When I was 13, my dad needed a kitchen porter for a weekend at his pub, so I offer to help out and before I knew it, after three months, I was doing cold starters and salads, from there on, I fell in love with cooking and the chef life.
Classic flavours with modern techniques and an element of surprise for the guests, using local and seasonal ingredients, taste is key, and presentation is clean and crisp.
I don’t have one favourite product, I just love using locally and seasonal products, I get excited when the wild garlic season starts, or I get a phone call from my suppliers to say they have the first of the English asparagus, local game, forage mushrooms. In Cumbria, I am very lucky to have such great products available, which allows us to keep our food miles down and reduce our carbon footprint.
I would say my signature is taking the products that are best at the time and using them in as many different ways as I can to give customers the ‘wow’ factor and not over-complicating things, for example, cheese, onion and kale.
I believe that as a head chef in today’s kitchen, we have to show the chefs working under us that it is important to enjoy what we are doing and encourage them to learn and try new things, I like to give my chefs a chance to develop their own dishes and I help to work it into our menu and ethos.
For a perfect Yorkshire Pudding mix equal amounts of eggs, plain flour and milk a day before, heat trays with oil for 10 min at 200° C then fill dishes with mix, bake for 35mins at 190° C and you will have perfect yorkies every time.