Who Was Robert Carrier?
Hintlesham Hall and our highly regarded “Carrier’s” restaurant are drenched in rich history spanning across multiple decades and continents thanks to its original founder “Robert Carrier” who is, some may say, the grandfather of our modern day celebrity chefs.
Robert Carrier was originally born in Tarrytown, New York and started out training to become an actor with high success levels with parts in Broadway shows such as “New Faces” before touring around Europe playing lead roles in multiple musicals. After these tours Robert would return back home to New York and would regularly spend his weekends with his beloved french grandmother learning how to cook a wide variety of dishes, from homemade biscuits to fresh fish. However soon after Robert Carrier decided to volunteer to serve in the United States Army as an intelligence officer down to his ability to speak a variety of languages including french fluently as well as some German thanks to his parentage.
Robert Carrier continued to serve in the US army and arrived in the UK in 1943 and stayed until after D-Day where he was transferred to Paris to serve as an cryptographer in General Charles de Gaulle’s headquarters for a number of years.
After a few setbacks and unforeseen circumstances which saw Robert Carrier’s partly owned theatrical magazine getting shut down in 1949, Robert moving to the south of France to St. Tropez in order to work inside a friends restaurant. This was where Robert Carrier found his real passion with food, writing regular articles about food to ration restricted Europe in need of fresh flavours and perspective. Robert’s obsession with food and ingredients would eventually end up with him moving to Rome to improve his cookery repertoire, while working as a cowboy in an Italian musical revue. In 1953 Robert Carrier was invited by a close friend to visit London for the coronation of Elizabeth II, which proved to be highly influential as it promoted Robert to decide to move back to London. During his time back in London Robert decided to direct his efforts and time into the developing efforts of public relations, which included marketing & promoting multiple food products.
Cast the clock five years forward to 1957, Robert Carrier wrote his first article in detail on food and managed to sell it to the Harper’s Bazaar editor Eileen Dickson discussing different dishes and a wide variety of new and exuberant flavours. Soon after this Robert would begin to write regularly for the magazine before becoming a major contributor and author for the giant that is Vogue. Robert also began writing a weekly column for one of the most popular newspapers at the time the “Sunday Times” discussing different recipes and flavour combinations. These weekly appearances and mentions in these global & well known platforms soon meant that Robert Carrier became a well-known name and effectively a popular celebrity of the 1960’s, highlighted by Robert’s own and personalised and luxury cookery book going on sale to the public called “Great dishes of the world”. The book performed extremely well and sold over 11 million copies worldwide, a marvellous achievement.
In 1959, after the tremendous success of his book and Robert’s level of fame at an all time high, Robert decided to open his own restaurant in the heart of London, Camden called Carrier’s which also proved to be highly successful. Robert Carrier also opened up multiple cookery internationally with his first opening in the world renowned Harrods in 1967.
In 1971 Robert Carrier came across an advertisement in Country Life for Hintlesham Hall, which he decided to purchase with the intentions of conducting large amounts of renovations which ended up with the Hotel & restaurant opening in 1972 for the public as a 4 star country resort. In the coming years Robert would begin to transform all of the hotels outbuildings into modern classrooms for culinary lessons, which he himself instructed both beginner & intermediate classes. However this in itself caused issues and angered Robert Carrier as he found most students were only signing up down to his celebrity image and not to a genuine interest in cooking. In the late 1970’s Robert Carrier made a return to the spotlight and began presenting a television show based on the cooking cards from his earlier cooking books.