Revelations: Kevin Tickle, chef patron, Heft, Newton-in-Carmel, Cumbria

28 July 2023
Revelations: Kevin Tickle, chef patron, Heft, Newton-in-Carmel, Cumbria

We delve into the life and inner thoughts of a top chef. This week: Kevin Tickle, chef patron, Heft, Newton-in-Carmel, Cumbria

What was your best subject at school?

I quite liked geography as it goes

What was your first job in catering?

I did a few shifts in a local pub in Foxfield as a pot wash

What do you do to relax?

Go fishing for pike, go shooting – especially grey squirrels – and spend as much time with my family as I can

Which is your favourite restaurant?

I've eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world, but I haven't enjoyed it as much as celebrating a massive life moment with a simple portion of fish and chips in great company

What's your favourite hotel?

Sharrow Bay in Ullswater, Cumbria, a stunning location

Which ingredient do you love the most?

Mushrooms, I can't get enough of them. If I had to choose one variety it would have to be the humble Cumbrian cep

What flavour combinations do you love?

I enjoy cooking with ingredients that are truly seasonal, no matter how extravagant or humble. It'll be another year before you get to taste them again and that makes all the difference to me

What do you always carry with you?

My foraging gear and my walking boots are always in the car boot. And there's usually a fishing rod in there too, just in case

Which person in catering have you or do you most admire?

Probably Simon Rogan. He started from scratch without a huge budget and look where that restaurant is now

Which person has given you the greatest inspiration in your career so far?

My dad, he is what you'd call a proper grafter. Nothing phases him, he just gets on with it

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Mick Brown, pike fishing legend

If you hadn't gone into catering, where else would you have done?

A fireman or an electrician

What's your favourite film?

The original Watership Down

What would you change about the industry?

Make sure that junior chefs put the time in before they get promoted. Young chefs just want to get to the top and don't get that you've got to work bloody hard to reap the rewards

What is your favourite prepared product?

I'm a big fan of M&S pasta sauces

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