"If you always
do what you've always done, you'll always
get what you've always got”
My first job was as a part time washer up in a local, but rather well known fish restaurant for what can only be described as a ferocious Swede. Cooking and hospitality was my thing and I was hooked after that. I was lucky enough to attend Le Cordon Bleu school, following that I applied and was successful to get a place on the Mount Charlotte Thistle Hotels graduate programme - the youngest person ever at that time to be accepted on the BA program. I then worked as a chef, I managed restaurants, both fine-dining and chain (Café Rouge), as well as working as a consultant for a Cambridge-based hospitality consultancy company. Then came Restaurant Associates, running £150m Key account contracts such as LWT and the Willis Group; Unilever Ventures as Operations Director and then with Artizian, first in operations then as Sales Director. I set up my own business, Couture, in 2007, which was a £7m concession catering company operating in the private jet, museum, arts, film and TV sectors throughout the UK. When Couture was sold to CH and CO in 2012, I joined GHA Group as Managing Director, I was then Culinary Director for Alpha LSG Sky Chefs for the UK 2014-2018 and also had the privilege working with LSG Global Futures in Germany. I have since consulted for several businesses working in the airline and travel sector, whilst building Libero Special Meals and Bare Food Travels brands and setting up the Niche Free-from Kitchen with Adrian. We also produce products for retail, airlines and private healthcare. Since 2014 I have written for OnBoard Hospitality Magazine on food insights, trends and free from and the travel sector in general. I speak and cook regularly at events on free from cooking, and was featured on this topic on APEX media and APEX insider.
My first job was a washing up job on Saturday nights in a local restaurant. I soon progressed onto the floor a waiter and discovered my calling. My first full-time job was as an Assistant Manager at a pub/nightclub/restaurant and hotel in Skipton in Yorkshire. From there I went on to be Manager at a new bar and club in Bradford with the same owners. Then came a formative period at a restaurant chain called Pastificio, whose USP was that we made pasta onsite. At 28 I moved to London and did a 4-year stint at Heathrow T3 and then Gatwick, running food courts and branded concessions. After that, digby trout Restaurants came along, where I started as General Manager for London Zoo. I went on to become Operations Director, responsible for the entire portfolio of 33 contracts with a turnover of £35m. I then joined Couture as Operations Director: From the very first interview with Marc it was clear we were going to work well together and throughout the ups and downs inherent in running a small business, we never lost sight of our vision. In recent years I have overseen the restaurants, cafes, bars and car parks at the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama as Head of Commercial Development: Managing catering contractors and inhouse operations that has given me a wider perspective of the industry. Niche started its journey as a restaurant Marc and I opened in 2013 and fate has now put us in the position of being able to create something exciting together, building on our different but complementary skills and experience.
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have”
SUPERVISORS & TEAM LEADERS
Group Executive Chef
I have worked in the field of culinary arts throughout Europe for the past 22 years and have honed my skills at many fine-dining establishments during that time. I started out in Greece working at Elounda Beach 5* Hotel, Stratos Vassilikos 5* Hotel and Hytra (One Michelin star) restaurant. I then moved to Monaco where I lead the kitchen as a Head Chef at Pacific Monte Carlo Restaurant for the following 2 years. A decision to pursue a career in the United Kingdom led me to London in 2012, a chance that allowed me to eventually join Sake No Hana from Hakkasan Group. Also had the privilege of working with Sabor One Michelin star restaurant in the Head Chef role and most recently in La Bodega Negra. Being a part of Niche Free-from Kitchen is giving me the opportunity to contribute to the team and share my years of experience and knowledge for a better, safer, and quality catering dining experience.
Product Development Manager
I was diagnosed as having Coeliac Disease at one years old. This meant growing up to double check ingredients and advocate for my own health. The Free From market wasn’t as vast as it is today but as always, contains a lot of un-recognisable ingredients. I spent every weekend baking and cooking with my family so that I never missed out on what my friends had. Fast forward to a BAhons and MSc in food later, I’ve worked developing allergen-free bakery products so that nobody else ever gets left out. Having worked as a chef in the Niche restaurant in London and now at our production kitchen is Harlow, Niche means inclusion for all those with food restrictions.
