Luke Selby, head chef, Hide Above

The Staff Canteen

Luke Selby is head chef at Hide Above, the Piccadilly restaurant from Ollie Dabbous

Formerly head chef at the Michelin-starred Dabbous, Luke Selby was part of the team for Hide Above when it opened in April this year. Prior to this, he worked as a sous chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons  and as a chef de partie at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Last year, Luke was crowned National Chef of the Year 2018 and he also won the Roux Scholarship 2017.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Luke about his competition success, his advice for young chefs starting out and his responsibilities at Hide.

Barbecued organic Herdwick lamb, charred asparagus, savoury pine nut praline by chef Luke Selby, Hide Above
Barbecued organic Herdwick lamb,
charred asparagus, savoury pine nut praline

You’ve told us before that you’ve been interested in food from an early age - when did you decide that you wanted to become a chef?

I can’t remember it being as simple as just making a decision when I was younger, but rather a career and path that I was strongly drawn to. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and where people excel in certain things growing up, I found that in cooking, I excelled and I was good at it!

What was it like working under Gary Jones and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir?

I started with Raymond and Gary in 2009, fresh, young and naïve. All I had on me when I moved were my knives and a huge stack of cookbooks. The six years I worked under them were amazing and I still look back with fond memories - me and all the guys there are still like a family.

What Raymond and Gary did was invest in me and my future – all I had to do was put the work in, everything was there for a young chef to learn. And I did - I learnt everything there. I can credit everything that I have achieved to date to the training and guidance they gave me. To put it as a metaphor – my time there really gave me the building blocks and a solid foundation on which to build on.

NCOTY 2018, Luke Selby
National Chef of the Year 2018 - Luke Selby

Tell us about your experience working at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – was that different, and in what way?

Moving on from Le Manoir and into London was a huge change and another challenge. I dropped from my position as sous to CDP for the opportunity to work for Clare Smyth. One of the biggest differences was the scale and size of restaurant. Going from a brigade of 48 to a core team of about ten at Royal Hospital Road, you really have to be able to hold your own.

There wasn’t any time for passengers.  I feel like my time there really solidified my cooking ability, especially working the sauce section. The standards and attention to detail were drilled into everyone - every service, every plate of food that left the pass. It was amazing to be a part of and I have so much respect for that restaurant I learnt so much there.

You’ve won numerous chef competitions in your career already  – do you think competitions are important for chefs to take part in? 

I think competitions are great. I know myself that I wouldn’t be the same chef without the support and recognition that comes with gaining those kinds of accolades. It helps you to develop yourself, to deal with different kinds of pressures that you probably wouldn’t have come across just working in a kitchen. Also, all of the prizes and trips I’ve been able to go on through these competitions are experiences that I never would have had without. I’ve been very lucky.

Info bar

Dream restaurant  -
One day I’ll have a restaurant based in London. I want a strong connection with nature and to cook with the best produce that the UK offers. As for the kind of food - doing my food of course!

Dream brigade –
I believe that my dream brigade is the team that I’m building and working with at the moment. The guys that are in the kitchen with me day after day, service after service.

Pass – Me and my Sous Chefs – Josh Bingham and Aaron Middleton.
Meat- My younger brother Theo Selby.
Fish- Another younger brother! Nathaniel Selby.
Garnish- Joel Gueller, Lorenzo Ragni, Joe Payne, Ollie Browning.
Larder- Rudi Warner, Carmen Holtby, Tom Mierzwa, Laura Hughes, Chris Gao.
Pastry- Glen Sharman and Nick Henn.

How did you meet Ollie Dabbous?

I’d eaten at Dabbous on quite a few occasions and had always known him through our connection with Le Manoir. He also trained there.

luke selby and raymond blanc
Luke Selby and his brothers
with Raymond Blanc


Can you tell us more about the new restaurant?

Hide is an amazing space spanning over three floors. Ollie Dabbous is the executive chef for the whole building. Above is the fine dining offering - where I am in charge of the kitchen. The other restaurant is called Ground, where the head chef Josh Angus serves more of an all-day offering and we have the bar, Below, where Oskar Kinberg creates amazing cocktails.

Hide Above View 1 low res
HIDE Above

The three floors are interconnected by a beautiful wooden spiral staircase. The restaurant is stunning and has a really organic and natural feel, with Above having beautiful views over Green Park.

What are your daily responsibilities in your role? How much input do you have in the menu?

I look after the day to day running of the kitchen, making sure that the standards I believe in are achieved every service. Me and Ollie work closely on new dishes and ideas for the menu, he’s a great boss and is very open to my input on the menu.

What advice would you have for young chefs looking to achieve the same success as you?

Just a few things really – Work hard. Surround yourself with great people and always, always believe in yourself.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th August 2018

Luke Selby, head chef, Hide Above