Richard Hughes, Proprietor:
In a career which has taken him from the Michelin-starred kitchens of Rookery Hall to his own portfolio of restaurants in Norfolk, Richard Hughes has been cooking professionally for more than 35 years.
Beginning his career in the kitchen as a 15-year old at The Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, Richard fulfilled his ambition of opening his own restaurant - Number Twenty Four in Wymondham - in 1991.
During his 11-year tenure in Wymondham, he also taught at the Hotel School at City College Norwich, began his popular Step by Step column in the EDP Norfolk magazine, and in 1994 won a prestigious Catey, the hospitality trade's equivalent of an Oscar.
In 2002 Richard spotted the "for sale" sign outside the former Old Beams restaurant in Brundall, fell in love with the 16th century thatched building and left Wymondham to open The Lavender House, which made an immediate impression on the Norfolk restaurant scene, winning a cabinet-full of awards.
The restaurant has been extremely busy since opening its doors but, despite all the acclaim, the emphasis remains firmly on the customers.
Richard is the author of three best-selling cookery books: Hughes Cooking, The Pigs Book of Proper Pub Food and Step by Step and, in addition to his monthly column in the EDP Norfolk Magazine, is a regular contributor to the Eastern Daily Press and trade press. He is also Director of The Assembly House in Norwich.
The nationally-acclaimed Richard Hughes Cookery School has proven to be an immensely popular addition to The Lavender House's repertoire, and a variety of hands on and demonstration classes enable Richard to share his lifelong passion for food with an ever-growing audience.