Eddie Kilty has just joined The Ryebeck, Bowness, as head chef. He has made the move from being head chef at Inn on the Lake, Glenridding.

Essential ingredients:

Probably rock salt, because it’s a more natural seasoning that other salt. I’m more about seasonality though and balance of textures rather than sticking to certain ingredients all the time.

First kitchen worked in:

I worked at a place in Liverpool called Mustard Restaurant and Bar which was a modern English restaurant with a great reputation. I started there as a demi-chef de partie and worked up to chef de partie.

First dish prepared:

When I was a kid I used to love it when my mum made chilli con carne, so I learned how to do it as a youngster and used to add different things to it. At college we first had to make soup and then were on to main courses like pies, fillet steaks and other classics.

Signature dish:

I'm all about the flavour combinations, so my signatures are things that I've put on the new menu at The Ryebeck like rabbit terrine and langoustine. It might be something you wouldn't think of putting together but it's a play on surf and turf and it's been really popular. It's delicious.

Food philosophy:

Simplicity. I always try to use three to four ingredients in a dish and to balance them with different textures. Keeping things simple is the way food is going.

Biggest kitchen disaster:

This probably would have been when I worked at Inn on the Lake. We had a wedding for more than 100 people and the power supply completely went – we had no gas or electricity and had to get the BBQs and hog roasts out. Luckily the bride and groom didn’t mind, and they thought all the candles we had to put out were very romantic!

Favourite chef:

Marcus Wareing, because his philosophy on food is fantastic, and his dedication. I have always followed him even when he was working for Gordon Ramsay. He’s a true British chef who uses good British ingredients.

Biggest influence:

Probably the biggest inspiration for me was a chef called Phillip Occomore, who was executive chef on the Orient Express for nine years. He was the one who got me into fine dining when I first started out. After that I worked at quite big places and although I was very lucky, there was not always a lot of time for training so I was very self-taught.

Favourite meal:

I like a lot of comfort food like pizza and pasta. Hearty dishes like that are usually on the menu at home.