...reduce the effect our services have on the environment.
...are constantly developing our menu concepts, dining spaces, shops and hospitality services.
Meet The Team
Our experienced and award-winning team are a creative bunch who work hard to deliver the best through our range of catering and retail services. They’re a highly competitive group, who strive to develop new and exciting menus, products and facilities for the University community, as well as improving and strengthening the concepts that continue to delight our customers.
Meet your University Catering and Retail team…
Richard trained at Exeter College before joining the University in 1993 as a Commis Chef. Richard’s career grew from there with promotion to Chef de Partie in 1995, Sous Chef in 2001 and Head chef in 2006. His current role, Executive Chef, taking the culinary lead for the University Catering & Retail team began in 2018. Richard has vast experience and has worked in all the culinary units for the University in one shape or another.
Such varied experience has brought many proud moments for Richard, none more so than the opening of the Forum, during which he cooked for and was part of the group meeting and greeting Her Majesty The Queen back in 2012. The planning and execution of the incredibly dedicated Retail and Catering Team with a challenging menu for 250 VIP guests was very much a once in a lifetime moment for him.
Richard also revels in the team’s involvement in national university culinary competitions, saying “I think for some of our colleagues to develop themselves on a national stage, competing at the highest level and getting recognition either with or without an award, for me is a stand out moment. The icing on the cake was for the University of Exeter to win Gold place 2 years running in the highly competitive Chefs Challenge in the TUCO competitions.”
Things that people may not know about Richard are that he is a tea drinker and doesn’t drink coffee…he is the captain of a skittles team called The Muppets and he loves a custard tart. His other passions include sourcing local ingredients where practical and to eat in season, when produce is at its best.
Trading Head Chef
Rob’s early career took him from Frankfurt to London, then back to Exeter working in various hotels and restaurants building up his knowledge of many different forms of catering.
He joined the University catering team in 1992 working at Duryard halls of residence, making 21 meals a week for 650 students. He then moved to St Luke’s, which was a mixture of 250 residential students, three retail catering units and a busy food delivery business. During his time there the University also supplied the catering to Exeter City Football club.
Next up, Rob headed up the opening of opened La Touché Café which was a brand new food concept for the Business School. From there, he moved to the Terrace Restaurant in Devonshire House which was opened after the extensive redevelopment of the Forum area. At this time Rob was very privileged to feed Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip and 250 invited guests, which he considers to be the highlight of his career to date.
Since then Rob has taken a wider role as the Trading Head Chef for the University, dealing with the halls of residence and the various retail catering outlets across the Streatham campus. He also takes a lead with Health and safety for catering areas.
Away from work, Rob tries to keep himself fit by attending circuit training 3 times a week and he enjoys following various sports and attending matches played by his preferred team. He likes to visit restaurants to enjoy the food – his favourite being The Elephant in Torquay - to broaden his knowledge of what is out there in the wider catering world. He also enjoys spending time with friends and family, which more often than not involves food.
Trading Operations Manager
Duncan joined the Catering & Retail team in November 2019 to lead the team in the Catered Halls of Residence. He has since taken on the operational management of iSCA Eats and Forum Kitchen.
He began his catering story at the Devon Hotel over 20 years ago and has since held various hospitality roles in bars, kitchens, schools, clubs and pubs in the UK, America and Italy. Before joining the University, Duncan had been focussing most recently on Learning and Development.
As part of his role so far, Duncan has particularly enjoyed developing new menus and systems, visiting suppliers and catering for VIPs.
In his career before the University, stand-out chapters for Duncan include teaching English to students of all ages whilst living in Rome, opening and running a flagship restaurant for ASK Italian and being awarded Pub of the Year in 2017.
Duncan loves anything and everything Italian, getting lost in an epic film and riding his bike for miles in the Devon countryside. He has also recently discovered the beauty of a well-made meringue with fresh cream and local raspberries.
Trading Operations Manager (Hospitality, Conferencing & Events)
Max is new to the University, having joined the Catering & Retail team in June 2022 to lead the teams in Hospitality, Conferencing and Events across the campus.
Max also oversees all VIP events including bespoke lunches and dinners for the Vice Chancellor and guests to the University.
Having worked in the hospitality industry for over ten years working in various bars, restaurants and nightclubs, Max has a passion for people and their development.
During Max’s journey so far within the University, his highlights have included VIP fine dining and gala dinners in the Great Hall.
