Meet the Chef - Daniel Laycock, Peak Edge Hotel
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 April 2014
Daniel Laycock is head chef at the Peak Edge Hotel at Stonedge, near Chesterfield. The hotel's renowned Red Lion Bar & Bistro has earned a wealth of awards in recent years. Daniel talks about his experiences in the food industry and his hopes for 2014...
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My first job was at Bovey Castle in Devon. I then worked at a number of AA rosette awarded and Michelin starred establishments in the area, including Michael Caines at Abode. I worked for Gordon Ramsay at Claridges in London, followed by a job at the Cavendish Hotel in Baslow, where I was sous chef for three years. I was then sous chef at East Lodge in Rowsley until November 2012.
Has anyone been an inspiration to you?
My first head chef had spent a number of years working for Marco Pierre White and taught me the basics of cooking from when I was 15 to 17 years old. I really enjoyed working for him because of how interested he was in teaching the apprentices, and also because of the support network at the hotel for young chefs there. It’s great to be around other people who are interested in food, cooking and what other chefs are doing.
Do you have a favourite celebrity chef?
Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House in Cambridge. I really like his style and how he is modernising classic dishes, which is something that we really like to try and do at the Peak Edge.
What is your signature dish?
We don’t have a signature dish as such, but we do have a signature style that is very season-led and is all about the ingredients. We take the best ingredients when they are bang in season and treat them with respect. We don’t do too much to alter the natural flavour and texture, so the presentation of the food looks after itself.
What has been your best dining experience?
Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. I enjoyed the whole experience as a customer from start to finish.
What are your hopes for 2014?
To continue to improve on what we’re already doing. We have a fantastic team who are committed to the Peak Edge being as good as it possibly can be. If we pick up awards whilst we are doing what we love then that’s great. Last year was a really good year in terms of accolades, so I want to keep pushing forwards to achieve what I came here to do!