Dreamer, traveller, entrepreneur. The founder of Madame Zingara.
After some travelling, Richard returned home and got his break with his own restaurant in Long Street. “It was a tiny store called Serendipity and it was based on my love for pasta. After that I opened House of Serendipity and Griffin’s, sold them and went to travel some more.”
After satisfying his ever-present wanderlust he finished his degree at Le Cordon Bleu International in London (despite his lack of formal education) before heading back home. On his return he met Nicky-Anne (current Marketing Manager) and opened the original Madame Zingara in Loop Street in 2001.
The restaurant was booked out for weeks at a time. The combination of over-the-top costumes and characters, friendly service, surprising food combinations and near-obsessive attention to detail amazed and delighted the Cape. Richard says it was never meant to be a long-term endeavor. “I was planning on selling the restaurant after two years but it just evolved into this larger entity, into a brand.”
Since then, he has opened five other restaurants, a retail outlet and an eclectic laundromat in the Mother City with the latest Zingara endeavour being the much anticipated Company’s Garden Restaurant (Haarlem & Hope), which will be opening in spring this year.