Rick Stein Restaurants work with The CRUMBS Project to promote disability confidence and opportunities within the Hospitality industry

The CRUMBS Project's trainee James filleting fish with a chef Raz from Rick Stein Sandbanks restaurant

Eating fish has been an important part of human civilization since ancient times. Whilst cod and salmon remain amongst the most popular fish ingredients in UK meals, the nation is fortunate to have access to a varied range of fresh and saltwater fish and seafood. What many people lack is the inspiration and knowledge about what to do with these ingredients.

Rick Stein is a family business headed up by Rick and Jill Stein, and their three sons, Ed, Jack, and Charlie. Known for their fish restaurants both in Cornwall and across the UK, in 2022 they were amongst the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for in the Leisure & Hospitality industry. The organisation is a strong supporter of charities local to their sites who support food poverty, homelessness, children with life limiting illnesses and charities related to the Hospitality industry.

Rick Stein Sandbanks restaurant is located near to The CRUMBS Project’s training centre in Dorset. The restaurant’s management team work closely with the disability training charity to promote disability confidence and support the mission to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities within the Hospitality industry.

The Rick Stein Sandbanks restaurant has opened its doors to The CRUMBS Project, enabling the charity’s Food Production & Service programme trainees, who are adults with disabilities ranging in age between 18-70, to complete work experience placements and learn more about how an industry leading fish and seafood restaurant operates to satisfy its discerning customers.

The restaurant’s staff team also volunteer their time and skills to provide cookery masterclasses for The CRUMBS Project’s trainees and staff, who are invited into the restaurant kitchens to learn more about how to prepare and cook fresh fish and seafood.

Most recently, with demonstrations and guidance from Rick Stein Sandbanks’ team member Razvann Craescu, The CRUMBS Project’s trainees joined a masterclass to learn how to correctly fillet fresh bream and hake. They also got to grips with preparing fresh lobsters and crab. This provided the trainees with the opportunity to work with ingredients they would not normally prepare and be mentored by a professional seafood chef.

Rick Stein Sandbanks team member Razvann Craescu works with The CRUMBS Project’s trainee James to fillet a Bream.

For James, a trainee with learning disabilities, this was the first time he had visited Rick Stein Sandbanks and his first experience of preparing fresh fish. He said:

“It was amazing to see the restaurant kitchens and walk-in fridges behind the dining room and all the different kinds of fish they have in there.” 

James – Trainee from The CRUMBS Project

For trainee Emily who is working through a Food Production & Service training programme with The CRUMBS Project, the masterclass provided an opportunity to practice her skills filleting different fish.Emily is hoping to complete work experience with the restaurant in 2024 and complete a Fresh Fish & Shellfish training unit within her training programme.

“I found the masterclass really good. It was surprising how many bones there are in the rib cage of a fish. You have to be really focused with your knife to get the fillet.”

Emily – Trainee from The CRUMBS Project

The CRUMBS Project trainee Emily during a cookery masterclass with Rick Stein Sandbanks team member Razvann Craescu.

Louis Rogers, Senior General Manager of Rick Stein Sandbanks is an advocate of promoting people with disabilities and the difference this can make both to the individual and to enriching the workplace. Louis’ restaurant staff team includes people with disabilities.

“As a values led business inclusivity is really important, and we welcome everyone into the business. Hospitality is all about coming from the heart and Crumbs do some fantastic work for people who are wanting to be part of the Hospitality industry. When Crumbs trainees come to us they get the chance to work with ingredients they would never get the chance to normally. They can learn skills from people who specialise in fish. We’ve also been able to give them confidence and introduce them to new people and new environments and work with them to improve their skills.”

Louis Rogers – Senior General Manager, Rick Stein Restaurants

The CRUMBS Project is a Disability Confident Leader. Rick Stein Sandbanks is a Disability Confident Level 2 Employer.