Top 50 Gastropubs

Kevin Tickle

Hefted to Cumbria to celebrate its great produce

What got you into cooking?

My first job at a local pub in Foxfield. I used to bike 6 miles across the mosses when I was 14 and I fell in love with a hustle and bustle of the kitchen environment 

Why did you choose the gastropub route?

We wanted something local to us and we looked at a few different styles of property until we stumbled across where we are now. We fell in love with the building, we loved that it sat at the heart of the community and we loved that there was a restaurant tucked away at the back of a lively bar area.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

I love cooking, I love being in the kitchen and the buzz of it all. I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of person who sits in an office.

Where’s your favourite place to eat in the UK?

We love to eat in some chilled-out places where we can take the kids, we love Wolf & Us in Silverdale and Method in Kendal for brunch. For something really special, it would have to be Moor Hall in Aughton but that’s definitely not with the children!

Who’s your biggest influence?

Influence is obviously everchanging and evolving but one of the most significant chapters of my career was in Cartmel. I worked alongside Mark Birchall and Simon Rogan for a decade at l’enclume and I learned so much from my time there.

What does being a Top 50 Gastropub mean to you?

It’s always amazing to be recognised for anything that you put so much effort into but it’s especially nice for our team to see their hard work paying off.

What advice would you give to an aspiring chef?

Get stuck into any job and work hard, accept that you’re going to be doing the crap jobs for a while yet but take what you can from them. You’re going to make mistakes, probably quite a lot, but make them whilst you’re young and learn from them.

Best country for food?

Scandinavian countries are doing some fantastic things, Copenhagen is an amazing place in particular from small bakeries right up to the Michelin restaurants. That said, nowhere is as good as home so I’m going to say the UK!

Tea of Coffee?

Coffee all day long but then probably a beer after work

What do you think the future holds for Gastropubs?

I think gastropubs are one of the original hustles in hospitality. Our industry is up against it at the moment but I think that people are doing their own thing, diversifying, pushing harder and collaborating. It’s going to be a hard couple of years but I can’t see a place where you can get some good food and quality beer ever going out of style, at least not around here!

Key dishes/cooking style:

Modern Cumbrian with Scandinavian influence