Oli Martin is the new head chef at Hipping Hall, Cowan Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale

Essential ingredients: Essential ingredients for me are different vinegars. I love acidity and have been getting involved in a lot of fermenting. I would also have to choose carrots and onions.

First kitchen worked in: The first kitchen I worked in was a place called the Chicory in Lytham, Lancashire. The food was very much fusion style which was great because it taught me a really wide skill set. I was cooking lots of different types of food and working with chefs from all over the world.

First dish prepared: This would have been at home when I first started cooking. I did the Christmas dinner starter for my family and there was about 25 people! I made vodka cured salmon with beetroot and a herb salad.

Signature dish: At the moment my signature dish would probably be the charred loin of pork with pig cheek, carrot juice, hazelnut, crackling, kohlrabi and chicory. It is on the new menu that I have created and it is going down really well. It is made with such lovely pork that we get from Yorkshire.

Food philosophy: I believe you should let the flavours speak for themselves. At Hipping we buy good produce and don’t muck around with it, because you don’t have to.

Biggest kitchen disaster: There isn’t a particularly memorable one but I would just say all the times that things have broken, like freezers and ovens. Every piece of equipment that is in the kitchen is there because we use it, so when something doesn’t work or goes missing it can be a hardship.

Favourite chef: The award-winning Grant Achatz. He has done so much for the industry. I read his autobiography and he is someone that should be looked up to. He is so clever in the way he does his work and is just an inspiration to other chefs.

Biggest influence: My biggest influence is Steve Shepherd, who was the head chef at the Chicory in Lytham. He was the person who sent me off to work in France for a year, and the one who pushed me on to other things. He obviously saw the potential I had as a youngster and even now I still look up to him and go to him to ask advice about the industry.

Favourite meal: I quite like spicy food because it is not something we really do much here. So for me it would be anything Indian style, and I really enjoy a vindaloo now and again as a treat.