Celebrating our 50 longest serving employees of 2022 ⭐

27.07.2022

Join us in our countdown celebrating our 50 longest serving employees here at Rick Stein. Thank you all for your hard work and loyalty over the years, we value and appreciate you.

No. 16 – Jean-Francois Rodriquez

Started in March 2006

“Jean-Francois is like no-other. His cheeky sense of humour and charm always gives customers a warm welcome. He loves to chat to both guests and our team to build relationships and look after everyone. Accommodating and often helps others, regardless of how busy he is.” – Patricio Torres

No. 17 – David Lawley

Started in November 2006

“I often get asked ‘What is it you do?’ Which is testament to the many activities my job allows me to get involved in (and no doubt why I’m still here). Underlining my journey is the transformation of our core purpose (nice plates of food in nice rooms) and new ventures (the likes of posting people fish) that I have been lucky enough to be involved in. I’m proud to call Stein’s work.”

“David has a constant focus on driving the technology in our business forward, his knowledge is a real asset to the business.” – Lilli Sutton

No. 18 – Michael Rabone

Started in February 2007

“I’ve loved being part of a family business where I’ve felt valued, appreciated and trusted to look after our people so they can look after our customers.
I’m also incredibly proud of where I work and the family we work for, recognising that my job has given me so many opportunities and experiences that I would have been unlikely to enjoy elsewhere. Having grown up in Cornwall, I would never have imagined growing both a family and a career in such a wonderful place.
Seeing talented people developing and fulfilling their potential has been the part I’ve enjoyed the most over the years – I love the fact that hospitality is an industry where you can flourish and have some fun along the way.
I also love that my family feels part of this business too – we’ve made so many wonderful memories visiting our wonderful restaurants and staying in our lovely accommodation.”

“In a business that is all about people you need a ‘guardian angel’. Michael has been looking after us all in the most caring, sensitive and understanding of ways for 15 years. Our ‘happiness’ is in good hands.” – Ian Fitzgerald

No. 19 – Clare Cross

Started in October 2007

“Having worked in the restaurant for a long time, I suppose you can say I’m passionate about the place! I love the food, the wine, the organisation on the floor but what keeps me here are the people I work with. We laugh and we cry but we have always looked after each other, thanks team!”

“Clare’s been with the company for quite a long time, working mostly in the daytime doing breakfast shifts. She’s a really hard worker and enthusiastic. She’s always so positive, I don’t where she gets so much energy from, always on the move, always so on it.” – Grazvydas Bakas

No. 20 – David Chambers

Started in December 2007

“I like how close all are teams are. So if I’m wanting to try something else or different, can still do it within the business. From maintenance, accounting, advertising, and the obvious, cooking. So the skills of learning new things are there!”

“David is enthusiastic positive and upbeat despite some personally trying times in the last few years he has always pulled through with a smile and a keenness to be back at work and in the hub of it. David has taken on and mastered many tasks over the years with Padstow Kitchen and his keen eye for quality and consistency means he is the go-to person for preparing and potting up the individual potion pots for Steins at home. David is also currently heading up our team socials encouraging everyone to get together.” – Tracey Kingdon

No. 21 – Jo Woosnam-Mills

Started in January 2008

“I really like my job because everyone I work with is dedicated to working together as a team to meet the necessary deadlines. They are always super motivated and inspire me daily. The work whilst being the same in principle always has variations which keeps it interesting for me.”

“Jo is an absolute pleasure and asset to have in our team. She is always happy to help in any way she can, always goes the extra mile within our department and also other areas of the business. She is hard working, loyal and a lovely person – what more could we ask for.” – Emma Rix

No. 22 – Piotr Zera

Started in June 2008

“I love my job because I get to teach people something new and pass on my knowledge to our lovely waiters and waitresses in my team. Also, I get to work in one of the best companies in the UK and get to live in one of the best parts of the country. Thank you as well to my wife for always supporting me in my career. You get to learn something new every single day in this company, you get to challenge yourself which I love.”

“Piotr is someone that I feel sums up why it’s great to work at Steins, he is fun, caring, passionate, hardworking, and dedicated to work also his family.
I first worked with Piotr when he was at the Seafood restaurant and even when he was a waiter, he was always the same, the cheeky chap who wanted to learn and always took time with any staff to share his knowledge but also to learn more. It shows from when Piotr started in the company at our chip shop, not knowing any English, but very quickly learnt English to then transferring to the Seafood restaurant where he grew though the ranks to supervisor when he eventually transferred to our café and took on the role as Restaurant manager. After increase customer service scores and developing his team Piotr took on his biggest role to date, as General Manager at the Cornish Arms, but still always having a smile and taking everything in his stride. Learning from mistakes and always improving, which I feel makes him such a great manager and person. Thank you Piotr for just being amazing.” – Salar Brock

No. 23 – Deborah Ogden

Started in July 2008

“I love the job that I do in housekeeping it’s always lovely to see the rooms all made up and ready for our guests to enjoy their stay. It’s always been great that I can work in my hometown all year round which was not always possible years ago, I work with a great team and company which never stops looking for ways to improve in all that we do and moving forward.”

