Essential ingredients: I enjoy using local, good quality produce. I always try to use produce that is in season to get the best taste and flavour.

First kitchen worked in: My first full time position was at The Mullion Cole Hotel, Cornwall, as a commis chef.

Signature dish: I enjoy cooking many dishes and feel that I have many signature dishes but the two that come to mind are; monkfish tail wrapped in parma ham, pea puree and a sweet potato fondant; and grilled Stornaway black pudding, crispy fried poached egg, hollandaise sauce, crispy pancetta and fried bread fingers.

Food philosophy: My take on food is that you can always keep learning and that you must have the desire to continue bettering yourself. I also think you should keep looking for new ideas, a new balance of flavours and look to wow your customers with the dishes produced.

Customers are now looking for dishes that they would not normally make themselves. These days there’s a good range and variety of produce available to them in the shop, which allows them to be more adventurous at home, so the level we need to achieve has now been raised.

Biggest kitchen disaster: I would say my biggest disaster was when I was working on HMS Belfast in London. We were hosting a dinner for the takeover of Gardner Merchant by Sodexo, which was accompanied by Gordon Ramsay.

On that particular afternoon the gangway to access HMS Belfast decided to collapse, giving us no access on or off the ship. We had to move the venue to Madame Tussauds.

All the food had to be moved by boat and then by road to the museum. Working with Gordon Ramsay was an experience and all went well in the end – he would not have anything else!

My favourite chef: Many chefs have inspired me over the years but Michel Roux still ranks as one of my favourites. He still works with traditional methods and recipes, as well as looking at modern ways of cooking.

My biggest influence: During my career of 36 years, I’ve worked in all types of catering hospitality from hotels, contract catering, teaching in colleges, being a chef in the royal air force, to catering in royal and state functions in London.

All of these have influenced me to always push my boundaries and raise my expectations. They have all influenced the way I work and the way I have trained other chefs.

The sense of achievement is fantastic when you’ve trained someone up and realise that you have helped someone to achieve something - and hopefully inspired them to better things.

My favourite meal: As a chef, having a favourite meal is really quite difficult as we cook so many different things. I particularly enjoy most fish - that’s if it is cooked correctly - accompanied with well-seasoned vegetables and sauces. Lamb would be my favourite meat - with no bones and always served pink.