Les Wassall, Executive Head Chef
Born and bred in nearby Congleton, Les not only knows all about the fantastic high quality produce grown, reared and made in the rolling Cheshire countryside around Pecks, but his culinary skills are also rooted in his French and Italian heritage.
Cooking has been in Les’ blood – and being a chef his driving ambition -since fondly remembered family dinners prepared by his Italian grandmother who was locally famous for her amazing traditional cucina. His mother was born in France of Italian parents.
Les joined the team at Pecks over fifteen years ago and stepped up to become head chef under the new ownership of Andy and Sue Pear, grasping the opportunity to raise his cooking to award-winning levels and adding the restaurant’s first-ever inclusion in the Good Food Guide to its most recent award of a prestigious AA rosette for culinary excellence to which has been retained for the last three years.
Success came early for the budding young chef. While at South Cheshire Catering College Les entered and won one of the very first televised inter-college cooking competitions. After gaining experience working under the Italian chef Sergio Grassini and in local hotels and restaurants, Les returned to college to attain higher qualifications. He moved from the Bulls Head Hotel to take charge of banqueting at Peckforton Castle before joining Pecks.
Chloe Leighton, Sous Chef
Having a keen interest in food, Chloe applied for the Apprentice Chef position at Pecks, successfully completing her apprenticeship and NVQ level 2 in Professional Cookery, working up to the Commie chef role with hard work and commitment gaining the position of Chef de Partie and further to Junior Sous now after further training and learning new responsibilities gaining the position of Sous Chef at Pecks and recently gaining a Senior Chef Production Level 3 Certificate.
Lucy Podmore, Pastry Chef
Lucy has been part of the team for the past 7 years, from part-time to now full time Pastry Chef. Lucy studied at Manchester, Trafford College, completing all her qualifications in NVQ Pastry levels 2 and 3. Constantly striving for perfection, experimenting and trying new ways and methods in baking. Lucy has produced some of our most spectacular wedding cakes to date, being a finalist in the North West Chef of the Year competition and, also using her skills to help develop desserts at our sister company, The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Sandbach.
Ben Dolman, Restaurant Manager
Ben started at Pecks as a part time waiter, enjoying the trade so much he applied for the Pecks Front of House apprenticeship, successfully completing his NVQ level 2 food and beverage course with promotion to Management Trainee following completion of NVQ level 3 food and beverage supervision and Personal Licence Holder. Pecks being awarded a AA rosette for Food excellence, he received a personal mention having impressed the AA inspector with his service.
Now taking up the mantle of Restaurant Manager you will be assured of a warm Pecks welcome when you visit.
Zoe Twigg, Duty Manager
A welcome return to Pecks for Zoe within the front of house team.
Zoe started her hospitality career at Pecks and now heads up our social media platforms; along with her role as Duty Manager.