Richard Fox has come along way from his days studying gastronomy at St. Helen's college where, whilst applying himself to college he has achieved NVQ level 2 & 3 Kitchen & larder, at 17 he won the accolade of being St. Helen's young chef of the year.
Richard embarked on his odyssey at The London Carriage Works, Liverpool, when influential chef Paul Askew spotted his potential from a cookery competition held at the College and gave him the opportunity to showcase his talent in his pastry section, after two years with this under his belt he set off to find work in London's finest restaurants.
Richard said “Life in London was hard and I had to work long hours trying to impress potential employers, but I love my work and was always confident in my abilities. Studying at St Helens College in their real working environment was the perfect preparation for the challenges that lay ahead for me.”
After months of working and trying to make a name for himself, Richard finally got his big break when meeting a chef opening a restaurant at The Hillbark Hotel. He started at the hotel as a junior chef and after two years, Richard achieved second in command and was given his next challenge, the opportunity to run their sister hotel, The Leverhulme Hotel, Wirral.
In 2009 Richard also made his television début, you may have seen him in the heat’s of BBC's Master-chef Professionals finishing 10th at the quarter final stages out of a thousand competitors and being the youngest chef of that series.
As the head chef of The Leverhulme Hotel at the age of 22, Richard became highly noticed as he received a recommendation by the Michelin guide 2010 and was named the winner of Wirral chef of the year 2010. His food and recipes have also appeared in one of Britain's best selling magazines “OK Magazine.” In recognition to Richard's years of hard work, the owners of The Leverhulme Hotel decided to change the restaurant name to Richard Fox.
Richard also studied with another former St Helens College student Ashley Moran, a former pupil from Rainhill High School. Ashley successfully completed all his NVQ Diplomas in Professional Cookery at St Helens College, where he then also worked at The London Carriage works, on a work placement.
Ashley left college and started working at The Hillbark Hotel where he joined Richard. He then followed Richard to The Leverhulme Hotel and became his second in command as a sous chef. They became good friends at college and after 6 years they have struck up a good working relationship within the kitchen.
Ashley says “It’s great fun working alongside Richard and I hope to become a head chef myself one day. My experience at College has been vital to my success, the course provides you with the essential skills required to be successful in the industry. My advice to any aspiring chef is to work hard, be prepared for long hours and learn as much as you can at college.”
Richard concludes “It's hard work being a chef and you must be passionate about food and committed to the job to succeed. The tutors at St Helens College are fantastic, they have all worked in the industry and have a wealth of experience to share, their advice is essential to becoming a good chef”
If you would like to sample his signature dishes cooked by Richard and Ashley, visit the website www.leverhulmehotel.co.uk for more information.