Darren has been involved in hospitality for 20 years starting within a family run night club, to then assisting with management across the Birmingham bar and club scene…followed closely working with a nationwide reputable pub company.

At 25 a slight change in direction he took a new role as a trainee chef in a 2 rosette restaurant in Birmingham, followed by a stint in a 1 michelin star which both set the roots and excitement for food. With various spells in kitchens across Europe and starting a small family he then started the Illustrated Chef bbq company offering high end barbecue events in and around London. This allowed him to sub contract for award winning event companies in the capital cooking for industry peers, members of parliament, music artists, film stars and even the queen.

However it is the family that has kept him grounded so with family in mind they took on the, a quaint local pub in Ashwell Hertfordshire, and with the whole open flame theme have replaced gas with 2 xxl green eggs and a full flame grilled menu, with this rather large commitment and Loss of passion for mass catering the Illustrated Chef would come to an end…


Not one to do things by halves Darren has created barbecue thirteen, an intimate fine dining barbecue events company, where covers under 50 would allow creativity and passion to flow, one off events that wow and overall become a platform to let imagination flourish.