Harry Guy, junior sous chef at L'Enclume, Cartmel

Essential Ingredients

Working everyday in a kitchen, you come across lots of ingredients. The essential ones for me are salt, pepper, vinegar/lemon juice and butter. All can all be used for basic seasoning in dishes which is the most important thing. A plate of food can look stunning but it also has to taste good.

First Kitchen Worked In

The first kitchen I ever stepped foot into was The Woodhouse Hotel, in Princethorpe, Warwickshire, aged 14. The hotel had three different restaurants in it which all operated from one kitchen. It was a real eye opener to a professional kitchen and had a great reputation in the local area. It saddens me to say that the hotel has recently been knocked down.

The First Dish I Prepared

The first dish I prepared in a professional kitchen was breaded mushrooms. We used to pané them in house and serve them with a garlic mayonnaise and salad.

Signature Dish

I don't really have a signature dish yet but I enjoy butchery and using the cuts people tend to forget about.

Food Philosophy

In my opinion locally sourced seasonal fresh produce is key. We are lucky here at L'Enclume in having our own farm just down the road. We can see the ingredients grow from seed. In South Lakeland there are plenty of local suppliers with the same ethos as the restaurant who just want to provide us with the best produce.

Biggest Kitchen Disaster

My biggest kitchen disaster happened quite recently. I was slicing Jerusalem artichokes on a brand new mandolin for a puree. I must have taken my eye off the slicing for a second which resulted in me losing a good chunk of my index finger. A quick trip to Accident and Emergency and needless to say we had to throw all the artichokes away and start again.

My Favourite chef

My favourite chef is Thomas Keller. The French Laundry Cookbook of his was one of the first I ever bought and I still pick it up today and have a flick through.

My Biggest Influence

My biggest influence is Simon Haigh. Simon gave me my first ever job in a Michelin-starred kitchen at Mallory Court, in Warwickshire. I spent a lot of time there learning my craft and the trade. Simon was always encouraging and had a lot of time for his staff. Very knowledgeable, he wanted the best from his staff and gave great advice on any problems I came across. We are still in contact to this day and meet for a beer on regular occasions.

My favourite meal

I am a big fan of a pizza but also quite partial to my mother's Sunday roast.