Fresh face of gastro-pub Rowley’s

Head chef Craig Skinner (left) and manager Antony Haywood at Rowley's in Baslow
Head chef Craig Skinner (left) and manager Antony Haywood at Rowley's in Baslow

Two former Sheffield College students are bringing a fresh look to one of the Peak District’s best known gastro-pubs.

It’s all change at Rowley’s in Baslow – sister to Michelin-starred restaurant Fischer’s – with a new team at the top.

New head chef is Craig Skinner, 25, who has taken over control of the kitchen after six years at the pub.

His appointment coincides with the arrival of new general manager, Antony Haywood, of Stannington.

Antony specialised in hospitality, working at Whirlow Grange before moving out to Spain for five years with his family. Since returning home a year ago he has worked at Pizza Express, but was looking for a more challenging role when the vacancy arose at Rowley’s.

Antony has already made changes, bringing opening forward to 10am and introducing Fairtrade coffee from Chesterfield-based supplier Arden.

He and Craig have introduced new menus – planned in partnership with Fischer’s head chef Rupert Rowley (after whom the pub is named).

They offer three courses from £22.40 (£20 on Sundays). And there’s a new Fish Friday feature, with gourmet fish and chips for £9.50 and a choice of seafood specialities.

Craig, keen to show off his team’s creative skills, has also brought in a new, constantly changing specials menu alongside the regular à la carte.

Craig’s first job was a part-time role at Fischer’s while still at college. He joined Rowley’s when it opened and has worked his way up through the ranks.

“There’s a lot more pressure as head chef, but I’m really enjoying it,” he says. “It’s a challenge, but you always want to push yourself.”

Lesley Draper