Bootle-born chef Nick Martin
discovered Grasmere Gingerbread on his first visit to the village in 1980.
“I had just started work as a kitchen porter at the Red Lion and taking
a stroll around the village one afternoon I stumbled across the Grasmere
Gingerbread Shop. I was knocked out by its charm and when I tasted Sarah
Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread I thought I was in heaven!”
with Grasmere Gingerbread's Andrew Hunter.
Ironically, fellow trainee
chef Phil Vickery was learning his craft in a nearby hotel, at the same
time although the two never actually met. However, they share a love of
our Grasmere Gingerbread which Nick describes as “utterly unique, a
delicious and authentic culinary symbol of the Lake District”.
After settling in Cumbria,
Nick trained at several establishments before moving to the controversial
Glass House in Ambleside. “This was the start of a celebrity
rollercoaster ride as the restaurant was all over the media. Every
newspaper, magazine and TV company seemed to want to know what we were up
to,” he remembers. Soon, Nick was rubbing shoulders with leading chefs
from the kitchens of Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White and he started
to host cookery demonstrations alongside the likes of Lesley Waters, Brian
Turner, Ross Burden, Nick Nairn and Jamie Oliver.
with Keith Floyd.
Now freelance, Nick, who is
married with three children, has promoted Cumbrian and northwest
foodstuffs in Italy, cooked and demonstrated at every festival in the
north of England, worked with Keith Floyd - “a legend and true
artist!” - and Jean-Christophe Novelli as well as Paul Rankin and
Anthony Worral Thompson on UK Living’s The People’s Cookbook, is a
regular guest on BBC Radio Cumbria, writes for the Westmorland Gazette, is
a Made in Cumbria food champion and has fought for the protected status of
Cumberland Sausage. He also teaches at Kendal College and cooks at
Lucy’s Cookery School in Staveley, at the Swan in Grasmere, Leeming
House, Ullswater and the Old England in Bowness. “I’m lucky to have
worked with the stars of the food world and met some fantastic people but
I’m only 43 and I don’t think I’ve learned nearly half of what I
will learn, as a person, professional and a chef,” he says.
more about Nick Martin at www.nickofthyme.co.uk
Gingerbread is utterly unique, a delicious
and authentic culinary symbol of the Lake District”