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Issue 91 - Harris quality

Whisky Magazine Issue 91
October 2010


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Harris quality

Mark Harris is an important name in the restaurant world, and he's using that as a platform to promote whisky, too. Dominic Roskrow reports

sk Mark Harris what he does for a living and he may well hesitate a little before answering.

In fact he is involved in three businesses and to a lesser or greater extent, whisky straddles all of them. Not only that, he's operating at the top end of business and at just 34 years old, he's definitely firmly parked in the ‘ones to watch' category.

Harris spends his time between his London base and The Cotswolds and is a busy man, his days long and full. But he's man with a clear sense of purpose and one of his objectives is to help bring whisky to a new audience.

Harris' interest stems from when he worked for The Capitol Hotel in Knightsbridge London.

“The head barman at the time David Thompson used to take me to Milroys in Soho where I would spend my weekly tips on a bottle of whisky. The whiskies were so expertly recommended that the shop manger would later become my mentor in all things whisky.

“My time at The Capitol was fascinating. David introduced me to many of the characters in the whisky business. When I started started at The Capitol there were only eight malts. When I left, there were more than 40.

“Owner David Levin said that if I managed to sell a bottle of Royal Lochnagar Select Reserve at £24 a shot 16 years ago then The Capitol would drastically increase its stock of whisky and I sold it.” Harris moved to Green's the Mayfair restaurant owned by Simon Parker Bowles. During one planning meeting the owner suggested they make one side of the bar more...

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