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Acorn winners 2017: Martin Frickel

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Acorn winners 2017: Martin Frickel

Sous chef, the Forest Side, Grasmere, part of Wildsmith Hotels

Nominated by Greg Stephenson, PR and marketing manager

Proudest moment “Launching the Forest Side with head chef Kevin Tickle and gaining a Michelin star, three AA rosettes and highest new entry in The Good Food Guide (number 37) all within eight months of opening.”

Greatest inspiration “Growing up in Cumbria – the wonderful Cumbrian landscape, producers, farmers and amazing produce.”

Ambition “Short-term, to progress at the Forest Side, making the experience we offer guests the best it can be, and to support our local producers in getting Cumbria – and Grasmere – on the culinary map.”

Martin Frickel’s passion for cooking great food using the ingredients of his native Cumbria shines through. Working alongside head chef Kevin Tickle, his drive for perfection saw the Forest Side achieve three AA rosettes on opening last year and its first Michelin star eight months later.

He has worked hard to get to this point so early in his career. Staying close to home, he honed his skills at the Castle Green hotel and L’Enclume before stepping up to the role of sous chef at the Wordsworth hotel aged just 21.

He has scooped a number of personal awards, ranging from Cumbria Tourism Chef Apprenticeship 2005-2007 to Gordon Ramsay Scholarship finalist and BBC Three Young Chef of the Year quarter finalist. More recently he was shortlisted as a Rising Star in the Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards 2017.

His quest to further his own knowledge and that of his colleagues is demonstrated by the regular supplier and producer visits he organises for the team. He also acts as an ambassador for those seeking a career in the industry. Initiatives include running a pop-up restaurant at Kendal College in 2015 as an alumnus to showcase local opportunities to students and to recruit for Forest Side. As a result, most of the brigade are ex-Kendal College students.

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