People to Know 2016: Luke Hayes
Chef Luke’s Rapid Rise
Age 11: Became a professional chef
Age 15: Promoted to executive chef of Luke’s restaurant
Age 23: Opened LUST supper club
There’s something exhilarating about an invitation to LUST. The underground supper club takes place in secret locations throughout Toronto, and each event has a different theme and menu. It’s the kind of place people go to when they want food with a side of mystery—and they trust the chef at the helm.
LUST is owned by 26-year-old Canadian chef Luke Hayes (hence the name: Luke’s Underground Supper Table). If you think 26 is young to own what The Food Network calls one of the top 15 supper clubs in the world, consider this: Luke became a professional chef at 11 and executive chef at his eponymous restaurant by 15.
When Luke was a year old, his mother opened her first restaurant. Six years later, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Learning the ins and outs of eating with diabetes opened his mind to what was possible in the kitchen. As an adolescent, he trained at his mother’s restaurant in Kingston, Ontario, for four years before taking over as executive chef at age 15. He successfully ran it for eight years.
Two and a half years ago, amid fanfare, Luke opened the award-winning LUST in Toronto.
His diabetes doesn’t affect what he cooks professionally, Luke says. Interestingly, though, none of his supper club menus list dessert.
Stacey Harris is the author of The Diabetic Pastry Chef cookbook. She is also a blogger, product developer, and baker. Find her at diabeticpastrychef.com.