Duncan John Wilson, partner and head chef at The Pheasant Inn, Casterton

Essential Ingredients

I think that getting the seasoning right is essential so salt and pepper are a must to bring out the flavour. Ingredients for every individual dish are very different but as long as you get the balance right it can be perfect. And if you get it wrong it can be disastrous.

First kitchen worked in

The first kitchen I worked in was the Porthole Eating House, in Bowness, where I was washing pots for the beloved Giani and Judy Burton. It was Giani and Judy who encouraged and inspired my love and passion for cooking and of course becoming a chef.

First dish I prepared

The first dish I prepared was one of my mother's 80s dinner party recipes. It was chicken breast in a white wine and pink peppercorn sauce with new potatoes and vegetables. In fact I still make it to this day and I now make it for my own boys.

Signature dish

My favourite and most talked about dish is a locally sourced roast saddle of venison, braised shoulder, shallot puree and dauphinoise potatoes, served with seasonal vegetables and damson jus. It is pretty hard to beat!

Food philosophy

My philosophy is to take the time to prepare everything from scratch and create dishes with the freshest ingredients that are well balanced and full of flavour.

My favourite chef

My favourite chef is Albert Roux, of the famous Roux family dynasty which includes those renowned names such as Michel, Michel Jnr and Alain. French-born Albert Roux is still an inspiration to this day and his recipes have a great influence on me, even in my day to day working life.

Biggest kitchen disaster

My biggest kitchen disaster was when I was working with Albert Roux at the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam. I was making his signature dish of baked horseradish cream sauce. I was lifting the pan off the stove when the handle fell off! He said: "We will have to start again boy."

My biggest influence

My biggest influence is my mother's love of good food and hosting dinner parties. Similarly, and on a serious note, it was Albert Roux who showed me the dedication that a chef has to have.

My favourite meal

I would have to say my favourite meal would have to be anything braised - be it beef or lamb - with lots of root vegetables. It's nothing fancy but just good old, honest and hearty food - or anything my wife chooses to cook for me!