Man Behind the Chef: Richard Davies

The Staff Canteen

In association with


In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites - next up is Richard Davies, former Great British Menu finalist and head chef of Epicure at the Celtic Manor Resort.

Beginning his career at 18 working at the Celtic Manor, Richard rose to prominence after a stint working for Gordon Ramsay at his three Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea.

It was Sawyards where Richard received his first head chef role achieving his first Michelin star in the process at the age of 25. He later took over the kitchen at the Manor House in Wiltshire which has held a Michelin star since 2009.

Richard left the Manor House in 2016 and has been at Epicure at the Celtic Manor Resort ever since.

In 2013 Richard competed in BBC2’s Great British Menu getting through to the banquet for his strawberries and cream dessert.

What item of food do you hate cooking?

At work I don’t tend to cook things I don’t like, I’m a bit old fashioned like and I just like cooking what I like. At home it would probably be ready meals. It’s a great convenience for when you don’t have time to cook properly but being a chef I just love cooking with fresh food.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies

What food, if any, are you allergic to?


What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?


What’s your guilty pleasure food?

Everything! Probably pizza though.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

Even though it’s my favourite ingredient I probably wouldn’t take vanilla because there’s not much you can do with that. So, bread, meat and salt. Salt will make anything taste better.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

A bum! I almost went into the army doing the army cadets so I probably would have done that if I hadn’t become a chef but I would have loved to have raced motorbikes or been a MotoGP rider, something like that.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

We don’t listen to the radio in the kitchen.

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

I really wish I had gone to France when I was younger, that’s still a retirement thought more than anything these days. I would like to work at Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris, that would be a great experience!

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

More traditional but with a few modern techniques thrown in.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

It’s just become the industry standard now, everyone you speak to, especially at the Celtic Manor, all the younger chefs know exactly what The Staff Canteen is and it’s the opportunity to get involved and to get our name out there. Working with yourselves is a great opportunity to inspire the younger generation, not just to get into cooking but to also encourage those in less refined kitchen to progress to better things.

>>> IFE takes place on March 19-22, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE 2017

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th March 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Richard Davies