Meet the Cucina Central Team

Our Management Team

Steve Quinn: Chief Executive More [+]

Steve Quinn

Steve created in Cucina in 2005 believing that school food could and should be much closer to restaurant food.

Having worked all of his life in the food service industry, Steve has been a chef and manager in international hotels and restaurants as well as in national hotel chains.

After a long spell in hotels, Steve joined the contract catering sector, working for the two largest contract caterers in the UK – Sodexo and Compass Group – as a manager and director. Steve has worked in business and industry, healthcare, retail and leisure and education sectors and prior to starting Cucina, saw first-hand the challenges set out by Jamie Oliver with his plans to revolutionise school food.

From the outset, Cucina has focused on a simple business philosophy of serving as many children as possible restaurant quality food and an unwavering belief that children who eat better, perform better and therefore do better in life.

Steve’s business interests now include ownership of a national purchasing company, fresh fruit slush machine empire as well as a high street restaurant aiming for Michelin accolades.

Steve stepped back as Managing Director in 2015 as is now Chief Executive of Cucina Restaurants. Steve’s marketing and branding expertise can be seen in Cucina’s food concepts, restaurant environments and food initiatives.

Stuart Lenton: Managing Director More [+]

Stuart Lenton

Stuart joined Cucina as newly appointed Managing Director in 2015 following a long career in the hotel, hospitality, contract catering, leisure and restaurant industries.

Stuart heads up all Cucina restaurants and visits our clients regularly to ensure the Cucina standards and customer service is delivered across the board. Stuart’s experience as a Sales Director makes him ideal to spearhead our new business activity and with his strong operational knowledge, only proposes workable solutions that have been rigorously tested during site visits.

Stuart’s contractual, legislative and school market place knowledge are regularly brought into play as we continually keep abreast of the ever-changing education arena to ensure we offer the very best service at all times.

Sam Davies: Director of Food More [+]

Sam Davies

As one of three Cucina Directors, Sam is a vital part of our mobilisation and food service standards team. Commencing her career as a chef, Sam is a highly experienced food service expert with many years’ experience working at major events such as the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon and Ascot.

Sam’s passions are menu development and skills training and she can regularly be seen working alongside our restaurant teams to ensure that the Cucina standards are trained and delivered.

Sam manages our central food team ensuring the standards across the Cucina estate are always monitored and continuously improved. She often says she has the best job in Cucina as all she does is focus on food! Sam champions our food promises and via links with Love British Food, regularly represents Cucina at high profile events, meeting Raymond Blanc, Phil Howard and Government Ministers.

Jennie Prout: Business Manager More [+]

Jennie Prout

Jennie joined Cucina in November 2007 initially as our Office Manager, taking responsibility for the whole administrative side of the business from food to finance. Over the years, and as the central administrative team has grown, Jennie has taken on the role of Business Manager, with responsibility for company finances, co-ordinating new business and retention opportunities, contracts and payroll.

Jennie is also the Assistant to Steve Quinn, our Chief Executive and gets involved with our new business mobilisations, assisting with the front of house and office set ups.

Abigail Holt: Food Team Manager More [+]

Abigail Holt

Working closely with our Food Director Samantha Davies, Abi is an integral part of our Food Team. Commencing her career at Cucina two years ago as an Office Assistant, Abi now manages chef’s both in our restaurants and on our Central Chef Team; co-ordinating new menus, seasonal specials, theme days and other events we hold throughout the year.

Jenny Teesdale: HR Manager More [+]

Jenny Teesdale

Having worked within Human Resources for over 15 years and most recently spending 6 years working for a family run contract caterer, Jenny has a passion for food and all things people.

With a wealth of experience in HR; from recruitment and performance management to training and development, Jenny provides advice and support for both senior management and all employees within Cucina.

Our Food Team

Andy Wilcock: Executive Chef More [+]

Andy Wilcock

Andy’s career in the restaurant and catering industry covers working at prestigious 5* hotels including the Lanesborough, Dorchester and Cliveden House, holding a Michelin star and five AA rosettes. Andy was a semi-finalist at National Chef of the Year, and won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at The Culinary World Cup, the Hospitality Show and Wessex Salon Culinaire. Andy is a frequent member of the Great British Culinary team, travelling throughout Europe representing our Nation.

Andy joined Cucina as one of our Restaurant Executive Chefs and was promoted into the central team following successful stints at two of our clients’ restaurants. Andy’s passion is his love of theme days and doesn’t need much encouragement to dress up during his day job!

Ian Morgan: Executive Chef More [+]

Ian Morgan

Ian’s career in the UK restaurant and catering industry includes working in some of the nation’s best kitchens for household names such as Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes. Ian also spent time at leading hotels and restaurants frequently winning accolades. Ian was also runner up in ‘National Chef of the Year’, won gold at Salon Culinaire and held a Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’.

Ian joined Cucina many years ago and his enthusiasm and tireless work ethic ensure our clients receive restaurant standards wherever he goes. Ian and Tony manage all of Cucina VIP hospitality events. Ian has worked in every Cucina restaurant and has been with us for almost a decade!

Tobi Luczak: Executive Chef More [+]

Tobi Luczak

Tobi’s career in the restaurant and catering industry includes work in large scale conference venues, banqueting halls and commercial head offices. Events such as weddings and prestigious functions as well as high profile fine dining. Tobi is also an experienced health and safety trainer which he combines with his focus on food.

Tobi joined Cucina as one of our Restaurant Executive Chefs and was promoted into the central team following a successful period running one of our clients’ restaurants. Tobi’s ability to adapt to catering events both large and small in diverse restaurant environments allows him to translate Cucina standards from restaurant to restaurant wherever he goes.

Our Operations Team

Tony Ridgwell: Operations Manager More [+]

Tony Ridgwell

Tony is a highly-experienced food service professional, who has worked his way through the ranks of Chef, Catering Manager, Area Manager and Regional Manager for a multinational catering organisation. Tony’s experience in the hospitality industry involves frequently heading up large client hospitality events, not only planning the events, but leading these from the front on the day. Tony’s sunny disposition ensures any client request large or small is undertaken promptly and professionally.

Tracy Waters: Operations Manager More [+]

Tracy Waters

Tracy is an avid foodie, with a passion for high quality food and exceptional service. Her skills include operational performance management, auditing and contract management. Having commenced her career working for a leading commercial food service, retail and leisure consultancy, Tracy fully understands the needs and expectations of her clients, customers and colleagues. Tracy is also Cucina’s health and food safety champion, ensuring our policies and procedures are in line with regulations and excellent working practices are adopted.

Steve Salter: Operations Manager More [+]

Steve Salter

With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, Steve has worked in many areas of catering operations, from purchasing and supply chain management, training and development, health and safety compliance and Catering Management before becoming an Operations Manager.

Steve is a real hands on foodie and is often seen within his whites on in our school kitchens.

Steve Wishart: Operations Manager More [+]

Steve Wishart

Steve has a strong background in contracted food services, working for large contract caterers and multinational organisations prior to joining Cucina. Steve has a key eye for detail ensuring the Cucina service delivered in our schools meets our own high standards, and builds strong client relationships.

Steve has a strong craft skills base and is often seen training our front of house teams or working in his whites in our kitchens.