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Richard Tapner-Evans

Director of Catering at The House of Commons

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved Geography and intended to learn more about environmental studies at university but didn’t get the grades. As I was working a lot in hotels and bars at the time I thought I’d give hospitality some further thought and ended up at Bournemouth University (Dorset Institute of higher education as it was then ) studying Catering Management which I loved.

  • What was your first job?

Washing pots at the Yang Sing Bistro.

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

Hotel – The Dorchester. Having worked there for a few years in banqueting when I was learning the trade it was an exciting and interesting place to work. A different world of indulgence.

Restaurant – I’ve recently been to the Kota restaurant in Porthleven in Cornwall. Fresh local food, great service and fabulous location.

  • How do you inspire your team?

Having a clear vision and message of what needs to be achieved. Lead from the front and by example, support and nurture so that the team recognise and achieve their own potential.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

I learn and am inspired all the time from the teams I work with and for people I work for. When I first started out in the catering industry Zoe Jenkins who lived and breathed the industry and was constantly passionate about it.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

Drawing the line between work and home life and plenty of external activities to the job to take your mind off things.

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

I don’t have a digital profile as such. I think it can take up too much unnecessary energy.  I’ve used LinkedIn previously but this was to find a job at the time.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now?

If I had the route of environmental studies  probably in a field somewhere taking soil samples

  • What did you do on your last days off?

Ran a bit, yoga’d a bit, took the dog for a walk, taxi’d the kids around. Had a nice meal and a glass of wine with family and friends.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

I am a qualified coach for field hockey so this is a great distraction to work and is very rewarding.