“Debbie is calm and patient and looks after all our new starters during their first weeks of training.” – Paul Eddington

No. 24 – Sandra Barker

Started in March 2009

“Sandra is amazing. She’s been working here for a long time, she’s very loyal and an integral part of the team. Sandra’s always there to help everyone else, she’s just absolutely fantastic!” – Ashley Gains

No. 25 – Mark O’Hagan

Started in April 2009

“I like my job because I love all the fresh produce around us. I’m a coastal boy at heart, I’m from Padstow, so I’ve grown up with the seafood and shellfish and coastal culture. I love my job because my job is all around me, it’s the coast and the place I live.”

“From the Café, to the Cornish Arms and at St Petrocs, during Stein’s at Home launch and the fantastic effort with that Mark brings with him #OneTeamOneDream” – Fergus Coyle

No. 26 – Lora Hart

Started in July 2009

“I’ve been here for 13 years, I enjoy working at St Edmunds House and I really like working and being a part of the housekeeping team.”

“A team within a team, sisters, Lora and Lisa work together to make sure St Edmund’s House is always perfect.” – Paul Eddington

No. 27 – Anca Rozor

Started in July 2009

“I love working with people from all walks of life. Even though it can be challenging from a professional and customer service point of view everyone should work in hospitality in their life time, it humbles and gives you a clearer picture of the world. Plus, I’m obsessed with wine and food – it reminds me of growing up with lots of family parties and celebrations.”

“Loyalty, very consistent and methodical. Her knowledge of our menu, the area and our regulars is brilliant – pre-dates Rick Stein Barnes so brings experience galore to the team.” – Patricio Torres

No. 28 – Tony Hendy

Started in July 2009

“I have been in my role for over 12 years now and really enjoy the variety the job gives me from seeing people joining the business from school, college or from another business and seeing them develop their skills and gaining confidence giving them the opportunity to progress further within the business. People are really important to our business and its great to build relationships across the whole estate.
Meeting our customers and delivering great service, I really enjoy building up a great rapport with them and seeing them return on a regular basis.
I also love sourcing new products for the deli which helps us to keep driving sales year after year.”

“Shops piled with delicious foods and unique gifts all carefully supervised by Tony and the teams he has helped grow. Thousands and thousands of guests each year enjoy the three gems of shops that Tony leads. Tony ensures the offer keeps evolving – my only surprise is that I am yet to see us stock a Bruce Springsteen range of sauces.” – Ian Fitzgerald

No. 29 – Lisa Hart

Started in August 2009

“I’m really happy here in the housekeeping team and I enjoy working at St Edmunds House the most.”

“A team within a team, sisters, Lora and Lisa work together to make sure St Edmund’s House is always perfect.” – Paul Eddington

No. 30 – Amy Rabone

Started in September 2009

“I love working here as colleagues are so lovely and supportive, the family are actively involved and genuinely care for their employees, and the management team is receptive to feedback, keen to improve and adapt to make the business better for customers and colleagues alike. The company has also been so flexible in accommodating my ability to work with a growing family and we love being able to make use of our 50% discount. I really enjoy working at the cookery school as it is such an amazing experience for our customers to enjoy – seeing them arrive full of nerves and trepidation, and then leaving with big smiles on their faces and full of so much insightful knowledge and eagerness to continue on their culinary journeys!”

“Amy is an amazing team member of the Cookery School, she is hard working, super organised, kind hearted and a joy to work with!” – Claire Johnston

No. 31 – Luis Rincon

Started in January 2010

“Fantastically reliable, looking after every nook and cranny of the restaurant. As well as being our cleaner, he has also been known to help with gardening, jet washing and more.” – Anca Rozor

No. 32 – Emma Rix

Started in February 2010

“I just simply love my job! I love that even though its grown so much it’s still a family business, it still feels like a family business, and we all are made to feel like part of that family. I work with amazing people every day and feel very lucky to be part of this company.”

