Our first Lussmanns opened as an Eatery in November 2002, just off the Portobello Road in North Kensington. While we quickly established ourselves as the locals' favourite; we also attracted builders and B celebrities alike who would rub shoulders over coffee and croissants.
Quickly earning a reputation for great sandwiches and being able to remember our locals favourite tipple, our name even reached the BBC at White City where David Bowie, unhappy with the food offering on the Jonathon Ross show, had demanded better. Lussmanns had made it big, if only for one night!
We then branched out into 'food-to-go' delivered by bicycle, followed by a second in-house cafe at John Brown Citrus Publishing, the current publishers of Waitrose Illustrated, amongst others.
Unable to expand further but impatient to build on our early successes, after two years we decided it was time to move and left London for a new home in Hertfordshire in June 2004 to finally open a real restaurant!
Opening night St Albans, 2005. Andrei Lussmann, Katrina Grant (Openings Manager - Kensington, Hertford & St Albans) and Tim Hope.
I have worked in the Hospitality sector for 25 years, initially gaining experience with companies such as Forte, Bass and T.G.I Fridays during which time I completed my Hospitality & Business degree at Birmingham Polytechnic. I then joined Pizza Express, managing some of their flagship restaurants, directing all of Pizza Express’s operations in the Channel Islands and becoming one of their International Franchise Managers.
After leaving Pizza Express, I further developed my portfolio with Fish Diner and latterly, Corney & Barrow in the City where I developed an excellent understanding of, and thirst for, good wine.
In 2002, I set up Lussmanns with the simple view that you can enjoy good ethically sourced food, served in an attractive and timely manner at terrific value for money prices.
Favourite dish: wild South Coast sea bream with Chichester wild clams, garlic, thyme & cherry tomatoes
I have worked in the catering industry as a chef for 30 years, working my way up the ladder from commis chef to executive head chef in the space of 10 years. I then decided to start my own business and set up a quiet but successful gastro pub in a quaint village in Rutland, achieving entry to the Good Food Guide.
After taking the business as far as it could go I worked with the Meat and Livestock Commission as a development chef, educating catering students across the country on the importance of the welfare of our meat from gate to plate. In 2008 I was luckily enough to join Lussmanns for five years, returning in 2015 to work with people who share my passion and enthusiasm for food.
Favourite dish: crab linguine
I have been involved in hospitality since 2005. Starting at the bottom, progressing through the ranks. Working for large chains and independent restaurants. Having seen first hand both back- and front-of-house, for a number of years, gave me a great insight into this fantastic industry.
I have been working for Andrei since 2007, initially managing Lussmanns in Hertford, followed by St Albans and opening Lussmanns in Harpenden in late 2013. I currently manage the operations side of all four restaurants and look forward to another four in the future!
Favourite dish: duck confit
Tim first met Andrei in 1996. Since then, he has made an enormous contribution to the growth and development of Lussmanns. His knowledge, expertise, humour, impressive piano playing and many other skills are all hugely valued.
Favourite dish: sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream
I worked as an Investment Accountant for fifteen years with several fund management companies including Lazards, Citibank and Barclays. After leaving the City, I started an MSc in Renewable Energy, and I am training to become a qualified bookkeeper. Furthermore, I am involved in voluntary conservation work and managing a wood.
Favourite dish: local wild rabbit & chestnut mushroom linguine
I was formerly a Senior Executive with Access Credit cards with both NatWest Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland and was responsible for the creation and development of several business operations in these global brands. Having helped to finance Lussmanns' initial project in Kensington, I remain as an adviser to this young thriving company – now with four restaurants - acting as a Non Executive Director offering support and financial expertise when required.
Favourite dish: line-caught smoked haddock, chestnut mushrooms, sautéed potatoes with garlic & parsley