Stephen is an award-winning and talented chef, and creator of the exciting and flavoursome comestibles we sell. The face of Duffy & LeBan at events, Sharon is a great organiser and keeps the paperwork – and Stephen – in order.
Stephen left school with the intention of joining the RAF but took a seasonal job washing up in the kitchens of a Great Yarmouth hotel. He progressed to do some cooking and found he had a flare for it. As a result, he applied for an apprenticeship in the kitchen at the Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth, studying, training and gaining qualifications over a six-year period.
He also went in for a number of competitions while he was there. In 1989 he was recognised by the Academy of Culinary Arts, attaining their Annual Award of Excellence, and the same year came second in the UK Young Chef of the Year competition. He was also national winner in the Chaine des Rotisseurs competition, going on to represent his country in the international finals in Spain.
He left the Imperial and helped to set up the Metfield Café at the world famous Snape Maltings concert venue in Suffolk before being invited to Somerleyton Hall to run its catering operations for wedding receptions, corporate events, dinners, conferences and shooting parties.
Stephen and Sharon were both working at the Imperial when they first met. She started at the hotel at the age of 16, working as a part-time waitress while studying at Great Yarmouth College. After a spell at another hotel in the town, Sharon returned to the Imperial, progressing to head receptionist and duty manager.
She then spent ten years as an estate agent and a short time as an administrator before joining Stephen at Somerleyton Hall, where they ran the Kitchen Garden Restaurant and provided catering for weddings, events and shooting parties.
Stephen returned to his award-winning ways when he picked up two gold awards for terrines in the 2012 Great Taste Awards..
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