Richard Bainbridge leaves Morston Hall

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th March 2015
Norfolk chef, Richard Bainbridge, has left his head chef position at Morston Hall in the pursuit of opening his own restaurant in Norwich City Centre.  in the beginningAfter being the head chef at the michelin-starred restaurant for seven years, Richard is set to open a new, vibrant restaurant called Benedict’s in Norwich. Richard said: “It’s in a kind of bohemian, arty part of the town. It’s a little bit rough and ready but I like the fact that it’s not the posh part.” The new venue will be quite a change for Richard, who is used to working in michelin-starred restaurants across the globe. He said: “What I really want to do is cook really good food in a really relaxed and comfortable environment using all of my experience and my pedigree of working in one, two and three michelin-starred restaurants.” After learning the importance of local produce and working closely with producers in his last job, Richard has emphasised that this is something he wants to continue with his food at Benedict’s. He said: “It is almost like a personal journey with the food. And I like that and I very much want to embrace that when I move along.” The move away from Morston Hall felt natural to Richard. Although his experience as head chef and working with Galton Blackiston was very positive, he felt it was the right decision to make. He said: “It just got to that point where either I was going to stay at Morston and that would be where I was going to mature as a chef, or did I want to breakaway? Morston just came to a natural end really and it was time for me to try my own thing.” Richard believes that every chef has a dream of owning their own restaurant and with hard work and the help of his family, his dream became a reality.richardbainbridge5 This exciting and new time for Richard does not come without the sadness of leaving his seven-year long position as head chef. From starting there at the age of 16, moving around the world for new ventures and coming back as head chef, the place feels like home to him. He said: “Morston was a big part of my life, it’s like a big family. Galton and Tracy, the owners, have very much looked after me and let me grow, so I’ll miss the support system that was there.” The move from a very familiar kitchen to a brand new one is also a strange thought for the chef. He said: “I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, so it was very much like my second home. It’s going to be quite alien going into my own kitchen.” He also expressed that he is sad to leave his team behind he explained: “I’ve left behind a lot of good boys and girls who I’ve kind of brought up from being 16, 17 years old… so I’ll miss them as well because they're like little children to me really!” The final dish that Richard served at Morston Hall was a very personal one. He said: “My last dish was my old Great British Menu dish, so guinea fowl with sliced truffle, pistachio pilaf rice, roasted carrots and roasted crackle onions with a Brancaster lobster bisque… it’s been on quite a journey with me and it was quite fitting for that to be the last one that I served.” richardbainbridge3Richard is passionate about using local producers and suppliers, and feels that his experience at Morston Hall has played a large part in that passion. He said: “Morston taught me so much in working with the seasons. With the menu that used to change every single day, you’re working with the seasons on a daily basis, and then working and building relations with local producers. That was a part of the job that I loved.” The new restaurant, Benedict’s, will open at the end of April, 2015. The menu will feature dishes not too dissimilar to the food he prepared at Morston Hall – with a prominent theme of local ingredients. He said: “I like to think it’s going to be very similar to what I did at Morston’s but without the restraints of Morston. We will probably be going for a bit more of a younger demographic.” Why call it Benedict’s and not Bainbridge’s? Richard said that it’s all about the mouth-feel. He said: “I love the way that you say Benedict’s in your mouth, the way that your tongue moves when you say it! And also I didn’t want any connection with the restaurant. I don’t want the restaurant to be all about me, it’s not all about me it’s about everybody who works in there. And I want people to come to Benedict’s for Benedict’s and not for me!” By Ashley Chalmers Watch Richard Bainbridge on stage at The Staff Canteen Live, here:
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th March 2015

Richard Bainbridge leaves Morston Hall