During his early years in Burbank, California, Mark Allen developed a natural passion for cooking through his father, an enthusiastic home chef, and grandfather, chef/owner of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Mark began his training in a professional kitchen as Garde Manger at Concordís Colonial Inn. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Mark honed his skills working at a number of top restaurants, including Inn at The Opera in San Francisco, Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands and Mary Elaineís, a Mobil five-star restaurant under Chef Alessandro Stratta at The Phoenician Resort in Arizona. After returning to his California roots for a prestigious stage at The French Laundry, Mark opened his eponymous Mark Allen Restaurant at the age of 28. Located in Napa Valley wine country, the Mediterranean restaurant drew a following from throughout Northern California, including the Dining Room Chef at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. When Mark learned from his regular chef guest that a coveted position had opened at the hotelís Boston outpost, he headed back east to follow this exciting new opportunity. In 1996, Mark became the youngest and only American chef ever to hold the position of Dining Room Chef at Bostonís venerable Ritz-Carlton. He helmed all kitchen and special event operations there until the hotel closed in 2001. After hanging up his toque at the Ritz, Mark pursued another solo venture, opening Le Soir Bistro in Newton Highlands in December of that year. A mere 7 miles from downtown Boston, Le Soir brought fine dining to the suburbs and attracted city dwellers for Markís high-end French country cuisine. The restaurant was quickly embraced by the local food community, garnered local & national acclaim and put Mark on the map as one of Bostonís most promising young chefs. With six successful years under his belt, Mark sold Le Soir in 2007 and joined the culinary team at Pine Brook Country Club in Weston as Executive Chef. This position gave Mark the opportunity to expand his scale of service as he oversaw high-volume food operations for the venueís two restaurants, two snack bars and all special events & member functions.