“Emma is incredibly approachable, positive, knowledgeable and an absolute pleasure to work with!” – Lilli Sutton

No. 33 – Sam Killen

Started in March 2010

“I very much enjoy working for a family run business, working closely with Jill and Ed on a regular basis. Working with a great team and no day is the same. Rising to the wide variety of challenges, The business has given me flexibility and support to grow within my role.”

“He works extremely hard. He knows his ‘onions’. He does all in his gift to keep our show running all year round. Sam’s dedication to ‘serving his customers’ is unquestionable. It will always be a ‘proper job’ with Sam around.” – Ian Fitzgerald

No. 34 – Darren Bray

Started in March 2010

“I love meeting new people, and the great team spirit here.”

“Darren is amazing. He’s been here for a very long time and he’s a very loyal member of staff. He’s always happy and cheering up the rest of the team. He’s a friend to everyone who works here.” – Ashley Gains

No. 35 – Rebecca King

Started in August 2010

“Over the years I have had a few different roles within the company starting at The Patisserie, moving to St. Petroc’s and now primarily in Reservations (Although they havent shaken me off completely at St P’s) I’ve enjoyed the differing roles, working in my home town and always loved all the teams I have worked with meeting some amazing co workers along the way!”

“Becky has the kindest telephone manner you will ever come across! We’re so pleased that she is spending more time with us in Reservations this year.” – Sarah Taylor

No. 36 – Julie Rogers

Started in November 2010

“I love my job, working in housekeeping and meeting interesting people. A company that looks after their staff.”

“A Padstow local Julie is always early and never off sick.” – Paul Eddington

No. 37 – Philip Taylor

Started in January 2011

“The reason that I enjoy working at the school so much is that I get to interact with the customers and I always recognise returning customers some of whom have been coming for over 10 years. I also enjoy working within the school team that is small and friendly.”

“Phil is a real people person, he always makes time for our guests and our returning customers always remember him for being so helpful, kind, polite and personable and this really shows in the feedback he receives. Whether it is making a coffee, pouring some wine or helping you fillet a Sea Bass – Phil is always there for you!!” – Nick Evans

No. 38 – Michael Rowles-Jane

Started in August 2011

“I really enjoy working for the company as I enjoy the people I work with. Over the years I’ve had great opportunities to grow and develop my skills working with a range of people across the business who I have learnt so much from. I enjoy my role and the variety each day it brings, looking at ways we can optimise gross profit margin and analysing data to support and help with improvements.”

“The master of our menus! Michael is exceptionally knowledgeable in his field, supports others and has an incredibly strong work ethic.” – Lilli Sutton

No. 39 – Claire Johnston

Started in February 2012

“Every day is different here! We provide our customers with great products putting smiles on people’s faces, helping them to enjoy celebrations, make great memories and we have a laugh along the way!
It’s all about the people, I’m lucky to spend my time working with two amazing teams a fabulous group of ladies in the Reservations Office and the little dream team at the Cookery School. Working closely with all these people as well as all the other amazing people within the company is what makes the best working environment. I’ve also got the best manager that’s been so supportive and helped me get to where I am today!”

“You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of someone who lives our company values than Claire. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about the cookery school and reservations and if there is, it won’t be long before she does!” – Sarah Taylor

No. 40 – Sarah Collins

Started in March 2012

“Time flies when you’re having fun! I’ve stayed because I’ve had (and am still getting) some incredible opportunities – opportunities to learn and improve, the chance to work with different people and companies, exceptional experiences to enjoy, chances to give back, have some fun, be heard and so much more.
The people here and our genuine enthusiasm to make others smile and to make a difference are very special (and very different to other places I’ve worked!)
Working here I get to practice my marketing profession, in an industry I love, with people that want to make a difference. Three huge ticks!”

“Both brand guardian and chief-in-charge of enticing ever more customers to enjoy our rooms, restaurants and shops. Sarah has flourished over the years, bringing her team with her and works with an energy that is both infectious and gets things done!” – Ian Fitzgerald

No. 41 – Michelle Giles

Started in April 2012

“I’ve been working for Stein’s for 10 years now, it’s like working for one big family. Great team, great place to work and I’ve been very happy working here for the past 10 years, and hopefully here’s to the next 10 years!”

“Michelle is a big asset to our team, she always helps whenever she can to help look after our lovely pub. Her attitude towards the company is just incredible, she brings a smile and charm to the rest of our team.” – Piotr Zera

No. 42 – Ashley Gains

Started in July 2012

“I love working here at Rick Stein’s. The people I work with, the produce we use in the kitchens and all the teams are just great!”

