In a career that has taken him from a hotel pot wash to a Michelin-starred kitchen, and from his first restaurant opened with £200 in the bank to director of Norwich’s premier venue, The Assembly House in Norwich, 2017 saw the 40th anniversary of his very first day in a professional kitchen.
Beginning his career in the kitchen as a 15-year-old at The Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, Richard opened his first restaurant - Number 24 in Wymondham – in 1991.
During his 11 years in Wymondham he also taught at the Hotel School at Norwich City College and began his popular, and still running, Step by Step column in EDP Norfolk Magazine. In 2002, he left Wymondham to open The Lavender House at Brundall to national acclaim, and very shortly after founded the Richard Hughes Cookery School, winning the inaugural British Cookery School of the Year award.
In 2017 he relocated the school to the Grade 1 listed heritage site that is The Assembly House in Norwich city centre where he is Chef Director. This new, larger, purpose-designed cookery school allows Richard to share his lifelong passion for food with an ever-growing audience of all ages and abilities. With numerous awards and accolades to his name Richard is still as passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated as ever and continues to inspire a host of cooks, both professionally and in home kitchens, as well as offering advice to a host of food-related businesses, including, care homes, tourist attractions, pub chains, school meal contractors and the county’s biggest hospital services provider.
Richard’s name is well-known not only in Norfolk and East Anglia, but across the UK – he is a member of the prestigious and exclusive Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, runs the regional centre for the Academy’s Adopt a School Trust and has trained chefs who now work across Britain, Europe and America. Media appearances include being featured as one of Rick Steins BBC Food Heroes, ITVs Flying Picnic and interviews on Politics Today and BBC News at 10. Demonstrations appearances include the Good Food Show, Hotelympia, and pop up restaurants at the Restaurant Show
Richard Hughes’ Awards and Achievements
- 2019 Business Community Fund Raiser of the Year for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
- 2018 Best Independent Marketing Campaign, The Assembly House Norwich,
Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards
- 2017 Richard was awarded a British Citizenship commendation for his work in inspiring young people.
- 2017 Awarded Learning Destination status for Norfolk Children’s University, Richard Hughes Cookery School
- 2016 Member of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Adopt a School Trust charity
- 2016 Best Small Hotel of the Year; The Assembly House Norwich, Norfolk Tourism Awards
- 2015 Outstanding Front of House Team, The Assembly House Norwich, EDP Norfolk Food Awards
- 2012/13 Inaugural winner of the UK Cookery School of the Year, Richard Hughes Cookery School
- 2012/13 Best UK Small Cookery School, Richard Hughes Cookery School
- 2013/14 Broads Quality Charter Gold Award, The Lavender House at Brundall
- 2012 Awarded Membership of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
- 2012 Winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award, EDP Norfolk Food Awards
- 2009 Honorary Fellowship, Services to the Hospitality Trade and Education, University of Suffolk Campus
- Catey Winner. Independent Marketing Campaign 2006 * Menu of the Year 1994
- 2007 EDP Tourism Awards. Education & Training Winner
- 2006 Springboard UK Best Student Placement Provider
- EDP Tourism Awards Innovation Winner
- EEDA BBC; Work for Schools Premier award Richard Hughes
- EEDA BBC; School/Business link Winner
- 2005 Norwich Hotel School Premier Award for Outstanding Contribution
- 2004 Norfolk Food Awards; Employment Innovation Winner
- 2004 EDP Business Awards Business /Education Link Winner
- 1993 1991 1989 National Chef of the Year Finalist
- EDP Norfolk Young Chef of the Year from The Lavender House 2009 2008 2006