Quality Assurance Manager
My passion for food started when I was a child. My family used to run a restaurant in Italy where I made my first step into a professional kitchen at the age of thirteen. I liked the kitchens and the food and I enrolled on the hotel school. In June 2014 I participated in a contest organized by the Italian society of diabetologists to create a low-sugar main. I won 2nd place and my dish was published in books and newspapers. After the diploma, I started travelling around Europe and worked as a chef in different restaurants and hotels. The most important experience I had as chef de partie, was in a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Paris at Nolita Café. Here my passion for food and the infinite ways of transforming food became even more strongly so I decided to go back to Italy and enrol on a food science degree course at the University of Foggia, where I was born. After graduation, I moved to London where I started my career as a Quality Auditor in the food industry working for a well-established food manufacturing company in north London. Here, I have developed skills in food safety management, inspections, and auditing. I am a qualified BRC auditor with a few audits undertaken independently in the food industry. Currently, I am doing a master's in food science and innovation at the Manchester Metropolitan University and I am aiming to get a PhD later on.
I decided to study Food Science at University as I was diagnosed with coeliac disease at 16. I started my career in the Oscar Mayer Group as a Graduate Technologist, with my two years with the company I progressed to QA Supervisor overseeing a team whose role was to ensure the quality and safety of the food produced. Having dined at the Niche restaurant many times, when the opportunity arose to work in their production facility it was an opportunity I could not pass up.
I started out as a kitchen porter but have since trained KP’s to be chefs. I worked in a government building next door to the Iranian embassy helping the head chef skin and filleting Dover sole when he suggested I go to college, having someone believe in me was a major boost for me in my youth. I was fortunate to be working in the industry at Victoria casino as a comis chef then first comis at the royal garden hotel and a French Lebanese fish restaurant where customers can choose their own lobster is where I learned some classical cooking. Fast forward to when I lived in California I ran an Irish restaurant for four years then worked in a Caribbean restaurant with a french twist, very colourful cuisine. Back to Europe I spent one summer in Spain running the kitchen in a tapas bar and have also enjoyed outdoor events in the UK such as birthdays and weddings etc. I have worked in many places with a variety of different cultures and cuisines and I have to say I enjoy my current role at Niche free from kitchen with a great work life balance.
Weigh & Scale Supervisor
From a young age, I have always found myself to be around food and coming from a family of cooks, it was almost inevitable. My first part-time job was food preparation for my sister, who ran a restaurant in London. Every summer I would work there and gradually hone my skills, where eventually I was given the chance to cook. Ever since then, my passion and interest in food grew. However, I was still young and naive and didn't know if it was truly my path or was I simply just following in my family's footsteps. This led me to wander and explore my other interests and passions, one of which guided me to achieve a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. Although this marked one of my greatest achievements, I left university feeling unsatisfied and knew that working with food is where my heart belonged. Once the opportunity to work for Niche arose, I applied straight away. Currently, with my two years with the company, I have gained a great deal of knowledge into the ins and outs of working in food production and can only hope to expand my knowledge even further.
Hi, I am Mariusz. I have obtained and completed my master degree in marketing and management in 2002. I studied and used to work in a large advertising agency in Poland for couple years. In 2004 I have decided to move to London. Since that time, I have worked and shared my experiences in different companies. Through that time, I have also developed my leadership skills, gain new additional qualifications, like forklift licences and undertook new trainings, like Occupational Health and Safety. For ‘Niche Free-from Kitchen’ I work as a warehouse supervisor since October 2021. I am a huge fun of heathy eating and wellbeing. I have developed my expertise in food allergies, intolerance, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian meals. I am fascinated and passionate about my work. I am very proud to be part of such a talented, fun and motivated team that is dedicated to making a big impact on the business we are working in.