This year Desai represented his region in the prestigious and oh-so-scary Great British Menu for the first time. He did The Lakes and himself proud, offering up his signature globe-trotting creations; the likes of which you can try for yourself at his Michelin-starred spot in The Gilpin.
Grant's Oak Smoked
For more than 30 years Grants has been winning taste and innovation awards across the globe. Their signature rope-hung smoked salmon is handpicked from the Atlantic and smoked for three days using wood chips from Scottish whisky barrels. Each fish is then individually hand-sliced, representing a true return to local tradition.
Eva's famous apple juice won two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2018. But, aside from the juice, she offers local organic fruit and vegetable boxes that are crammed full of produce grown right here in Cumbria. And all using organic methods that are designed to protect the planet.
Fell Brewery, Flookburgh
This modern beer brewers from rural South Cumbria describe themselves as 'Small, Independent and Proud'. Their nomination as finalists in the Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards Drink Producer category is an acknowledgment of the passion and skill that goes into the making of their ales.
The fillet of beef at Lakeland Dexter in Askham is officially one of the finest things that you can eat in the whole of the Lakes. This is according to the in-the-know people over at Cumbria Life who nominated it for Product of the Year. They farm one of the UK’s oldest rare cattle breeds oustide on the Lake District fells. They say: "Our cows live a happy life in a happy place and that comes through in the quality of our meat".
Beerwolf Bottle Shop, Ulverston
A trip to this beer specialist bottle shop is worth it to check out the labels on the cans and bottles alone. Like record collecting for music heads, craft beers have their own allure for those who love to nerd out on the details. Keep abreast of their Twitter feed for all of the new varieties coming in each week.
As their website explains, "Guernsey is one of the few places in the world that can boast the fact that every oyster consumed in the Bailiwick has been reared in the Bailiwick". And so Guernsey Oysters are a truly local business - their hatchery is just around the corner in Bordeaux and the oysters are then laid on the local farm. There could be no fresher or better way to consume an oyster.
Tom Barnes of Rogan and Co
Simon Rogan is the legend who transformed the village of Cartmel with L'Enclume and his other enterprises. But he couldn't have made it all happen without a team who could live up to his standards. Tom Barnes was previously the Head Chef at L'Enclume and he has now taken over the more relaxed sister restaurant, Rogan and Co. Here he's been allowed to make his own mark and do something that feels all his own.
Nick Edgar at The Ryebeck
This ambitious young chef earned his stripes under the watchful eye of Raymond Blanc over at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison. Since then he earned his very own Michelin star at Lakes favourite, The Samling. He is now cooking precisely the sort of food that he wants to cook as Head Chef at The Ryebeck. Awards are bound to await.
Yew Tree Farm Heritage Meats
The leg of Herdwick Hogget was one of just three products to win the full three gold stars at last year's Great Taste Awards. Sheep farmer Caroline Watson is passionate about saving the Lake District's distinctive Herdwick sheep. She does this from her farm in the mountains north of Coniston Water which was once owned by Beatrix Potter.