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.
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.”