“Ashley understands not only how to cook well but how to bring the very best out in those around him, he is a pleasure to work with.” – Fergus Coyle

No. 43 – Luis de la Sierra Castrillon

Started in August 2012

“I’m so happy to have the chance to work in this team, I love to learn from other chefs. I’ve just moved onto the pastry section and I’m enjoying a new challenge!”

“As a Spaniard, from Jerez, Luis adores food! He loves to share his knowledge with the rest of chefs, has progressed so much since joining us and brings a fantastic energy to the kitchen.” – Ahmed Lakel

No. 44 – Helen Salvidge

Started in August 2012

“Padstow is a very special place and I’ve lived here a long time now. It’s a family-run business and Rick, Jill and the managers are all very approachable and I feel really valued as a team member. I love helping the guests make sure they have a special time staying with us, telling them things to make their holiday special. I love the people that I work with, it’s a friendly atmosphere and everyone is great.”

“Helen is a hard worker who is happy to contribute to team meetings and discussions.” – Paul Eddington

No. 45 – Liis Uprus

Started in April 2013

“After nearly 10 years of working for the company, I love my job even more now than I did when I first started. The opportunity to grow and develop this business has provided has been second to none, but what keeps me coming back day after day, with a smile on my face, are the people – our regular guests have become friends and colleagues family!”

“Liis does a brilliant job as the face of Guest Services, welcoming back familiar faces both two legged ( and in her mind, more importantly) four legged guests. There isn’t a furry friend that doesn’t get a cuddle or a treat as they go past the desk and so many of our regular guests love to see her when they return.” – Sara Alexander

No. 46 – Celeste Munton

Started in May 2013

“I simply love what I do! No day is the same and I luckily get to work at a variety of sites throughout the week. What really strikes me is the great bunch of people that work for the company in different departments, its what makes coming into work a pleasure!”

“Celeste is extremely hard working, knowledgeable, conscientious, and loyal to the business. Always with a smile come rain or shine! We are extremely fortunate to have Celeste working within our department. Thankyou for everything you do!” – Sam Killen

No. 47 – Ahmed Lakel

Started in June 2013

“Barnes feels like an extended family and I have a close relationship with the restaurant, customers and area. It makes me want to take care of everyone. Plus, we have a fantastic team who are open with each other – this is why I’ve stayed for so long.”

“We were very lucky to have Ahmed join our business from The Depot. It’s rare to find a chef so humble and with such a broad knowledge of business. Everyone who has contact with him will tell you he’s one of the good guys.” – Fergus Coyle

No. 48 – Debbie Creed

Started in March 2014

“My job is brilliant for many reasons. Each day is different and I work with loads of amazing people, and suppliers, there are days that are hard, but what keeps me here is above all the people.”

“Debbie is a real asset, she has held several roles within the group, each role she has held she has grown into and mastered. In her current role, she takes each challenge laid out in front of her and tackles it head on, always getting results. She puts the needs of others before hers and is tenacious in getting the job done. She is great at building relationships internally as well as with the suppliers we work with. She has a never say no attitude and takes a calm approach to projects, she is willing to review her approach and continuously improve to ensure she can be more efficient next time.
In the last 12 months Debs has grown in confidence, skillset, and knowledge within the Purchasing team. She is fun to work with and always has a smile on her face.” – Simon Smith

No. 49 – Bonnie Connellan

Started in March 2014

“I enjoy my job because I work with an amazing group of individuals, everyone is supportive and progressive and there’s a definite family feel at St Petrocs. I love the flexibility hospitality offers, not everyone is suited to a 9-5 and the role has given me the chance to work around my 2 young children.”

“Bonnie is a loyal, hardworking and kind person. Her passion for the company and making the customers smile is second to none, I truly am so very lucky to have Bonnie on my team.” – Ceri Phillips

No. 50 – Salar Brock

Started in June 2014

“For me working with great team in all areas of the business, from the support teams behind the scenes and the chefs front of house, all show huge amounts of passions and care in what they do. The family and Ian, the care and understanding they show everyone, every part of the business is a real inspiration, along with giving opportunity to have fun, develop and grow and the freedom to make changes is never forgotten nor do I forget about this or taken for granted.
It’s always a proud moment when someone asks where you work, or they find out and you can see the smile on there faces as they all have a Stein’s experience and want to share about last visit and how much they enjoyed and how the staff all made them feel great and made the experience for them. Work for me is fun and it is made fun by the people I get to work with.”

“Head Schmoozer! Hospitality (definition) – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors and strangers. This is Salar to a tee! His roaming role keeps all inspired to make sure our restaurant standards are always tip-top and we never stop looking to improve.” – Ian Fitzgerald