In just five years, an Ambleside man has journeyed from kitchen assistant to head chef.

Matt Jones, 31, recently took over as the senior culinary leader at Blue Smoke, situated in Low Wood Bay, Windermere.

Jones joined English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in 2018 and quickly advanced in varied roles that included chef de partie and junior sous chef.

Prior to his venture into the hotel group, Jones had roots in security and hospitality.

However, his affinity lay with the latter.

Spotting the opportunity at Low Wood Bay, Jones decided to transform his career path.

Matt found himself fascinated with the restaurant's double wood-fired grill, getting more involved in traditional cooking techniques over hot embers.

He was fortunate to receive in-house training and mentoring from senior chefs and managers at the hotel group.

Matt said: "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. β€œWhen 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 expressed his delight in watching Jones' development since his induction into the food and beverage team at Low Wood Bay.

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

β€œHe'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."

For those interested in exploring career prospects at English Lakes Hotels, more information can be found on the website at https://englishlakes.co.uk/jobs/