STANLEY House Hotel and Spa has announced the promotion of Jon Riding as head chef of the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Jon takes over the stoves from Andrew Parker who has joined Ryan Giggs’ new Worsley eaterie, Georges Dining Room and Bar, as head chef.

And Jon, 34, who has worked at Stanley House for three and a half years as sous chef has already hinted that he’d like to take The Grill On The Hill restaurant to rosette status. “It would be a great personal achievement,” he says.

Located in Mellor, the restaurant has served celebrity guests Colin Firth, Helen Bonham Carter and Ryan Giggs. It has also been awarded Visit England’s ‘Highest Quality Assured’ quality mark.

Prior to joining Stanley House, Jon, from Preston, enjoyed a sous chef position at Nigel Haworth’s Michelin-starred Northcote Manor at Langho before gaining experience at one of Australia’s renowned coastal restaurants in Apollo Bay.

In his first few weeks in the new role, Jon has worked with executive head chef Steve Williams on new menus which focus on quality, locally-sourced produce.

He was also tasked with catering for Michelin-starred chef and TV favourite Jean-Christophe Novelli who hosted a recent Stanley House’s Ladies Who Lunch event. Jon married his wife Julie at Stanley House three years’ ago, and the couple have a baby son, Harrison. He says: “It’s been an incredible few weeks, especially being congratulated by someone of Jean-Christophe’s calibre.

Jon learned to cook at an early age. “My family wasn’t a cooking family, so I learned how to do bolognese and broths from the age of 12. I used to enjoy Keith Floyd and Ken Hom on TV.”

These days he admires Paul Liebrandt, chef-owner of Corton in New York, and the recipient of two Michelin stars and three from the New York Times.

Jon created his first menu, a copy of which he still treasures, at the age of 17 while working at the Barton Grange Hotel. He says: “It was very simple food, hotpot and the like, but I kept the menu for posterity.”

Jon’s signature dish is Pan-Seared Scallops with Pig’s Trotter and Caramelised Cauliflower Puree with Golden Sultana and Caper dressing But, on his Sundays off, his favourite meal is poached eggs and crumpets with cheese and tomatoes. He says: “I love it nicely glazed and bubbly from under the grill. You can’t beat it.”

Here’s a dish popular with guests at Stanley House: Braised Breast of Lamb, Goats’ Cheese Mash and Tomato Fondue For the fondue; 8 tomatoes – deseeded and roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced 1 onion – slice 8 basil leaves – rough chopped 1 tbsp tomato puree Salt and pepper Olive oil For the lamb; 2 breasts of lamb – trimmed of excess fat, rolled, tied and cut in half (your butcher could do this) Fresh chicken stock – (can be store bought) Mirepoix (a mixture of chopped celery, onions, and carrots) – cooked until golden 1 sprig of rosemary – chopped Black olives – pitted and chopped For the mashed potato; 6 large Maris piper/King Edward potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks 100g butter 100g goats cheese Whipping cream Method Seal the four pieces of lamb in a pan until golden.

Place into a casserole with the stock, mirepoix and rosemary, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. (approx 2 hours) Bring the potatoes to the boil in seasoned water. When soft, drain well, mash and add the butter and cream until creamy but still firm.

Add the goats cheese (it should melt and slacken the mash) season and keep warm In a thick bottomed pan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sweat without colour until soft.

Add the tomatoes and the puree, season, and cook slowly until soft. Add the basil and leave to infuse. Keep warm Drain off the braising liquor and reduce to a sauce consistency. Season if necessary To serve, place the mashed potatoes into a piping bag and pipe onto a bowl or plate. Spoon the fondue next to it and place the lamb on top of the fondue Pour the sauce around, sprinkle with the olives and serve immediately.