Meet the team
DEAN HARDING, DIRECTOR
Dean trained as a chef at Brighton College for 2 years before starting work at The Queens Hotel as a Trainee Sous Chef. His career took a different path in 1988 when he joined International Casinos as a Croupier where he quickly became an Inspector. Whilst at the Casino he also continued his work as a Chef and in 1997 left and together with 2 other friends opened a Squash & Health Club called ‘Willows’ within the Sussex County Cricket Ground. This was successful for 2 years however in 1999 he was asked by Phil Bell, the new General Manager at Brighton Racecourse, to operate the bars at the Racecourse. Dean has since worked tirelessly to turn Hardings into Sussex’s most Premier Caterer.
DARREN HARDING, FINANCIAL CONTROLLER
Darren joined Hardings as Financial Controller soon after it’s inception in 1999. From fairly modest beginnings he has overseen the introduction of accounts & payroll systems for the company. His background has always been in accounts & cashiering from his first job in 1984 right through running his own Bookkeeping company during the 1990’s to the start of Hardings. He enjoys the diversity of his position and the opportunity not always to be “desk bound”.
SCOTT BOWMAN, DIRECTOR
Originally from Angus, Scott has been involved primarily in the casino and entertainment sector all his life. After his first spell in Brighton he spent three years working offshore for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines before moving to Prague in 1990 where he operated a chain of Casinos on behalf of the Balnex group. He returned to Brighton in 2001, and has been with Hardings since then. As a Director his main role is the smooth running of the Hove Centre, which caters for Council meetings, Boxing events, Weddings & Conferences.
BEN HARDING, SENIOR CHEF
Ben also joined Hardings at 14 working as a Kitchen Porter & Glass Collector. When he turned 18 he began doing bar work but decided the kitchen was more to his liking and began training as a Chef in 2005. He initially started by making up Sandwich Platters and Finger Buffets but has worked very hard to now be in a position to run the kitchen for any catering for up to 1000 guests. He deputises for our Head Chef in his absence by organising staff, all functions and taking care of the ordering. Ben supervises most Racedays at Fontwell Park Racecourse, where he organises the Hospitality & Public catering for up to 5000 guests.
MATT GRAY, SUPERVISOR
Matt is the sole original survivor of Hardings first Raceday at Brighton Racecourse in 1999. He too holds a Personal Licence and together with Sam is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the back of house department. He also takes care of the smooth running of the cafes for all of our venues and takes immense pride in their appearance. He is able to work in any role within Hardings, from back of house, bar, cafes and even Silver Service.
DEBORAH BARRETT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Deborah joined Hardings in 2012 as Business Development Manager with over 20 years experience in the recruitment, marketing and event industry. She has a really professional, energetic approach and is looking to boost our existing business whilst always looking to the future, primarily working with some of the most prestigious wedding and corporate venues in the South East to build strong working relationships with our clients. Deborah thrives in busy challenging situations and is passionate about delivering a first class service.