Restauranteur Profile - Andrei Lussmann

Founder and director of Lussmanns Fish & Grill

Brought up in West Africa for the majority of my earlier years I learnt from an early age that making polite conversation and a decent G&T was imperative should I become a caterer.

Twenty five years in the business; I have worked for Forte, Bass and T.G.I Fridays during which I completed my Hospitality & Business degree at Birmingham Polytechnic. I then joined Pizza Express, managing some of their flagship restaurants before progressing to directing all of Pizza Express's operations in the Channel Islands, eventually becoming one of their International Franchise Managers. After leaving Pizza Express, I further developed my portfolio with Corney & Barrow in the City where I developed an excellent understanding of and thirst for good wine.

In 2002, I set up Lussmanns with the simple view that you can enjoy good ethically sourced food, served in an attractive and timely manner at terrific value for money prices. Our first Lussmanns opened as an Eatery in November 2002, just off the Portobello Road in North Kensington. While we quickly established ourselves as the locals' favourite; we also attracted builders and B celebrities alike who would rub shoulders over coffee and croissants.

Quickly earning a reputation for great sandwiches and being able to remember our locals' favourite tipple, our name even reached the BBC at White City where David Bowie, unhappy with the food offering on the Jonathon Ross show, had demanded better. Lussmanns had made it big, if only for one night! Unable to expand further but impatient to build on our early successes, after two years we decided it was time to move and left London for a new home in Hertfordshire to finally open a real restaurant

Andrei lives just outside St Albans with his partner Katrina and three children. Read Andrei's blog and follow him on Twitter. Book a table at Lussmanns St Albans or try their other locations in HarpendenHertford and Hitchin.

When I was a child I wanted to be an airline pilot

I’m motivated by family and doing it fairly

A book that changed me is Kane & Abel, yes Kane & Abel

I'm good at working long hours

I’m still trying to get fitter

The best advice I ever had was time spent in preparation is seldom wasted

If I could change one thing about myself I would have shorter arms, my shirts are always too short.

I like people who make a stand and make a difference

I’m always saying why can’t we do that

If I had more time I would watch more films and read more books

My life in six words work, love, kids, work & work & work

St Albans is too close to London. A lovely city yet overshadowed by a a metropolis constantly overlooking its neighbour. Keep it local, keep it genuine and keep it evolving.

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