Ben Handley -
Ben began his cooking career aged 15 in his parent’s kitchen at The Lifeboat at Thornham on Valentines day. His job was to offer red roses to the ladies. From that point onwards Ben’s formidable 25-year career as a chef has swept through the competitive North Norfolk food scene finally coming around to realising his dreams and getting the keys to The Duck Inn on Valentine's Day 2013. During Ben’s youth he travelled and worked in the cool city of Melbourne, Australia at Ruby, Ruby an experience that has shaped his global approach to flavours combined with the best possible produce from Norfolk and the UK. Ben’s aim is to provide food and service which is both inclusive and familiar, but of the highest possible quality. Ben's hobbies include crochet and synchronised swimming and Ben aims to be able to do both at once by the time he is 50.
Shaun Ireson - Head Chef
Shaun has been a chef for an impressive nineteen years, working at our good neighbours The Hoste Arms in Burnham Market and The White Horse at Brancaster. Shaun is a passionate smallholder, living almost completely self sufficiently, growing all of his families fruit and vegetables, raising chickens and quail for both eggs and meat. When the zombie apocalypse comes, Shaun will be the saviour of us all.
Sarah Handley -
Co-owner of The Duck
Sarah's warmth and maternal nature are what keep both The Duck Inn and their family of three lovely children afloat. Sarah has a background in hospitality and retail management that began when she was a teenage waitress for Ben's parents, Nick and Lynn Handley, where she and Ben met. She went on to work as manager for the luxury knitwear brand, John Smedley, in London. Sarah loves running, cycling and sipping expensive gin with her friends. She also gets a real thrill from doing rotas and accounts.
Sam Handley –
Sam and Ben are brothers as the name suggests. Sam's experience spans 18 years, also starting off in their parents' family business, at Norfolk's first BYO bistro, The Old Bank in Snettisham, before managing The Anchor Inn at Morston. Sam also gained experience in Melbourne, Australia before joining Ben and Sarah at The Duck. When Sam is not working he loves music, regularly attending the Glastonbury Festival whilst quaffing Hendricks gin and eating smoked haddock sandwiches. Sam is also a big fan of Pirates.
Andrew Waddison - Manager
Andrew has almost 25 years' experience from early days at Paul Whittome's Hoste Arms to working for the British Commonwealth before owning a hotel and an award winning café. International sex symbol and philanthropic bon viveur, Andrew spends his spare time in his garden, playing piano or watching sports. Interesting fact - Andrew first got drunk at The Duck Inn (in it's former guise as The Crown) at the age of 9.