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Revelations: Richard Allen, executive chef, the Orangery, Rockliffe Hall, Darlington

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Revelations: Richard Allen, executive chef, the Orangery, Rockliffe Hall, Darlington

What was your first job?
I was a postman, but only lasted two weeks

What was your first job in catering?
I was a kitchen porter at a hotel in Bournemouth

What do you normally have for breakfast?
I normally skip breakfast, but I am partial to a scrambled egg

What do you do to relax?
Carp fishing – the lakeside is my happy place

Which is your favourite restaurant?

What’s your favourite hotel?
Gilpin in the Lake District

What is your favourite drink?
Does it have to be just one? I love a good Bloody Mary or an extra-large G&T

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Anyone who gets up every day and gives it their all

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
My father, he’s one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever known. I grew up enjoying the beautiful aromas of freshly baked bread and it sparked a love affair with food

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
An airplane

What daily newspaper/website do you read?
I’ve honestly never read a newspaper in my life, although I have pretended to on occasion

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Jim Morrison from The Doors

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Teaching of some kind

Describe your ultimate nightmare?
Your wife saying two hours into a road trip: “Did you lock the back door?”

Where was your last holiday?
It would have been the south of France but we missed the flight because we had to check the back door!

What’s your favourite film?

What irritates you most about the industry?

Tell us a secret…
My real favourite film is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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