“Stay calm and think ahead. There is no pressure unless you put it upon yourself.”
Richard Stuart won the Roux Scholarship in 1987, at the age of 21. Marc Meneau at L’Esperance in Vezelay, France. He is now Assistant Vice President (Culinary) at Galaxy Entertainment, in Macau, China.
Born in the Bahamas, Richard moved to South Devon as a child and first decided to become a chef as the tourism industry was beginning to boom in the Torbay Riviera, where he grew up. His family’s Sunday lunch feasts were also an inspiration: his mother prepared four or five desserts, while his father prepared the roasting joint, while his weekend job (aged 14) at a butchery, for which he delivered meats to customers, helped him learn about different cuts of meat. Richard first donned his chef whites at a local restaurant in Totnes but went on to study at Thanet Technical College in Kent for three years. He then became a commis chef at the Garrick Club in London, where he trained in French classical cuisine with Chef de Cuisine Steve Lattimer, who was the one who encouraged him to enter the Roux Scholarship competition.
He went onto to work for Marco Pierre White two-star Michelin restaurant at the Hyde Park Hotel and was part of the brigade that achieved the three-star Michelin accolade. In 1997, Marco Pierre White entered him into the Egon Ronay’s Guides British Meat Chef of the Year, where he reached the final and was up against some of the best young and upcoming chefs in the country such as Frederick Forster and David Everitt-Matthias. Brian Turner was the key judge and, after cooking his three- course meal, Richard was awarded British Meat Chef of the Year 1997. Shortly after this Marco Pierre White purchased Les Saveurs in London and transferred Richard there as chef de cuisine where, in 1998, he retained the one-star Michelin accolade.
Richard spent four enjoyable years with Marco Pierre White but decided to take an opportunity to return to his roots in the Bahamas to work at Atlantis, a resort with a casino and three hotels. His role was to run the restaurant frequented by wealthy celebrities from the US and around the world, and he found the role challenging but also rewarding, helping to develop his brigade.
In 2000, after two years in the Bahamas, Richard was offered the opportunity to move to the Burj Al Arab in Dubai as chef de cuisine of Al Maharra restaurant, where he worked for a year before moving to Hong Kong to join the Derby restaurant at the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Happy Valley. From there, after two years, he moved to Shanghai as Executive sous chef at Shangri-la Pudong, where he assisted the executive chef Eric to open the second tower. After the successful opening in 2005, Richard was given the opportunity by the corporate F&B to transfer to Shangri-la Dubai as executive chef.
From Dubai, Richard moved to Antalya, Turkey, as executive chef of Mardan Palace in 2008, which had 24 food and beverage outlets and 585 rooms. Richard loved working in Turkey for its perfect climate and soil, which produces the best seasonal fruit and vegetables he has ever tasted, as well as the Mediterranean seafood.
In 2010, Richard returned to China to join Galaxy Entertainment as assistant vice president of culinary with a brigade of 611 chefs, working across 44 food and beverage outlets and 1500 hotel rooms and suites, they worked together for a successful opening in May 2011. In 2016, thanks to his experience in Michelin-starred restaurants, Richard was asked by the owner to personally take charge of the resort’s Italian restaurant Terrazza; the result of his hard work was that the team retained the restaurant’s Michelin star which was unveiled at the 2017 Hong Kong and Macau Michelin awards which took place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.