Essential ingredients: I think lemon juice and vinegars are essential for unlocking extra flavours and balancing a dish.

I’ve also recently started using rape seed oil from Yorkshire which tastes great and it is also really versatile.

We use it for dressing salads, with fish and even in desserts! It has a wonderful floral character and is a great alternative to olive oil.

First kitchen: I started my career as a fresh faced commis at Huka Lodge in Taupo, New Zealand.

We served a seven course tasting menu which changed daily. This meant I got a lot of exposure to different ingredients and it taught me a lot about what makes a good dish.

After a couple of years I was trusted to cook any fish that our guests had caught.

I loved that connection with the customer and the desire to provide such a high level of personal service has stayed with me ever since.

First dish: The first dish I could truly call my own was one that I presented as a college student at the National Culinary Fare in New Zealand.

It was a red wine poached beef fillet with Yorkshire pudding, piperade vegetables and poached quail egg. I came third!

Signature dish: I don’t really have a signature dish as such. I like to keep my menus fluid and changing with the seasons and trends.

Having said that, pork belly and pig’s cheeks are never far from my menu.

Food philosophy: As a chef you have always got to put flavour first and, like all chefs nowadays, using fresh and seasonal, regional ingredients comes as standard.

Kitchen disaster: We have never had any serious issues that we have not been able to overcome. The odd powercut has presented a challenge or two.

Favourite chef: My favourite chef at the moment is Phil Howard from the Square in London. Everything he cooks is so precise and he never sacrifices flavour for style.

Biggest influence: We are lucky at Hipping Hall to get ingredients from some amazingly passionate local suppliers.

It is hard not to be inspired and influenced by people who have commited their lives to growing great quality produce and this just pushes us on to create great plates of food.

Favourite meal: I think I’m getting close to creating the perfect burger. I get to practise regularly on the staff at Hipping Hall!