New head chef at the helm of Ramsgate’s Empire Room

The Empire Room has a new head chef

The Empire Room restaurant in Ramsgate has a new head chef at the helm.

Michelin trained Richard Warrington, 43, has the team, led by hotelier James Thomas and Executive Head Chef Craig Mather.  The pair also run the Little Ships Restaurant and Cafe, which sits overlooking the marina.

Richard has enjoyed recent spells at nearby Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs and Buoy and Oyster restaurant in Margate and worked at several Michelin-starred and 3 or 4 AA Rosettte establishments, including Castle Ashby in Northampton, Stoner Arms Hotel in Henley on Thames, as well as Greenway Hotel and Buckland Manor – both in Cheltenham.

He has also been a private chef to some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, aboard their super yachts; ski chalets in St Moritz and Verbier; homes in London and Moscow; and to Damian Aspinall at Howletts Mansion.  His experience covers catering for everything from small private shooting parties to 500 cover banquets.

Craig said: “Richard’s experiences from around the globe, working as a private chef, lends itself perfectly to The Empire Room’s style of food using local, seasonal ingredients, enhanced with the flavours from different continents, in intimate setting.”

Richard describes his style as classic French, with modern British influences devoid of unnecessary distractions.  He says that although working as a private chef was an incredibly interesting life for a single person, being on call 24/7 and not knowing where he might be from one day to the next, did not allow a private life.

He added: “Some private clients are a delight to work for – others less so, regarding you as a servant and would think nothing of waking you up at 3am to make bacon sandwiches for them and their mates.”

Apart from a few seasonal tweaks, Richard is not planning any fundamental changes to the Empire Room’s approach, and is currently talking to local producers and allotment growers, to plan new Spring menus.

Find the Empire Room online at


  1. Love Little Ships, favourite place to have a fry up. Excellent quality ingredients, cooked well and in a lovely environment and atmosphere. Have been to Empire Room once, food was ok, but we haven’t been back as everything was covered in slug trails, the floor, walls and even our table had silver slug/ snail trails, it’s in the basement and the floor was partly bare concrete. It’s was very off putting. If this issue was sorted or even if the staff cleaned everything before opening to guests, I’d happily go back. Always support local business ie not chains. So would love to give it another try.

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