Cumbria Crack

New Head Chef at Oak Bank Hotel’s The Dining Room

Matt Clarke

[M]att Clarke became Head Chef of The Dining Room at Grasmere’s Oak Bank Hotel on 1st March 2018. Matt was previously Sous Chef there in 2016 and early 2017 before departing to further his experience at The Punchbowl Inn at Crosthwaite.

He returned a year later as Head Chef. Matt also worked as part of the brigade at The Talbot at Malton where the then Head Chef and Sous Chef now head up their own 3 AA Rosette awarded restaurants.

Simon Wood, Owner of Oak Bank Hotel & The Dining Room said: “It’s fantastic that Matt chose to return to us as Head Chef, we have held and retained 2 AA Rosettes and a Michelin Plate award since 2010, our 2018 AA Inspection was overnight, Tuesday – Wednesday this week and Matt has now been awarded his first 2 AA Rosettes in his own right, just 7 Weeks into his first Head Chef Job!

“He has impressed us and diners alike with his menu which has dishes like, chicken terrine, asparagus, blue meat radish; halibut, confit potato, artichoke, monks beard, brown butter hollandaise and Matt’s chocolate orange, there are also some classic dishes on it like whole roasted plaice and dry aged Sirloin.”


The Dining Room at Oak Bank was put firmly on the map when Darren Comish’s food was reviewed by the Observer’s food critic and this year’s Cumbria Food and Drink Awards Host Jay Rayner. Simon Wood went on to say “We have always offered good food, now we have changed the format from a set choice menu to a choice menu were the diner can choose one course or their own personal tasting menu! Whatever dish you choose the ingredients are pure quality treated with respect by Matt and his team. He’s certainly raised the bar since his return and will definitely put his cooking on the Cumbria Food Map.”

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