the Hilton Leeds) in the early 80s. After a brief stint as Chef Poissonière under his mentor chef Pierre Koffman at London’s famed two Michelin-starred La Tante Claire, he accepted a job as 2nd chef at the now defunct Michael’s Nook Hotel in Grasmere in 1989. He was promoted to head chef only a year-and-a-half later, winning 3 AA rosettes.
In 1995, though, he moved on to The George Hotel on the Isle of Wight where he settled in for 12 years, winning and holding his first Michelin star and another three AA rosettes. He and his wife Jacki (who manages his restaurants) decided to move to Norfolk in 2007, buying and overhauling Norfolk’s The Neptune Inn and Restaurant. The Neptune won Mangeolles a further three AA rosettes in 2007 and his second Michelin star in 2008.