Paul Webster, head chef at the Brown Horse Inn, Winster, and soon to be at the Lyth Valley Inn - opening later this year

Essential ingredients

There are too many to include but good quality ingredients are a must. My essentials are probably Cornish sea salt flakes, lemon, quality olive oil and, of course, butter. Worcester sauce is also a very underrated essential.

First kitchen worked in

The first kitchen I worked in was in a restaurant in Cannes, South of France. At the age of 16 I went over to France as I had always wanted to cook there. This was inspired by holidays there as a child and loving the food so much. The first kitchen I worked in locally was the Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Windermere (formerly known as The Gilpin Lodge). Both kitchens were good to work in and they are both hard work! I gained a lot of knowledge from them in different ways, including speaking the languages.

First dish I prepared

The first dish I prepared was paupiettes of lemon sole with crab mousse, steamed langoustines and a classic sauce Véronique. It was a hard dish to get cook on time and get a perfect finished product.

Signature dish

For me I have different dishes for different seasons. However, a favourite of mine at the moment is Muncaster crab, green apple jelly with pink grapefruit and avocado. It's a lovely clean summer dish.

Food philosophy

Fresh, seasonal, local. What more is there?

Biggest kitchen disaster

I was head chef at The Miller Howe Hotel, Windermere, when a canopy caught fire mid-service on Christmas Eve. We had to call the local fire brigade to extinguish the fire and we did manage to finish the service - only with a delay. It wasn't the nest night!

My favourite chef

It's got to be my old bosses and mentors Marco Pierre White and Richard Neat. They are two of the most passionate, dedicated men I have had the pleasure to know and learn from. I spent two years with Marco at various restaurants, including the Titanic and Criterion Restaurants. I then spent a year with Richard Neat - the youngest chef to be given two Michelin stars at the age of 26 - at Le Pied D' Terre. Richard was also the first English chef to gain a star in France.

My biggest influence

Marco and, of course, the wife! It was my wife who told me to go to London and to prove myself. She is and always has been supportive.

My favourite meal

The best meal I have ever eaten was Pierre Koffmann's braised pigs trotter. It was absolutely unbelievable. At home, however, it's got to be ham, egg and chips with Colman's English mustard.