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James Payne, our talented Sous Chef, always knew his future lay in food.

At a young age, he worked at his local Italian, Pinocchio’s in Barnsley whilst studying at Barnsley Catering College, where he achieved his NVQ Level 3 in Cookery and NVQ Level 3 in Management.

As part of his work experience at college, James secured a position at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridge’s in London. He stayed there for 2 1/2 years including 18 months spent on the meat section.

In 2010, James was understandable ready to return to the countryside and Joined Fischer’s Baslow Hall as Chef de Partie. In 2011, he was over-the-moon to be promoted to Junior Sous Chef and then Sous Chef in 2013.

His favourite aspect of the job is collecting fresh vegetables, salads and herbs from the garden and learning techniques from Rupert and Max.

He would suggest anyone who enjoys cooking should try to grow their own vegetables. During the summer months, James grows potatoes, peas, radishes, beetroots, tomatoes and various salads.

His favourite piece of kitchen equipment are proper sharp knives!!

The latest with Rupert