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Wesley Payne, sous chef at The Cache at Ginger and Baker

Wesley Payne

Sous Chef, The Cache

Wesley Payne was just 12 years old when he learned that good food can bring people together. “I started helping my mom with her event catering and saw how people gathered around.” That really inspired me to be a professional cook for a living,” Wesley said.

Wesley hails from Pensacola, Florida, and grew up cooking classical French and New Orleans cuisine. “My family is from New Orleans, so I learned classic southern food, food that brings the family around the dinner table. I remember a lot of great crawfish boils and making crawfish étouffée during crawfish season.”

At 15, Wesley started cooking in restaurants and then worked banquets and events at resorts. After high school, he headed to culinary school, graduating from the Cordon Bleu in Orlando. “Then it was back to Florida where I worked on Portofino Island,“ he said. “I’ve really been lucky to work with some amazing chefs who inspired me to further my career.”

In search of the next adventure, Wesley made his way to Fort Collins. “I grew up in a small town and Fort Collins has some of that small town feel,” he said. “Then I started at Ginger and Baker, which is its own small town.”

“I absolutely love working here, the people act like family and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Wesley continued. “Food manages to attract the best people to a place – Ginger and Baker encapsulates that perfectly.“

Outside of work, Wesley is looking into learning snowboarding to replace the surfing he did growing up on the water. “I also like going to the mountains or walking around Old Town experiencing the food and culture,” he said. “I’m a big fan of local businesses and Fort Collins has come great ones.”

His favorite pie? “I like pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because it means friends and family around the table.”

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