NEW VIDEO: “I always wished that I got into the industry a little bit younger”

The Staff Canteen

In the vibrant heart of Kentish Town sits Half Cut Market and its exceptionally talented head chef Jack Newton.

Offering a wide range of superb wines, artisanal food and deli items, as well as an eclectic range of European recipes and small plates, Half Cut Market has quickly built a loyal following amongst north Londoners.

Leading Half Cut Market’s culinary offering is Jack Newton, a young chef with an impressive culinary journey that spans Dublin's renowned Hen's Teeth, and the city’s fresh pasta haven Host.

Jack brings a wealth of experience and a distinct touch to the eclectic and delightful menu of this North London gem.

“Since we’ve started, we’ve gone a much more dinner focused than just being a bottle shop,” Jack explained. He added: “We’ve moved from doing small plates to doing larger dinner settings, so in that respect the business has changed a lot in the last four or five months.”

Who is Jack Newton?

Hailing from County Kildare, Jack is a 30-year-old chef who has already embarked on a fascinating career, which initially saw him study graphic design at London's UAL.

“Before Half Cut Market, I initially studied graphic design in London. In the last couple of years, I moved back to Dublin and it was only when I moved back to Dublin that I started working in kitchens,” Jack explained.

Jack’s passion for culinary arts led him back to Dublin in 2018, where he took on a chef role with the popular Brother Hubbard cafe/restaurant group, before joining Hen's Teeth in Blackpitts, where he was appointed as the launch head chef in the summer of 2019.

“I was working as a Head Chef at Hen’s Teeth in Dublin for two years and I think that was my main job where I loved the creative aspect of cooking, making recipes, and just generally changing menus and having that creative freedom.”

Over the next two years, Jack’s culinary prowess continued to shine, captivating the palates of Dubliners at Hen's Teeth, before he ventured into the world of fresh pasta at Host in late 2021.

“Over there I was working in a restaurant called Host where I found my love for Italian cooking, which is why we’ve shifted to that over here at Half Cut Market.”

Not content to be confined, Jack spread his culinary wings, freelancing at esteemed establishments like Bread41 and Note Wine Bar in Dublin, as well as showcasing his skills across Europe.

As head chef, Jack promises a menu that is not only diverse but a reflection of his personal culinary preferences.

“My cooking style primarily would have been more Szechuan Chinese food, a lot of Asian in general, but I think from that there is a lot to go from so with us doing Italian food now making all the pasta and noodles. I think there’s a big correlation between the two and we will incorporate Italian food and Szechuan together,” Jack explained.

Revealing his inspirations, Jack revealed “Getting into cooking, Leila Gohar would be one of the main people who really made me want to go into kitchens. I love how she mixes design elements and cooking into one because I find that really beautiful.”

What is Half Cut Market?

Founded in late 2021 by four North London friends with extensive hospitality backgrounds, Half Cut Market is more than just a restaurant; it's a neighbourhood hub for those who appreciate exceptional food and drink.

With a prime location on 396 York Way, the establishment is a unique blend of Camden and Islington, offering a distinct dining experience.

Half Cut Market's ethos revolves around a commitment to serving premium low-intervention natural wines, the finest craft beers, and delectable seasonal dishes.

The introduction of Jack Newton as head chef aligns seamlessly with this vision, promising a symphony of flavours that will undoubtedly elevate the culinary landscape of Kentish Town.

As Jack Newton takes the reins of Half Cut Market's menu, diners can anticipate not only a feast for the senses but a celebration of culinary innovation.

Jack's solidifies Half Cut Market's reputation as a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable dining experience in North London.

European Recipes, Pasta Dishes, and Classic British flavours

Described as eclectic and delicious, Half Cut Market’s menu is set to tantalise taste buds with a fusion of flavours, featuring standout dishes like XL surf & turf gilda, kimchi devilled eggs, and crispy hen on the woods with tajin and lime.

Diners visiting Half Cut can expect brilliant pasta dishes such as Jack’s Crab Cappellacci, as well as his take on a Bread and Butter pudding, made with croissants, gruyere, and black winter truffle.

Crab Cappellacci
by Jack Newton

Explaining the inspiration behind his menu, Jack credits his time working at Host, where he became fully immersed in Italian cuisine.

“Working in Host gave me more of a love for Italian food that I didn’t really have before. I think the technical side of Italian cooking is what I find really interesting,” Jack described.

He added: “Since we started doing pasta it’s been received really well so I think that will be a good avenue to continue on with.”

Discussing the importance of seasonality and his favourite British ingredients, Jack revealed his obsession for British cheeses.

“I really like to keep everything seasonal. I’m really loving British cheddars at the moment, I really like those sharp, harsh, strong flavours so I love to incorporate anything like in my cooking,” he said.

“The best way of learning is to just be in a kitchen”

Following a successful opening and constant development, Half Cut Market’s aims for the future are simple; continue developing Half Cut Market’s menu, grow the team, and continue to build buzz amongst North London punters.

Discussing these aims in more details Jack revealed: “At the moment, we’re really getting a push on numbers and people coming in, so we’re just looking to grow the team, grow the menu, and getting to a place where we’re busy every night and we can change the menu daily, and just having an opportunity to really grow with a great team behind us.”

Reflecting on Half Cut Market’s success and how the industry is changing, Jack explained how new businesses were embracing a relaxation of formalities with regards to restaurant culture and how it’s opened the door for new chefs from different backgrounds.

Commenting on how food and drink has become more intertwined with other creative industries, Jack explained: “I don’t think we have to be as stuffy anymore, I like the idea of doing pop-ups in places, and stages, and getting creative with how we mix the industries together.”

Despite having some regrets about not getting in hospitality sooner, Jack shared his advice to young chefs, arguing that building experience in the kitchen and working with experienced individuals is the best practice for those looking to succeed.

“The best way of learning is to just be in a kitchen. Having someone above you that you trust and want to take anything that they’re trying to teach you is the way to go, so I think you should just put your head down and do the work,” he added.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th December 2023

NEW VIDEO: “I always wished that I got into the industry a little bit younger”