Meet our lake district chef
Jaid Smallman


BAHA is known for its legendary umami flavours and vibrant dishes.
Especially with regards to Pacific Rim street food. And this lockdown, we’ve been busy getting to know the man behind the scenes who brings those Umami and rich flavours to our menu.
Below, our Exec Chef Jaid Smallman, shares his foodie favourites and his take on our menu!

Read below to hear his thoughts.


Jaid Smallman
Exec Chef, BAHA
Find on Instagram @chefjaid

Jaids TOP 5 foodie favourites as a lake district chef


What is your favourite dish
on our menu?

There are some great dishes on the menu, but my firm favourite currently is a new dish being introduced; Gaeng Phed Ped Yeng, which is Roast Duck with Thai Red Curry, Lychee, Bamboo, Pineapple & Coconut.

It’s absolutely delicious in my opinion.

What’s 1 thing you love to cook
on a BBQ or robata? 

I think the robata is great for cooking steaks, as it is really hot and develops extra layers of flavour that are difficult to achieve otherwise. Charred vegetables are great too because you gain surface caramelisation whilst retaining freshness.


What kind of food do your kids love
for you to cook for them at home?

My daughter has grown up with me introducing all kinds of unusual foods to her.
I think something that stood out for her over the years was a Crab Croquette recipe that I developed some years ago.


If you could visit one place in the
Pacific Rim, where would it be?

I’d actually like to go to Hong Kong as a kind of pilgrimage to the source of the traditional martial arts style that I study.
From a foodie perspective, I’d love to go to Thailand as I love the aromatic & spicy types of foods from this region.


What’s your favourite kind of
takeaway/comfort food? 

 I do like all kinds of foods that are available and I do try to mix it up.
However, I do tend to revert to Indian more often than anything else.

My guilty pleasure is Lamb Naga with Naan bread; it’s a curry that is so hot that it’s actually difficult to eat but I think that it also floods the brain with endorphins, so in a kind of masochistic way, I keep revisiting the experience!

We asked Jaid some…

Food-related Fun Facts

What’s one cuisine you would love to try that you haven’t yet tried?

What’s one cuisine you would love to try that you haven’t yet tried?

“Some of the top end Nordic cuisine looks like it would be absolutely stunning! “
If you were on, come dine with me, what meal would you cook for your guests?

If you were on, come dine with me, what meal would you cook for your guests?

“I’d probably choose a really simple menu based on good produce and clear flavours whilst focusing on being a good host and enjoying the meal myself.”
Who are your favourite TV Chefs & why?

Who are your favourite TV Chefs & why?

“Dave Myers & Si King, otherwise known as “The Hairy Bikers”. I love their down to earth, Simple and honest cooking style which focuses on really great flavours and making the most of dishes that we all familiar with”
What are your favourite tips to make any food taste better?

What are your favourite tips to make any food taste better?

“Make sure that you taste your cooking as often as possible at different cooking stages.
Don’t blindly follow a recipe; read it through very carefully so that you understand as much of the process as possible, then cook your own version of it!”
If you could invite one person to be for dinner, who would it be?

If you could invite one person to be for dinner, who would it be?

“My mum!
May lockdown end and the world return to normal soon.”

Jaid’s Outstanding Background

“I actually started cooking bits and pieces at quite a young age. Both of my Grandmothers were amazing, natural cooks and food was always a core aspect of family life. The first recipe I followed was actually devised by one of my grandmothers. It was Egg nest, which comprised of a savoury meringue on toast with the yolk baked into the centre as if it were in a nest. I would have been around six years old.


I didn’t know that I would come into the industry. I had been studying various media subjects when I took a summer job as a kitchen porter in a busy family-run restaurant. The food there was simple but really fresh and the chefs were really inspiring. That, and my competitive nature; I wanted to do what they did and even do it better! It took a long time and a lot of really hard work, but I exceeded my own aspirations in the end by working at Michelin star level.


 One of the main attractions of the industry was the potential to be able to travel with my work. Another draw was that I was confident that if I worked hard I would be able to build a successful career for myself.

While the latter part of this came true, rather than travelling I settled down in Cumbria and raised my daughter, who is now eighteen years old. I consider myself lucky to be able to live and work in such a beautiful part of the country.


I initially trained in the South, before spending two decades around the Lake District as a chef in high-end hotels, including the Samling, Holbeck Ghyll, Gilpin Lodge and The Wordsworth Hotel. I’ve spent a couple of years at The Castle Green Hotel and The Wordsworth Hotel.

I was the Head chef at the Wordsworth Hotel for nearly ten years; where I developed massively as a chef, a manager and as a person.


My career saw my recipes published in various regional cookbooks, and I’ve also developed dishes to support the Wild Oceans Sustainable Seafood Project. I’ve also worked to develop a signature Restaurant to gain a coveted AA rosette for culinary excellence.”



We love Jaid’s passion for authentically produced seasonal produce shines through in his menus, and we know you will too!

So if you’re looking to tingle your tastebuds with food from across the Pacific Rim, why not book a table and join us!

We would love to have youClick below to book online

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