New head chef appointed at Devon’s Michelin starred Treby Arms
The Michelin-starred Treby Arms in Sparkwell, Devon, has appointed Luke Fearon as head chef following the departure of Anton Piotrowski.
Luke, 28, was head-hunted by Anton to join the team at the Treby in June last year and has been working as a food development chef, helping to create and fine tune the menus which have won the Devon pub a whole host of awards, including County Dining Pub of the Year for Devon in the 2017 Good Pub Guide.
Luke, born and bred in Newton Abbot and a former pupil at Torquay Boys Grammar School, describes himself as a “career sous chef” and is delighted with his new challenge.
Though Anton has left the business, it is the Treby Arms, which retains the Michelin star not the chef, though he helped steer the quiet village pub into an award-winning food destination.
Luke’s no stranger to the role of head chef. He started as a kitchen assistant at a country pub but found himself taking charge when the pub’s owner and chef died suddenly. At 18 he was running a small team in the kitchen. “I was doing my apprenticeship while working as a head chef,” he said. He won several awards during his five years at the pub, including as one of the Top 50 Sunday Roasts in the country, an accolade shared with the likes of Gordon Ramsay.
Luke left to develop his skills at L’Amuse Bouche, a boutique hotel in the Midlands, before returning to Devon and the HH Restaurant near Exeter.
He then went to work at the Horn of Plenty, near Tavistock, with head chef Scott Paton. While they were in the kitchen together, the hotel and restaurant went from Three Stars to Four Stars and Two Rosettes to Three Rosettes. Scott is now at the Five Star Boringdon Hall Hotel near Plymouth.
Luke says that his ambition for The Treby Arms is “evolution, not revolution”. With the same team remaining in the kitchen and the award-winning front of house team, the performance will be consistent.
“It’s about making sure we maintain the same standard,” says Luke. “I want to look after the customers.”
Luke has had his personal mission statement printed on the menus. He added: “At The Treby Arms we aim to remain as British as possible without restricting our culinary boundaries. We will work closely with our habitat, the seasons and our expert suppliers to share our offering with you. We are just the middle men to world class ingredients.”
Fans of the food at the Treby will already be familiar with Luke’s cooking, such as his braised oxtail dish ‘A Little Warmer’ and his personal favourite – Stone bass cooked to perfection with sea vegetables, kohlrabi and Brixham crab. And he’s delighted with the simplest of dishes on the menu – cauliflower cheese. The secret? Mix a cauliflower puree into the Parmesan and Cheddar cheese sauce.
“I’m really happy to be able to express the way I feel about food with our great team,” he says. “Happy food and a happy environment.”