Richard Sanders is Group Meat Specialist for Classic Fine Foods, travelling worldwide working with farmers and suppliers to supply Classic’s 14 sites spread across Asia, UAE and Europe, supplying high-quality meats to fine dining restaurants, hotels and Michelin-star chefs.
Richard originally from New Zealand, started training in traditional butchery on the family farm to later become a Master Butcher and award-winning Charcutier. From the age of 14 he was slaughtering and butchering cattle, pigs and lambs while also working on fishing boats at weekends for extra pocket money. At 20 he bought his first butchery specialising in traditionally handmade sausages, salami, hams, bacon and started to experiment with European Charcuterie styles.
Unfortunately, in the year 2000, he was tragically hit by a bus, leaving him with a broken back and legs resulting him selling his business. From his house where he built his own smokehouse and sausage machine, farmers and hunters would bring him various meats for him to make his famous sausages and salami. Word spread and a neighbouring village butchery sponsored him to enter the 2003 New Zealand Butcher of the year competition.
In that year he won and became New Zealand’s Young Butcher of the Year and won many other awards for his artisan-cured handmade produce which was sold around the country. He then worked with various fine dining hotels and restaurants, designing bespoke sausages and smoked goods for their menus. He then was asked to lecture theory and practical knowledge to butchery apprentices and chefs at Manakau Institute of Technology, which is regarded as NZ’s university of meat. From here he would be lured overseas not to return back to his home country again.
Richard’s wide international experience throughout Australasia, Europe and UK, includes seven years in Papua New Guinea working in Food Development with the country’s biggest meat processor where he managed 400 staff processing 50-60 tons of cooked sausage and butchering up 20 tons of beef, pork and lamb per day.
From the tropical jungles of Papua New Guinea to the concrete jungles of London, he has spent the last ten years working with London’s most exclusive retailers including being GM of Allen’s of Mayfair, the UK’s oldest butchery – catering to top chefs, hotels and restaurants in central London. As well as working as a specialist across the UK in farm shops, organic farms and teaching butchery across Europe. He also sailed away as the Head of Meat and Seafood for Carnival Cruises UK travelling the seas, training staff to serve the immense crowds on various cruise ships.
In 2017 he found Classic Fine Foods in London and as their Meat Specialist, he has been travelling to search for the World’s best meats and hopefully in Dublin for the World’s best steak!