Dine & Drink
Meet our Head Chef – Marcus Van Luttmer
Where did your career as a Chef start?
I started cooking at home when I was young, but my first paid job was in a National Trust kitchen at Lanhydrock in Cornwall when I was 15 making splits and scones for the ever popular Cornish cream tea. My career has taken me all over Cornwall, and more recently to Edinburgh, but I have to say I’m very happy to be working now in the Lake District, and one of the most beautiful of English villages, Grasmere nestled in the fells surrounding it.
Is there a childhood comfort food that you think about?
Poverty pudding. I lived on a dairy farm as a child and poverty pudding was whipped cream and blackberries in the autumn.
What's your signature dish?
Who has only one dish? I love anything with fish, especially shellfish. It is always a pleasure to get hold of the freshest lobsters, scallops and mussels, and to prepare and cook them in the simplest manner, letting their natural flavours shine through. A prime example is a freshly shucked oyster, and scallops with crisp pancetta is another good example from our new menu.
If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
I’d have to say Bear Grylls. It would be great to go out with him to very wild places where isolated people have generations of knowledge about eating in their area. He could teach me a lot about foraging and catching other wild foods I have very little idea about. I might even learn how to light a fire without matches.
What was your biggest kitchen disaster?
As any chef will know, but not always tell you, there are too many to mention. Some really are disasters and others lead to exciting new spur of the moment dishes!
Do you have a particular chef that inspired you?
There are many celebrated chefs in the media, but for me it has to be a chef that has personally inspired me with his work. As a young chef working in Padstow, it was my head chef. Chef Heath was always passionate and meticulous in all aspects of the kitchen. He taught me a lot, but especially to treat each ingredient with respect, what to pair it with and the various ways to cook the said ingredient.
Discover Marcus’ passion for food first hand and browse our seasonal menus.