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The Hot List...Richard Allen


Next chef to feature on our #HotList is the extremely talented Richard Allen. Actually, this is Richie’s second time on our Hot List. The last time we featured Richard, he had only been Executive Chef at Rockliffe Hall for a few months. It’s now been over 3 years and he has crafted The Orangery Restaurant in this resort hotel into not only a locals’ favourite but also a foodie destination for people from all over the U.K. and beyond...

We ask Richard how he thinks his food has evolved over the 3 years and he is quick to point out that his style doesn’t change but what he does with it changes. He says ‘I take inspiration from everywhere and interpret it in my own way. I am a keen artist, so I suppose composition on the plate is really important but flavour must come first. As a team, we are working on how to get as much flavour out of each ingredient so we can use fewer ingredients and concentrate on how each one can be appreciated to the full.

The welfare and development of the team is as important to Richard as his food. Some of his team followed him to Rockliffe and the same team is almost intact today. ‘I believe we should teach the next generation not only about how to cook great food but also how to run a good business. I encourage them to get involved in every aspect of the restaurant, so they can understand why we do things and can contribute with informed ideas.

Richard is keen to introduce the Executive Chefs from the other restaurants within the hotel and they have cooked dishes that feature on this page from their own menus. Paul O’Hara is Executive Chef of The Clubhouse, Aaron Craig is Executive Chef of The Brasserie and Nick Robinson is the Head Chef of Events. Each of the chefs work independently of the other dining venues at the hotel, so that each dining destination very much has its own individual style. Teamwork at its best.