A CARLISLE outdoor cook and mental health speaker has been spicing up the Cumbrian landscape.

Harrison Ward, known as ‘Fell Foodie’ on his popular Instagram page, was introduced to a variety of cooking by his grandma.

Despite having never trained, it has become a mainstay of his life with skills being honed during many years working in the hospitality sector, studying cookbooks, and practising at home.

“I’m always pushing the boundaries, attempting something that seems impossible to do in the outdoors on minimal equipment,” Harrison said, “One of the best compliments I receive is that people ‘couldn’t cook like that in their own kitchen’. That, for me, is half the joy.”

Because Harrison had learned the delicacies of certain cuisines, he was able to share this lifelong passion with an equally important love — The Cumbrian Fells.

He said: “I had a new craving for a life outdoors. It seemed only natural to take this love out on to the hills, too.

“Ancestrally we cooked outdoors over fire. Gradually, over time, this has become more refined.”

Harrison started by taking extravagant lunches out on hikes until one day someone suggested that he take a stove and cook from scratch. He said: “I fell in love with it instantly and began to gain a small following.

“Some of the more technical dishes I have constructed in the outdoors include shallow-fried feta fritters, poached eggs with freshly prepared hollandaise, handcut chips and even a loaf of bread and a cake from scratch.

“Prior to June, 2016, this lifestyle couldn’t have even been imagined,” he said.

Harrison has been a sufferer of depression since puberty, at its worst, bringing intentions of suicide.

At age 18, Harrison worked behind a bar where he discovered alcohol. “It gave my mind an escape, a sedation,” he said, “By 20, I was consuming 20 pints a day and had taken up smoking. Life continued in this unmanageable way until I came to terms with the fact that I had become an alcoholic and vowed to change.”

Since then Harrison has been sober for more than five years and shares his story with others. “These days I continue to share in the hope my past struggles can aid another.”