Watch as top North East chef Terry Laybourne swaps the kitchen for the race track

The owner of Hospitality 21 group does a job swap with professional racing driver Rory Butcher


The chefs whites were swapped for racing overalls as the owner of 21 Hospitality Group Terry Laybourne went racing for a day.

He’s one of the North East’s best chefs but he couldn’t resist a job-swap, trading his kitchen tools for the steering wheel.

Porsche racing’s Rory Butcher agreed to take up the mantle in the Cafe 21 kitchen instead.

Terry, who owns and runs the award-winning Cafe 21 among others, said: “We have similar mind-sets. Our personalities are pretty similar, we’re both driven. His job is probably a bit more exciting than mine.”

“It’s exhilarating; been a racing driver is inevitably exhilarating ... it’s hot, and steamy; it’s a bit like a kitchen in that respect. Inevitably the adrenalin is pumping.

“It’s easy to see and assume the role of a racing driver is solo – but you’ve got to be a team player.”

Terry Laybourne teaches Rory Butcher a thing or two in the kitchen at Cafe 21

It also went the other way, with Rory taking charge in Cafe 21 for the day.

He said: “It took me a while to get my head around things in the kitchen.

“I was trying to use some of the techniques I use in the race car to control my nerves.

“I got a real buzz. It’s a good job; but it’s a tough job.”

Which pedal do I press? Terry Laybourne gets a coaching lesson from Rory Butcher

Laybourne owns a string of cafes and restaurants in the North East.

He started on the Quayside in 1988 winning a michelin star within three years for 21 Queen Street.

Open Table have named Cafe 21 as one of the top 50 places in the UK to eat, one of only three North East establishments to make the list.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
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