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!
Watch a short video about Lussmanns here
Opening night St Albans, 2004. Andrei Lussmann, Katrina Grant (Openings Manager - Kensington, Hertford & St Albans) and Tim Hope.
Andrei Lussmann, Director
I have worked in the Hospitality sector for 22 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: free range chicken schnitzel with garlic & chilli linguine
Kevin Hill, Group Head Chef
Yorkshire born and bred and living all of my adult life in Adelaide, South Australia with hair that swishes (Andrei can get very jealous).
My career started with four years in the RN, then off to Australia for a 10 year stint in the RAAF with P3 Orions, followed by Chef training at Regency TAFE, so I might seem like a mixed bag. However, I worked my way through from baking scones on a Sunday afternoon with my Nan to Group Executive Chef for a Gastro pub group in the home counties to a large, UK-wide high street brand and, to top it off, nearly three years Michelin star experience.
I thrive in this industry and have a mission for my Chefs, company, produce and future. I have worked with some very clever people and that knowledge, experience and belief will and is being passed on to our people at all levels; our kitchen porters will one day be head chefs in their own right.
There is nothing better than real cooking, thought, presentation, passion, chatter, noise, discussion and laughter all of which touch and stimulate the senses, let’s keep it up.
Tim Hope, Head of Operations
Tim has made an enormous contribution to the growth and development of Lussmanns since he first met Andrei back in 1996. 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 three 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