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New Head Chef Climbs High On Career Ladder

A hospitality professional from Ambleside has landed his first role as a head chef, having started his career as a kitchen assistant just five years ago.

31-year-old Matt Jones is the new chef in charge of the kitchen team at Blue Smoke at Low Wood Bay in Windermere. He joined English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in 2018 and rapidly worked his way up the catering team in a variety of different roles including chef de partie and junior sous chef.

Before joining the hotel group, Matt had worked in security and hospitality before deciding that it was the latter in which he wanted to forge a career. He saw the job advertised at Low Wood Bay and decided to take the plunge.

Matt developed an affinity for helping to run the kitchen and was fascinated by the restaurant’s double wood-fired grill, sensing the opportunity to get more and more involved in traditional cooking techniques over hot embers and innovative flavours in meats, fish and vegetables.

With a combination of in-house training and mentoring from senior chefs and managers at the hotel group, Matt took on greater responsibilities and worked his way up the kitchen hierarchy.

Matt says:

"Blue Smoke is a great place to work, especially as I have a real taste for the type of barbecue and wood smoked steak and meat dishes we serve here. It suits me right down to the ground."

“When I joined the team here, I wanted to do well, but the main reason for my progression is really down to a strong team working environment, with plenty of development support and, importantly, a real sense of fun."

Mark Needham from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues adds:

"It's been great to follow Matt's progress since he joined the food and beverage team at Low Wood Bay five years ago.

“He's always been willing to take on new challenges and be proactive within the team and that approach naturally lends itself to leadership roles. When the head chef position became vacant, it was an obvious choice to promote Matt into the role."


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