A FORMER MasterChef contestant opened his newest eatery in Ambleside yesterday (Wednesday).

Chef Ryan Blackburn, of the Old Stamp House Restaurant in Ambleside, is the man behind Kysty.

Offering a relaxed daytime menu and serving both eat in and takeaway treats, the Cheapside based establishment aims to serve the best local fare, focusing on flavour and Cumbrian provenance.

‘Kysty’ itself is a word from Cumbrian dialect meaning ‘fussy’ and Ryan is hoping to please even the fussiest customers with his selection of soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes.

Ryan has teamed up with his wife, Gemma on this project and the pair want to make Kysty

family friendly – with a menu aimed specifically at 'kysty' kids, and even some activities to keep them occupied while their parents relax.

"As a chef I am excited about opening Kysty," said Ryan, who appeared on BBC Two's MasterChef: The Professionals last year.

"After the last ten years of working in fine dining it's great to be able to offer a more casual and family-friendly dining experience.

Before launching the Old Stamp House Restaurant, Ryan worked in positions at both Holbeck Ghyll and at the Cottage in the Wood at Whinlatter.

"We hope to engage a whole new set of customers with our ultra-local cooking ethos," he said.

Gemma will also be using her environmental knowledge to ensure the sustainability of the business.

Takeaway coffee cups will be biodegradable, single-use plastic will be minimised and discounts will be offered to those using re-usable cups.

They will also be working closely with local suppliers to ensure sourcing is as ethical and environmentally sound as possible.

Kendal College alumni, Andrew Postlethwaite, formerly sous chef at the Three Hares in Sedbergh will be heading up the kitchen team at Kysty.

The Kysty team is working with Growing Well, a farm-based mental health charity near Kendal, to source their salads and soup veggies.

Growing Well provide a supportive working environment to nurture mental health recovery, as well as producing vegetables in the heart of Cumbria.

Coffee will be sourced from a Coniston based roastery, Red Bank Coffee Roasters.