It’s bold, but every Tuesday this Cheshire pub will be serving up a mystery “pay-what-you-want” (PWYW) menu.
The Hanging Gate Inn in Macclesfield, Cheshire is run by acclaimed chef Ernst Van Zyl who has previously worked in Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
The South African is now the head chef and patron of the Hydes Brewery pub and aims to entice new custom with this exciting menu format.
Each Tuesday Ernst will create a five-course tasting menu depending entirely on which ingredients he can forage from the forest or what his local suppliers recommend.
Ernst said: “We are Cheshire’s highest pub, so with all this beauty it is also its own worst enemy - if it's wet or gloomy people won’t venture out here.
“We have Macclesfield Forrest on our doorstep, an amazing trout farm and all these fantastic suppliers, so we thought it would be great to try out some new dishes and get people up here.
“Yes, we might make a loss. But by getting people to pay-as-they-feel takes the pressure off us.
“Some dishes might not work but they might be amazing – if they pay what they see fit they can’t turn to TripAdvisor and give bad reviews.
“It’s going to make us up our game, and hopefully due to word of mouth people will make the effort to visit – it’s a great talking point.”
Ernst is excited to be able to cook whatever he likes and hopes customers will leave honest feedback so they can help develop the menu.
No actual menu— Ernst van Zyl (@Erniechef) January 19, 2017
5 dishes / ideas in progress & under construction
You pay at end of night what you felt your experience was worth pic.twitter.com/gBX25ALasG