Matt Adamson, head chef at The Plough at Lupton - the flagship of The Cricketer’s Inns.
Essential ingredients I love using lemons in my cooking. It adds a bitterness to the flavour which is unmistakable and great at setting off other aspects of the dish.
First kitchen worked in I first started working in Salutation in Ambleside when I was 15 as a commis chef. It was a great place to learn as we were serving great quality pub food in a competitive location.
First dish I prepared There were a lot of plates I prepared as I was exploring my passion for food growing up, but the first dish that came up to my own exacting standards was a sticky toffee pudding - and being a local lad this seems quite fitting!
Signature dish People always ask me whether I have a favourite or signature dish and the honest answer is that I don’t: I like to keep my menus fresh and enjoy constantly taking The Plough to new areas of culinary delight! At the moment I’m really working to perfect my twin bone rack of lamb with fondant potato, tender stem broccoli, baby carrots and rosemary jus (pictured). I love lamb and it may be an expensive meat but it is so worth it when you cook it to perfection and team it with just the right accompaniments.
Food philosophy Consistency and quality. Everyone that comes into The Plough knows that they can expect a great pub meal. I also believe in having a great atmosphere among my chefs. A happy kitchen means happy food.
Biggest kitchen disaster I’m lucky that my biggest kitchen disaster is more funny than disastrous - now that I look back on it. I was making shortbread for the first time and misread the recipe by a factor of ten. Needless to say the staff were more than happy to help me use up the 500 biscuits I’d baked!
My favourite chef I know we don’t hear too much from him anymore but my favourite chef is Gary Rhodes. I find his recipes and cooking style epitomise and embrace simple and classic flavours just as I like to do in my cooking.
My biggest influence Both professionally and personally my biggest influence is undoubtedly my family. They inspire me to constantly assess my goals and how I will achieve them and no matter how great a day I’ve had at work, I always look forward to seeing my family at the end of it.
My favourite meal I have just got back from a fantastic two week break in Gran Canaria and although I don’t really have a favourite dish I have to say there are few things better in life than a fantastic paella and an ice cold beer sat looking out to sea. My idea of heaven.