Hayfield pub chef is in the running for parliamentary prize

A self-taught High Peak pub chef has been nominated for a prestigious national award by the area's MP Ruth George.

Monday, 6th November 2017, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:00 pm
Luke Payne, of The Pack Horse in Hayfield. Photo: Alexander Bedwell.

Luke Payne, who plies his trade at The Pack Horse in Hayfield, has been put forward for the 2017/18 Young Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year award.

The 24-year-old said: “To receive Ruth’s nomination for this award is mind-blowing. It’s been a whirlwind 15 months restoring The Pack Horse to the heart of its community here in Hayfield, as well as developing and evolving a menu that highlights the great produce the Peak District has to offer.

“Being self-taught has put me on a trajectory that’s so separate from the traditional chef, it’s been impossible for me to gauge my own ability.

“I imagine my technique will have a lot of chefs tearing their hair out.

“But this nomination shows me that anything is possible with hard work, passion and dedication. I’m over the moon.”

Luke now joins a host of chefs up and down the country to compete for the accolade of Pub Chef of the Year from the two categories: Pub Chef and Young Pub Chef of the Year.

Entrants will be judged by an expert panel who will shortlist contenders for the cook-off, where they will display their skills to organisers, the British Beer and Pub Association, as well as judges from sponsors Nestlé Professional, the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and acclaimed TV guest chef presenter and former Michelin star holder, Paul Merrett.

Mrs George said: “Luke has gone from pot washing to head chef in two years and then business owner in three, he is just 24-years-old.

“He is self-taught based on a passion for food, his menu is seasonal and changed each day. Food ethics, seasonality and sustainability are guiding principles.

“A back-to-basics, nose to tail approach to cooking and all the better for that.”