Outside of work, Max enjoys spending time with his family and working on his garden.
After training at Exeter College, Nicky began her career in Westcountry Hotels, working in kitchens and front of house for their restaurants for several years.
Since joining the university in 1993, Nicky has worked on catering for conferences and events, for students in halls of residence, in our Eat & Shop cafes and restaurants on campus and now for the Fresh Ideas delivery food service and events hospitality. Nicky has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is instrumental in developing bespoke menus for clients, including for the visit of Her Majesty The Queen in 2012 and for the Vice Chancellor's annual garden party.
With a passion for fresh seasonal food, Nicky has always enjoyed pushing the boundaries when creating flavours and loves developing and inspiring others. She is interested in new food trends and techniques and regularly represents the University in contests, such as the annual TUCO competitions, having been a finalist many times.
Her favourite cake is coffee and walnut.
Trading Operations Manager
Having always worked in the Hospitality discipline since leaving school, Paul gathered extensive experience through various roles in pubs and hotels before joining the University in 2008.
His first role on the Streatham campus was as Deputy Manager at Reed Hall, before undertaking a year secondment to the Event Exeter team, managing events for a range of clients.
From there, Paul became Manager at the newly opened La Touche Café in Building:One of the Business School, before moving to the role of Hospitality Manager overseeing the extensive Fresh Ideas internal delivered food and hospitality service, and most recently as Trading Operations Manager overseeing the trading outlets across campus.
Paul sees every day that goes smoothly as a success and in particular, enjoys working with charity clients and on events such as Taste of the West, which showcase local food businesses.
When not at work he enjoys spending time with his children, often at the beach, paddling or body boarding.
Development Head Chef
The newest edition to the culinary team, Richard joined the University as Development Head Chef in October 2019. His role is to support the overall development of food offered at the University, from fine dining, to the cafes, halls of residence and the development in progress, Forum Food Court.
After studying Business and starting his career in a bank, Richard took off for a year travelling the world, which soon inspired him to follow his passion and begin his life as a Chef, starting here at the University of Exeter as a Trainee Chef back in 2005. After successfully completing his training in professional cookery, Richard gained valuable experience in top hotels and restaurants throughout the region.
Richard's most recent job before coming to campus was as Head Chef at the renowned Deer Park Hotel near Honiton, where he specialised in fine dining, weddings, private dining and outdoor cookery, using their own home grown produce and gaining two AA rosettes.
As part of his research into food trends, Richard recently completed a two day course in Chinese food and culture, which he hopes to bring to life in some of the University outlets.
Richard has always been passionate about using local and seasonal produce, reflected closely in his food style. He has a particular interest in outdoor cookery, including Argentinean style barbeques, wood fired pizza ovens and fire pits. When he’s not out enjoying the countryside or at home with his family, he’s usually cooking something over flames!
Trading Operations Manager
Mat joined the University back in 2005 as Assistant Retail Shop Manager for the campus shop, which was originally located in Stocker Road before the Forum was built. Following a 2 year secondment, Mat secured the permanent role of Retail Shops Manager in 2012, overseeing the development of the Market Place shop as we know it now, within the Forum complex.
Mat’s current role includes overseeing the 4 retail convenience shops which are operated by the Catering & Retail team, as well as managing the third party contracts for vending machines and the EPOS till system which is used in all CIOSS Commercial Operations. He also helped to set up the popular Market now held on the Streatham campus.
Before joining the University, Mat gained valuable experience in numerous roles with J Sainsbury, including Customer Services Assistant, Chief Merchandiser and Team Leader.
Highlights of his career to date include the preparation and delivery of the Market Place Forum shop which was 2 years in the planning. He particularly enjoys introducing new concepts, products, suppliers and ways of working to his areas of work.
Mat has a passion for getting the job done and outside of work, his hobbies include supporting his 3 children with their sport and dance interests.
Trading Operations Manager
Ben began working at the University in November 2022, after over 20 years of working in food retail as a store manager. As an experienced manager Ben would often be assigned to support and develop other managers and he particularly enjoyed leading teams through refits and new store openings.
In his time with the University Catering and Retail team, Ben has enjoyed getting to experience the catering operations of the University but is now looking forward to his new role of supporting the retail outlets at St David's, Cornwall House and Birks Grange, as well as overseeing the vending operation within the University.
Outside of work, Ben likes to spend as much time as he can with his 3 children. He also enjoys keeping fit through various sporting activities and has a passion for property renovation.