Meet the team behind The Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere

Kevin Tickle – Head Chef

Tickle is the man behind the stoves at Forest Side. Cumbrian born Kevin grew up on the county’s Irish Sea coast, where he enjoyed a rural childhood, exploring the countryside, hunting and fishing from an early age. Without question this upbringing is the underpinning of his intimate and deep seated knowledge of both the local landscape and the local environment. But ultimately it is this knowledge that plays a major part in his cooking, his awareness of his surroundings and consequently what grows where and when is just as important as his obvious skill in creating plates of food.

Tickle studied his craft at Kendal College as part of his apprenticeship with English Lakes Hotels, after which he took a job as a commis at the acclaimed Sharrow Bay Hotel, where he further honed his skills. After a period at Gilpin, Windermere, Tickle began working for Simon Rogan at L’Enclume, Cartmel, a hugely influential period in his life, which lasted for some eight years. During his time with Rogan, Kevin also took on the role of Head Forager for the acclaimed restaurant, a role which saw him spending increasing amounts of time in the Cumbrian landscape he loves hunting out edible plants for the acclaimed restaurant. It was at Rogan & Co that Tickle met hotelier Andrew Wildsmith. They got talking and the rest is history…

Now firmly ensconced in kitchen at Forest Side Kevin is in his element using a wealth of locally reared and farmed produce in his dishes. Alongside that he has 43 acres of woodland to play with, as well as the vast expanse of Cumbria’s coast and not forgetting the fells and valleys. Tickle also has a bit of ace up his sleeve in the form of a fully restored kitchen garden…