Stephen Walker is Executive head chef at the Mole Resort in North Devon

What is your earliest food memory?

Growing up, my dad was a general manager of a hotel in Cornwall. When I was eight, I learned to make prawn cocktail sauce and I remember that we used to have the biggest ice cream sundaes I have ever seen!

Who's your food hero, a chef who's inspired you?

Nico Ladenis, the first chef to gain three Michelin stars. I was lucky to eat at Chez Nico when he was still there nearly 15 years ago. I still remember the veal sweetbreads and the cheese trolley. His food was so clean and simple and still stands true now.

A memorable cooking experience?

I have to say every great service I have had with the teams I have worked with, when it is busy and buzzing and it just moves like a dance – it’s brilliant, there is no better buzz.

Your favourite dish on the current menu?

I love the home-smoked salmon that we make here at The Mole Resort. We cure and cold smoke it here on site and the end product is just stunning.

A favourite dining out spot in Devon?

The Duck at Yeoford. Sarah and James who run it are amazing, it’s like going to family and the food is stunning and so is the pub itself - a true Devon Food destination.

How would you describe your approach to food?

Keep it simple, don’t overcomplicate and enjoy what you put on a plate. If you like it, then generally your customers will too because the love of what you do shines through.

What do you love most about Devon?

What is not to love? The peace and quiet, amazing scenery and brilliant produce. Why go anywhere else?

A down-time/go-to meal you like to cook/eat at home?

It’s got to be a great roast with my family! My kids are older teenagers and we don’t get to spend much time together, so Sunday is usually the only day we sit round a table, and we all love a really good roast dinner!