A POPULAR cafe on a busy York street is heading for changes after a top chef - born and bred in York - decided to head back to the city.

Luke Cockerill once cooked at the Michelin starred The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds and more recently ran the kitchen at the prestigious The Rabbit In The Moon in Manchester.

Now Luke is heading into the kitchen at the Angel On The Green on Bishopthorpe Road, but he and the cafe’s owner Pete Kilbane are promising that the cafe’s relaxed setting is there to stay.

Pete said: “We are very honoured to have probably the country’s best young chef working at our little cafe on the corner of Bishopthorpe Road.

“We are going to be doing fabulous food at accessible prices.

“I think we’ve always done great food, but this is kind of taking it to another level and it’s quite exciting.”

Luke has already taken the reins at the cafe, but will start bringing his own dishes on to the menu gradually over the coming months, he said. After years in fine dining restaurants, the informal cafe will be a change but one he is looking forward to, Luke added.

“This is pushing me out of my comfort zone.

“To be a really good chef I think you have to be able to do all different genres of cooking.

“My cooking is expressive and creative and that’s what I love doing, but you can be expressive and creative in all sorts of ways.

“It’s going to be the same social setting where people can come and enjoy themselves, but the food will start to change a bit.”

Both he and Pete have pledged that favourites on the current menu won’t disappear, but regulars will soon see changes as Luke gradually introduces his own style to Bishopthorpe Road.

Luke added: “It’s an evolution, so it’s going to take time.”

Luke, 22, went to school round the corner at All Saints before heading to York College.

He has even spotted some of his old teachers in the Angel On The Green.

He worked for a time at the Blind Swine in York before it closed in 2013, when he moved with chef Michael O’Hare to The Man Behind The Curtain.