Garry Fothergill, head chef at The King's Head, Ravenstonedale, which he runs with his wife and front of house manager Bev.

Essential ingredients = It may be boring I know, but it has got to be salt and pepper every time. Too much or too little seasoning can be the maker or breaker of any dish so it is important to get it spot on.

First kitchen worked in = The first kitchen I worked in was my local pub in Ormside, near Appleby. When I was just 15 years old I started helping out in the kitchen. My time in there inspired me to train to be a chef. The owner there even bought me my first set of knives when I started at Carlisle College.

First dish I prepared = The first dish I prepared was most probably a lasagne. This was when I first started cooking in Ormside's village pub and I remember they were pretty good lasagnes!

Signature dish = To be honest I don’t really have a signature dish. I have worked in various styles of restaurants from Leeming House on Ullswater with two Rosettes to The King's Head in Ravenstonedale today. However, I believe that your menu and dishes have to reflect the venue you are in.

Food philosophy = My food philosophy is that you should always make everything the best you can with no short cuts! In the pub everything is freshly made from good quality ingredients. We only have one freezer and that is for ice cream.

Biggest kitchen disaster = My biggest kitchen disaster was during a wedding. We were just finishing off dessert for 150 wedding guests when the fire alarm went off and the whole hotel had to be evacuated. Dessert was ruined and we had to start again when we were allowed back into the building. It was a member of staff cooking a chicken dinner in the staff block who had set the alarms off!

My favourite chef = At the moment it would be celebrity and two Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge – a successful competitor on the BBC's Great British Menu. He really is taking pub food to the next level.

My biggest influence = I can’t possibly name just one. I have learned something different from every chef I have worked with during my career as a chef.

My favourite meal = My favourite meal really depends on what mood I’m in. I love to eat out. Going somewhere special like Simon Rogan's L’Enclume, Cartmel, where every dish gives you food for thought is great, but equally you can’t beat a traditional roast beef dinner – especially if someone else is cooking it!