Chef Patron Ryan Blackburn
Ryan 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.
His dishes reference the rich cultural contribution that Cumbria’s farmers and seafarers have made over the generations to its unique cuisine. There is no arguing that Herdwick in all its forms is something of a speciality, but Ryan has also sought inspiration from Cumbria’s often forgotten coastline, recognising the role that the historic ports of Whitehaven and Maryport played in bringing a world of flavour to these shores.
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 everything that makes him tick, locally reared and grown produce and Cumbria’s rich food heritage.
In July 2018, Ryan opened The Old Stamp House’s sister neighbourhood eatery Kysty, Ambleside, offering a relaxed more informal style of menu, serving inspired dishes focused on flavour and local provenance.
Over the years Ryan has garnered many plaudits; including Cumbria Life Chef of the Year 2015, and more recently, in October 2019, when Ryan and his team were awarded their first Michelin Star at flagship restaurant The Old Stamp House.