Interviews

James Cross, Lake Road Kitchen

Photo by Mike Poloway

We talk to the head chef at the Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside.

What inspired you to become a chef?
Greed. I love to eat delicious things.

What would you be doing if you weren't a chef?
I think I'd probably be a horticulturalist. The two careers are quite closely linked, and it was something I had strongly considered before I became a chef.

At the end of a long day, what do you like to cook?
Fish tacos with the tail ends of skrei cod and turbot.

What's your favourite junk food?
Really good shawarma. Hard to find in Cumbria.

What is the vital ingredient for a successful kitchen?
Fearlessness.

Who is the most interesting person you have cooked for?
Definitely René Redzepi at Noma project nights. It's an enlightening experience having to explain the minutiae of how and why your dish has come to be. He makes you challenge yourself and how you approach what you do.

Which chef do you most admire at the moment?
Matt Orlando at Amass in Copenhagen. He's changing the boundaries of what a restaurant can be. His restaurant is much more than kitchen, garden and dining room.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Soto, New York. The only restaurant I've eaten in two nights in a row. Amazing urchin preparations and the best tempura I've had.

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