Find out about some of the people you may or may not see on your visit at The Great House and the talented and ambitious staff that ensure your visit is an exceptional experience from the moment you book with us!
Swann Auffray – Chef Patron
Swann began his career in food in his home region, Brittany, France, in 2010 at catering college. He then went on to spend a season working in Corsica to expand his knowledge, before moving to the UK and joining The Great House team in December 2013.
In early 2017, Swann took some time away from The Great House, spending eight months working at the Christopher Hotel in the Caribbean, before heading back to The Great House in October 2017 with the new title of Sous Chef…
Since returning, he has become Head Chef at The Great House creating new dishes and exquisite menus.
In January 2019, Swann entered the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards for Young Chef of the Year, and was nominated as a finalist, a fantastic achievement for a young chef.
Mathieu Gache – Head Pastry Chef
Mathieu was welcomed to the team in April 2019 and has become extremely creative with the dishes he has created over with many guests amazed by his intricate dishes.
His career in the catering industry began when he was 15 years old and it wasn’t long before his skill was recognised and he began to take positions in luxury and award-winning establishments in France…
His first experience in such a place was at La Palme d’Or in Cannes where he worked in the ** Michelin star restaurants for two years, after this, he joined the team at Apicius, in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
After gaining three years of experience in these locations, he moved back to the south of France to work along-side Jacques Chibois in La Bastide St Antoine, home to * Michelin star.
He then spent two years at the prestigious Palace Le Majestic Barrière in Cannes, focusing on pastry with Mickael Durieux.
After gaining all of this fantastic experience in France, Mathieu came to the UK looking for a new challenge and ways to improve his skills.
Since joining The Great House, he has enjoyed getting creative and coming up with delicious, but also visually stunning, dishes for our guests to try.
Lisa – Junior Sous Chef
Lisa is no stranger when it comes to the culinary world. From the age of six, Lisa has always dreamed of becoming a master chef and one day, opening her very own restaurant.
Lisa formed a strong bond with cooking, helping her grandmother in the kitchen from an early age where she later knew she wanted to attend one of the best schools in Belgium.
Lisa started with internships in Belgium where she joined the team of ** Michelin restaurant, Le Château du Mylord in Ellzelles, * Michelin restaurant, ‘t Korennaer in Sint-Niklaas, tapas bar in Barcelona before moving to England to work at Langshott Manor in Horley.
“I ventured to The Great House to work in a gastronomic restaurant and stayed for the family atmosphere that’s between us.”
One of Lisa’s key role at The Great House is the incredible amuse bouche and starters which can be seen on each exquisite menu. Lisa’s creative flair and passion for cooking, present itself in every delicious dish which she creates.
“Cook with your heart and for the people you love”.
Hagan – Chef de Partie
Having come from a military family, Chef Hagan decided to turn to the hospitality industry, due to the resemblances in both fields of work and began his journey to set out to become a successful chef.
Prior to The Great House, Hagan spent five years working for Jacques René Chirac, a French politician who served as President of France, and his wife, Bernadette at their private property in the South of France followed by a year working in a * Michelin restaurant in London…
Hagan then spent a year working in St Barts in the Caribbean at Hotel Le Toiny while catering on the side for the Hollywood elite.
“I came to The Great House for many reasons. One knowing that Head Chef Swann has also worked in St Barts and we both had worked with the same head chef while over there. I was very interested in what they had to offer, culinary speaking, a young professional team full of talent.”
Hagan’s vision for The Great House would be a Michelin star and simply to be known as the best restaurant in Suffolk!
Top cooking tip
“Taste everything you do and keep it clean. You can’t have a perfect plate if you’re working in a mess.”
Antoine De Joybert – Restaurant Manager
Our restaurant manager, Antoine, brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the hospitality industry to The Great House.
Antoine started his journey in Normandy where he completed an Economics degree before jetting off to Paris to learn the hospitality and catering industry.
“I always had a preference for catering, meanwhile, Paris was the best place to catch great opportunities for internships in venues with the best reputation, which included all the standards I was expecting to find in French hospitality.”
After soaking up the Parisian standard of hospitality, Antoine went on to gain hands-on experience, working with an Italian franchise to help open their first restaurant which is now well established around the globe.
“This experience gave me the necessary knowledge for the future project that I had to open my own business.
Following a range of experiences in various restaurants, Antoine up and moved to Australia to discover new concepts, products, and a different kind of management and style of service.
“This journey has been very enriching, both professionally and personally.”
Antoine then ventured back to back to Normandy to invest in opening a nikkei casual bar-restaurant, serving mostly Japanese and Peruvian fusion food and drinks before joining us at The Great House.
“Having the chance to work at The Great House has been a great opportunity for my career with the chance to work with passionate, young, French chefs who are willing to progress every day, with the freedom that every professional would dream of.”
Top tip for restaurant management
“To get along with the head chef, to always learn more about products and taste everything possible to orientate your guests the best way possible.
Isabel – Receptionist
Isabel was first drawn to the hospitality industry at the age of sixteen when she got her first job working for an outside catering company working mainly with weddings. “I thoroughly enjoyed this job and the eye for the details required to make sure the client received the best service possible.”
Since then Isabel’s career has taken her to some extraordinary places, working at various hotels and hostels along the way in desired locations such as France and Spain. “I enjoy working in establishments where every day is varied and where you are always coming into contact with new people.”
Isabel’s attention to guests is second-nature and is ready to handle any query thrown at her. “As a receptionist, my main role is to be the face that greets our guests and to ensure that everything is organised and in place so that our clients have the best experience possible, whether they are celebrating a special occasion or making a spontaneous escape to our beautiful village.”