Matthew Horsfall, head chef at Miller Howe Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere.

Essential Ingredients:

As a chef, the essential ingredients I could not possibly do without is salt, sherry vinegar, rapeseed oil and thickening agents ultratex and xanthan gum.

First kitchen worked in:

The first kitchen I worked in was Northcote Manor, Lancashire - a luxury country hotel in Langho with a Michelin-starred restaurant.

First dish I prepared:

The first dish I prepares was a risotto. When I started my apprenticeship at Northcote Manor under head chef Warwick Dodds, I and the other apprentices had a risotto competition every Friday to get consistency, textures and flavours perfect.

Signature dish:

My signature dish is scorched red prawn, homemade black pudding, spiced almond crumble, texture of mandarin and prawn cappuccino and finished with coriander cress.

Food philosophy:

Our food philosophy here at Miller Howe is simple food cooked well. We have a longstanding passion for seasonal produce with defined clean flavours that reflect all that is good about the ever changing seasons. Working in Cumbria offers everything we could ask for - an abundance of good quality local produce. We are lucky enough to have two acres of garden which enables us to get seasonal fruit and vegetables all year round. We also try to forage as much as possible.

Biggest kitchen disaster:

The biggest disaster I had was when the gas power cut in the middle of an 80-cover Saturday night service. We got through it with an outdoor barbecue, camping stoves, candlelight and a lot of stress, blood, sweat and tears!

My favourite chef:

It is impossible for me to pin this down to one, but some of my favourites are Daniel Humm of 11 Madison Park, New York, Brett Graham of The Ledbury, London, Tom Kitchen of The Kitchen, Edinburgh, and of course the legend that is Marco Pierre White.

My biggest influence:

It would be two chefs for me. One is Nigel Howarth of Northcote Manor who I will always be grateful to for my initial training and introduction to the industry. The second is Steven Smith of Freemasons at Wiswell - an amazingly talented chef who taught me so much while working through the ranks for which I will also always be grateful.

My favourite meal:

You really can’t beat a good steak and chips with pepper sauce. My first choice would always be ribeye as the fat gives such great flavour and texture. This would be accompanied by crispy triple cooked in duck fat chips. And then to finish it would be a classic lemon tart with a glazed top.