Ryan has the recipe for success with the best of Cumbria ingredients
Last updated at 10:21, Friday, 30 August 2013
Chef of the Year Ryan Blackburn will cook up a Cumbrian-inspired lunch as part of this year’s Taste Cumbria festival.
Ryan, 33, of the Cottage in the Wood, at Whinlatter Forest, will cook a six-course menu for 24 people at the restaurant on Saturday, September 28, from 12.30pm to 2pm.
He will use local ingredients such as Herdwick lamb, Solway shrimps, fruit and vegetables from Low Stanger Farm near Cockermouth, pork from Tony Creswell in Lorton and turbot from Richard Donnan in Whitehaven.
Ryan also hopes to use local wild mushrooms and a selection of herbs and berries from the nearby forest.
He will also carry out a demonstration in Cockermouth on Sunday, September 29, from 11am, when he will show the crowds how to prepare fish and shellfish.
Ryan, who was voted Cumbria Life Chef of the Year in January and is an ambassador for fish and shellfish, said: “The festival is vitally important because it brings attention to this part of Cumbria and often the north and the west are overlooked.
“Using local produce is something that drives me as a chef and inspires and motivates me. We have some very special food and fish in Cumbria.
“My food is inspired by Cumbria, by the people, the heritage and the history. There is always a story and reason behind my food.
“Like chef Rene Redzepi I think it is important to embrace the time and place in your food.
“As we are based in the forest I think it’s important to embrace the seasons and bring the landscape into the restaurant.”
He was born into a family of chefs. He trained under his father Philip Blackburn, who was a chef at the Blacksmiths Arms in Broughton-in-Furness.
His grandfather Ronnie Blackburn was a chef at the Middle Ruddings Hotel in Braithwaite, near Keswick, and his great-grandfather owned a pie shop in Blackburn, Lancashire.
He continued his training at Holbeck Ghyll in Windermere and with Martin Wisheart in Edinburgh.
He added: “My style of cooking is definitely more classical and because we’re based here in the forest I think it’s important to serve people hearty food using local produce which shows off Cumbria at its best.
“My tip to anyone wanting to cook a really good meal would be to keep it simple and don’t over complicate the dish. Use local suppliers and good quality ingredients. ”
The festival, which is in its fourth year, will feature a host of additional attractions and events.
Anyone wishing to book a place for the meal at Cottage in the Wood can contact the restaurant on 01768 778409.
More information can be found on the festival website www.tastecumbria.co.uk
First published at 10:15, Friday, 30 August 2013
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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