Essential Ingredients: Definitely salt and pepper. In my opinion seasoning is key to turning a good dish into a great dish.

First Kitchen worked in: At 15 I had a Saturday job as a kitchen porter at the New House Country Hotel in Cardiff. In those days the chefs would just finish the cooking and leave the kitchen porter to scrub the whole kitchen top to bottom so they could go home. It was hard work but I stuck to it and eventually worked my way up to the junior sous chef position.

First dish I prepared: Probably making curry with my dad at seven years old - mesmerised by the exotic spices and scents. I still have his old Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking which has some of the best Indian dishes I have ever had.

Signature Dish: I guess it varies with the seasons. At the moment going into autumn it would have to be venison loin, fondant potatoes, parsnip puree and blackberry sauce.

Food Philosophy: Keep it simple! It’s all about the ingredients. If you have beautifull, seasonal, fresh ingredients there is no need to complicate things. I lived and worked in London for a very long time and although you have some wonderful suppliers and shops, being in the Lake District and having all this amazing produce on your doorstep is a dream come true.

My favourite chef: With no doubt Mark Hix. His food is exciting and always faithfull to seasonality. His two books - British Seasonal Food and British Regional Food - take centre place in my library.

Biggest kitchen disaster: When I was working at the New House Country Hotel we used to do a lot of weddings and there was one in particular that I will never forget. They were having a wedding cake delivered to the hotel the night before the wedding which I put in the dry store room, only to discover a few hours before it was supposed to be served that it was an ice cream cake. There was a very angry bride and I almost lost my job!

My biggest influence: My son George. He is only seven years old but his approach to food his amazing. Since he was a baby he has always loved food from all over the world. He is renowned in our family for creating the best food themed nights. On his fifth birthday me and his mum asked him where he would like to go for a special birthday meal and he said he wanted to go to a posh French restaurant and eat snails. So we did!

My favourite meal: Depends on my mood but today I could murder a proper roast rib of beef with all the trimmings, Yorkshire puddings, goose fat roasties and lashings of gravy followed by an old school pudding like a steamed marmalade pudd, swimming in homemade custard.