Nick Martin

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!”  

Nick 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.  

Nick 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.

Find out more about Nick Martin at www.nickofthyme.co.uk

“Grasmere Gingerbread is utterly unique, a delicious and authentic culinary symbol of the Lake District

Nick Martin

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