Head Chef - The Camellia Restaurant
Head Chef, Richard Mann
Richard Mann came to cooking relativity late in life. He spent time travelling around the world experiences different foods and cultures leading him into cooking which became his passion in life. Since then Richard has quickly worked his way through the chefs brigade at various 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurants in the Sussex area to become Head Chef at The Camellia.The Camellia
While at South Lodge he has worked for, and been influenced by, award-winning chefs Matt Gillan and Steven Edwards. Richard was part of the team in The Pass when Matt led them to being awarded a Michelin star. And he worked as Sous Chef to Steven Edwards, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013, in who's steps he has followed taking over the running of the restaurant.
Away from the hotel Richard sites the cooking of chefs Philip Howard and David Everitt-Matthias as influences and inspiration, both of whom are universally considered craftsmen of great skill.
The team Richard now heads up is young and aspiring with a number of apprentices and Exclusive Chef's Academy students. Having had a number of positive mentors while he developed his own skills, Richard strives to encourage and train these talented chefs of the future and derives great satisfaction to see them succeed.
The dishes Richard and the team create are driven by the availability of local, seasonal, ingredients with traceable provenance. With a strong network of local suppliers and producers to call on, Chef knows he will receive the very best the farming community of Sussex can offer. This in turn allows him to extract and build intense flavours into his dishes.
He is truly influenced by the natural seasons and the fruits, vegetables and herbs available from our kitchen garden. He has a passion for creating classical style dishes with an interesting flare, often pairing savoury main courses with fruits where their natural sweetness or sharpness enhances the flavours of the whole dish. Some of his favourite pairings are duck with peach or venison with pomegranate.
Menus change as new ingredients find themselves to the kitchen door and Richard is inspired by what he sees, smells and tastes.