Originally from Brittany in north-west France, Richard trained as a baker from the age of 14. After moving to the UK in the late 1980s, he started cooking. His catering background included time as pastry chef at the Chewton Glen Hotel and as head chef at both the Rhinefield House Hotel in the New Forest and the Silver Plough at Pitton, where he was awarded the Egon Ronay, Pub of the Year, and the American Express Magazine, UK Pub of the Year. In 1996, a position as operations director with the Novelli Group of restaurants brought him to London where, in 1998, he started advising small food-related businesses. And in 2000, he set up the Dough Co, his consultancy business. From here, he divided his time between consultancy work advising on the development of new products for several supermarket chains, teaching and writing.
In 2005, Richard and his wife Jo opened the cookery school at the same time that Richard’s first book Dough was published to critical acclaim and a host of awards such as IACP cookery book of the year 2006, the James Beard Award for Best Book (Baking & Desserts) and the Julia Child Award for Best First Book. Richard published his second book Crust in 2007 (World Gourmand Award for Best UK Book – Baking), Cook – In A Class of Your Own in 2010, Pastry in 2012 and Patisserie Maison in 2014. Most recently, in 2019, Richard published Crumb – Show The Dough Who’s Boss!
Richard was named the BBC Food Champion of the Year 2010 at the BBC Food & Farming Awards on 24 November 2010.
In 2012, Richard and Jo founded The Bertinet Bakery, to produce artisan bread for as wide an audience as possible and achieved nationwide listings with both Waitrose and Pret a Manger before selling the bakery to The Bread Factory in 2019.
Richard makes regular TV appearances on programmes such as James Martin’s Saturday Morning, Saturday Kitchen and An Extra Slice. He also appears at food shows around the UK and offers an online course through BBC Maestro.