EVERY woman should have in her wardrobe a little black dress.

It is a classic, a statement of fashion which never goes out of taste and it is something which Audrey Hepburn would wear.

If you could take all these qualities, blend them together and serve it all up in the tastiest canape it would be called the Augustus Restaurant in Taunton.

This oasis of food is tucked away in St James Street, but its reputation is growing and in the words of its head chef, Richard Guest it ‘keeps a low profile to be the busiest secret restaurant around’.

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Richard has a wealth of experience and knowledge in dealing with the heat of the kitchen and the expectations of customers.

He began on his cooking road in his home city of York before moving to London to work at the prestigious Savoy Hotel.

He arrived at the hotel when he was 25/26 years old as at the time there were very few well known restaurants in the capital where a young chef could learn his trade.

After this he worked at the Four Season, then the Maison Novelli before moving to the West Country and working at The Castle Hotel in Taunton.

Reflecting how his career has developed, Richard said: “I actually wanted to be a butler. I got into hospitality more than anything else. I even worked as a pot washer when I was at school.

“Working in a kitchen in hot, sweaty and frenetic. You either love it or hate it.

“What I would say about a kitchen is you are part of a team. This is evident in every kitchen and you all need to work really well together.

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“Each head chef manages differently. Many are self taught others are classically trained but what you need to be is professional.

“I am more of a player/manager as we are such a small team and each of us is 25 per cent of the kitchen.

“What you are doing in a kitchen is very artisan and there are many variables and many things can go wrong.

“There is a lot of chopping, heat and movement and we all need to have each others backs as everything is made to order. “ When it comes to the menu, Richard always goes for the best ingredients, the freshest and most seasonal.

He wants the food in a way to speak for itself, to let the flavours come through for the customer and not to hide the quality of the meals with sauces.

Richard said: “A restaurant needs to be busy, it cannot be quiet. It has to have high quality food and what it buys it needs to sell.

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“I like the creative aspect of food and I hope the people who eat here like it as well.

“What we strive for here is uniformity, each dish is cooked from fresh but each one has to taste as good as the first.

“We like to keep a low profile so we can be the busiest secret restaurant around.

“The best reputation you can have is the reputation people give you rather than the one you create yourself through a marketing agency. I have no problem sleeping at night, I sleep like a baby.

“This is all part of the energy and effort which I put into my work and so I am not stressed.”

Augustus was opened by Richard Guest and Cedric Chirrosel.

Richard praised the work done by his business partner, Cedric when he said: “Cedric is front of house and he does a huge amount.

“He makes people feel comfortable with how they are being served. Some people need attention and some need to be left alone.

“Cedric can work this out straight away.

“He can read people and he helps make the food taste even better by what he does.”

The type of dishes which are on the menu are: Starters: - Spinach, blue cheese and walnut soup - Raclette cheese bake with a cornichon and caper salad - Brixham crab tart with a tossed salad - Seared Brixham scallops with creamed cauliflower and smoked bacon - Chicken liver on toast with onion marmalade - Globe artichoke with hen’s egg and herb mayonnaise - Smoked eel ‘Arnold Bennett’ with horseradish potato salad Main: - Rib eye steak with chorizo baked peppers and french fries - Slow roast duck with fondant potatoes, braised cabbage and mixed greens - Pork schnitzel with purple sprouting and sauteed potatoes - Fillet of turbot with buttered leeks and ginger butter sauce - Fillet of sea bass with ratte potatoes, tomato fondue and river Exe mussels - Venison pie and faggot with mash and greens - Peckmoor lamb with gratin potatoes and roasted root vegetables Desserts: - Treacle tart with stem ginger ice cream - Chocolate and salted caramel Paris-Brest - Yorkshire Rhubarb and vanilla custard tart with honeycomb - Apple tart tatin with vanilla ice cream - Homemade sorbets and ice creams You can find Augustus at 3 The Courtyard, Saint James Street,Taunton.

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For further details about the go online to augustustaunton.co.uk