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Ryan McDonnell

Dave Critchley

Dave Critchley is the executive head chef and partner of Liverpool’s in demand Lu Ban restaurant. In 2020, Dave was bestowed one of the highest honours in the culinary world, after being appointed as the first ever international Chinese Master Chef apprentice of national level master chef and Mr Zhengxi Wu. The ceremony also happened to hold another honour of being Mr Wu’s very last apprentice.

Dave’s also appeared on several television programmes, including the Great British Menu (2021 & 2022), Channel 5’s ‘Subway – How Do They Do It?’ and more.

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Dave Critchley is the executive head chef and partner of Liverpool’s in demand Lu Ban restaurant. In 2020, Dave was bestowed one of the highest honours in the culinary world, after being appointed as the first ever international Chinese Master Chef apprentice of national level master chef and Mr Zhengxi Wu. The ceremony also happened to hold another honour of being Mr Wu’s very last apprentice.

Dave has since secured and overseen a partnership between Tianjin economics and trade school, the International Academy of Chinese Culinary Arts (IACCA) and Lu Ban. Enabling growth and skill development in the Chinese Culinary arts and culture sector in both Tianjin and Liverpool. The partnership has driven a cultural exchange between the two countries with a goal of developing the learning of authentic Chinese food culture and Chinese culinary arts in the UK and further afield.

Dave’s other career highlights include, running some of Liverpool and the North West’s flagship restaurants, including Alma De Cuba, The Noble House with it’s modern American menu, Australasia (Manchester) and he was the executive chef at The London Carriage Works and Hope Street Hotel, taking over from Paul Askew where he earned two AA rosetted and held them for four years for it’s modern British Cuisine.

In 2019 he took a different direction when he was selected as the first every international apprentice of world famous Master Wu. He spent time exploring traditional Chinese food, including the culture and the artistry involved. Which as explained earlier lead him to be awarded with the honour off being appointed as the first ever international master chef apprentice and also that he was Mater Wu’s last apprentice.

He has appeared on the Great British Menu Twice now, with his most recent appearance in February 2022. The show’s themes surrounded TV shows and Dave created a dish to celebrate the life of Cilla Black, called ’surprisingly Cilla’. He also kept some more of his dishes close to his Liverpool roots including a  tribute to Nail Buchannan’s Art Attack aptly named ’Try It Yourself, a pre dessert cocktail called ‘A Bit Of Brooky’ in tribute to Brookside, ‘Doddy’s Diddy Butty Mine’ inspired by Sir Ken Dodd and he also dedicated a dish to his childhood growing up watching the Royal Variety Show called ‘A Royal Night In’.

Dave’s career has not been without struggles. In 2019 he joined with the team at Lu Ban to become executive Chef and co owner, just in time for the pandemic to strike. Not one to be deterred, Dave used his time to create takeaway ‘heat and eat’ boxes made fresh in the Lu Ban Kitchen. His quick thinking and innovative approach meant he successfully managed to save jobs and ultimately the restaurant. He also created the Well Fed Box, a food box designed to be sent to families in need of food. The boxes contained healthy ingredients, recipes and cooking instructions to help families not only eat well, but learn how to cook too. Thankfully Lu Ban is now thriving and has become one of Liverpool’s most in demand restaurant with waiting lists of around four weeks for key nights. It has also hosted a whole range of celebrities too.

Dave has worked with suppliers and independent traders across the region for over twenty years. When Covid19 hit it was evident that the impact across the hospitality sector would be huge. Suppliers were losing trade overnight, vulnerable customers were struggling to gain access to goods as the demand for supermarket delivery slots spiraled, and foodbank use spiked. In LIDS we’re trying to combat this.

With his expert knowledge of the sector, Dave has brought together some of the biggest and best-loved traders in the city. Allowing you to buy from a range of retailers in one place, straight to your door.

Alongside his passion for supporting local business Dave has also worked with food banks throughout his career and with LIDS is working to get quality food to those most in need in the community.

Dave is available for personal appearance, TV appearances, press and media opportunities, brand ambassadorships, brand collaborations, commisions, private parties, live shows, speaker sessions and all other offers will be considered. To hire Dave, fill in the enquiry form below.

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