our meat specialist - Richard Sanders
Trained the art of traditional butchery in the wilderness of New Zealand, Richard has travelled the world from the tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea to the concrete jungles of Mayfair.
Not only has been successful at young age winning the New Zealand Butcher of the Year in 2003, but his development work throughout Australasia in food production and training young chefs and butchers has abled him to have a wide expertise in all areas and levels of the food industry. After sailing the seas with Carnival UK last year as their meat and seafood specialist, Richard has come back to his beloved second home of London to join the team at Classic Fine Foods to continue his good work.
“My role at Classic Fine Foods holds a special place in the company as I’m the main course, so to speak! With over 25 years experience around the world in all spectrums of the meat trade, I know how important my knowledge, integrity and passion is to creating long-term partnerships between our suppliers and customers for that “farm to fork” connection.
I love working with all our existing customers and love the challenge of welcoming new clients. My role is to offer them all as much advice, support and even training as they need and of course sourcing the best quality meats for their tables."
our Chocolate specialist - Sam Smallman
Sam has been entertaining and enthusing the public about chocolate for over 8 years. Starting out running stores for renowned British Chocolatier Paul A Young, Sam quickly developed a knack for getting both staff and customers excited about chocolate. When moving to Rococo Chocolates, Sam quickly set up a successful series of pairings and tastings highlighting chocolate’s key flavour links in classic combinations with wine and whisky to new innovations with meat, cheese, tequila and even insects. When not creating his pairings Sam is often to be found training kitchen teams in all things Cacao.
Sam joined Classic Fine Foods in 2017 as Brand Manager for Valrhona Chocolate and since his arrival has been enthusing and exciting chefs across the country.
“My role at Classic Fine Foods is I think the one everyone secretly wants. So, to quickly answer the most asked questions. Yes, I eat chocolate every day. NO, I never get bored of it and Yes, I have a doctor’s bag full of chocolate. It’s a hard knock life.
For me, my job is about 3 things, flavour, listening and inspiring. Having the privilege of working with some of the world’s best chocolates, the quality of the ingredient is always a given, the key is making sure the chef has the perfect chocolate to match his vision.
By listening and consulting with chefs we at Classic Fine Foods UK can help discover the newest flavours, train new teams to understand how these flavours are obtained and at our best inspire them to create something truly unique.”
our pastry chefs - Denis Dramé MCA & Sarju ranavaya
Denis Dramé MCA - Pastry Chef for TheTasteLab London by Classic Fine Foods
Denis joined Classic Fine Foods to run TheTasteLab. He began his career at the City Bakery in New York. He has worked alongside Raymond Blanc and Benoit Blin at the iconic 2-star Michelin restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and after a spell at Dainesfield House, Denis took on the role of Head Pastry Chef at Pennyhill Park.
In addition to his day-to-day commitments, Denis regularly judges pastry competitions and he was awarded the Master of Culinary Arts. He is also the coach of Team United Kingdom for the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2019.
Sarju Ranavaya - Assistant Pastry Chef for TheTasteLab London by Classic Fine Foods
After graduating from the renowned culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, Sarju began his career with the Dorchester Collection in CUT at 45 Park Lane. Then continuing to work in iconic 5 Star luxury hotels in London, spending some years at The Berkeley then moving to The Langham and most recently at Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel before joining the team at TheTasteLab. He is also the chocolate candidate of Team United Kingdom for the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2019
“If life’s too short not to eat dessert, then it's our duty to ensure that people can enjoy the best desserts ever.
If you’ve got a burning ambition to be the best, to hone your skills, to learn new techniques and to do this in a beautifully equipped kitchen, using the finest ingredients then come to TheTasteLab by Classic Fine Foods. We’re the chefs who organise the ever-more popular pastry and cuisine classes, invite top chefs from around the world to teach Masterclasses and make sure that everything runs like clockwork. Come and join the fun and find out how TheTasteLab is just getting better and better! ”
Denis Dramé MCA - Pastry Chef for TheTasteLab