A talented Head Chef is the key to any successful pub. Not only do they create inventive menus and specials according to the season, using fresh locally sourced ingredients, they also are an inspiration for junior chefs who are learning new techniques, starting out in their careers and developing a passion for cooking.
We’re delighted to introduce you to our Head Chef, Luke, who stepped up to the role in March this year. Luke is an incredibly talented chef with a passion for experimenting with different ingredients and is known for his attention to detail and presentation.
We thought you might like to learn a bit more about Luke and where this passion was sparked… So grab a cuppa (or glass of vino) and carry on reading.
What was your dream job when you were growing up?
I really wanted to join the Army and be a sniper with the special forces. I joined as an Infantry Soldier with the Royal Anglians in 2005 at 16 years old, before changing careers and pursuing becoming a chef.
Was food always a part of your life as a child or something you grew to love?
I didn’t really have a big interest in food until I met my wife who is a real foodie and loves quality, fine dining. I also started working in a hotel as a Kitchen Porter, washing dishes, helping prep ingredients. This is where I then started to pay more interest in food. My passion grew from there and I haven’t looked back since!
Tell us a little bit about your background…
I was inspired to climb the ranks in the kitchen after a Head Chef at the hotel I worked at saw my potential and asked me to work the breakfast shift. It was arguably the most important shift of the day as it was very busy with corporates staying, so it was very important to make a great impression.
I was then promoted to Chef de Partie and worked under some incredibly talented chefs, where I learned a lot and worked at some high-demand hotels through agency work, expanding my knowledge of the industry.
Who is your favourite celebrity chef and why are they your favourite?
I have to say Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing… Both are exceptionally talented chefs who strive for the best with fresh, local ingredients. This is exactly how I aspire to be as a chef.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with, and why?
I don’t really have a particular ingredient I enjoy cooking with, I just enjoy cooking in general and experimenting putting different flavours together.
Do you have a top tip that you share with people in the kitchen?
Always focus on attention to detail/finesse, be the best you can be and always take pride in your cooking whatever dish you are making.
If you could cook for any person of your choice, who would it be?
Again, it would be Gordon Ramsay. I would love to hear his feedback and also, he’s Gordon Ramsay!!
What’s your favourite thing about British Pubs?
My favourite things about British pubs is the atmosphere you feel when in one; that homely feel! I love when pub food is hearty and comforting but freshly made and with a modern twist.
What are you most looking forward to while heading up the kitchen team at The Red Lion?
I really want to make a mark as the Head Chef. Firstly, making the menus my own but also teaching the skills I have learned to our junior chefs, just starting out in their careers. I want to get them involved with ideas for dishes on the specials board, to ignite passion in them and help them become Head Chefs in the future too.
When you’re not in the kitchen, do you have any hobbies/hidden talents?
I love baking with my children, it’s great to see them get involved with cooking and loving food. I also enjoy playing snooker. Even though I’m not that good…
Now that you know a bit more about Luke, come and try his delicious dishes for yourself. Book your table here.