Chef Patron Ryan Blackburn is Cumbrian through and through, he is the third generation of his family to work in the Cumbrian hospitality industry, and it’s abundantly clear from his menus that he is a passionate advocate of the county’s produce.
Ryan gets much of his inspiration from the fells, lakes and woods of Cumbria, with Herdwick something of a speciality, but he has also sought inspiration from Cumbria’s coast. With more than a nod to the role the port of Whitehaven previously played in bringing spices, rum, sugar and molasses into the UK.
Ingredients, which found their way into many of the region’s speciality dishes, which over the years Ryan has reinterpreted and updated with his own innovative take.
During his career he has previously manned the stoves in acclaimed establishments such as Restaurant Martin Wishart and as the Head Chef at Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter Forest, receiving a stellar review from esteemed food critic Jay Rayner.
But since 2014, this talented chef has been running his own restaurant, The Old Stamp House, Ambleside, where he keenly promotes local produce and Cumbria’s rich food heritage.
In July 2018, Ryan opened his neighbourhood eatery Kysty, also in Ambleside, offering a relaxed more informal style of menu, serving up dishes inspired by the fresh local produce available to him, focusing on flavour and Cumbrian provenance.
Over the years Ryan has garnered many plaudits; including Cumbria Life Chef of the Year, and more recently, in October 2019, when Ryan and his team were awarded their first Michelin Star at flagship restaurant The Old Stamp House.