CODE’s annual roll-call of young talent is bigger and better than ever. This year we looked all around the country and found so many rising stars in the world of hospitality that it was hard to limit ourselves to just 30... which is why we’ve sneaked in some ‘ones to watch’ too.
Dan Graham, 30
Head chef, Pidgin
After training as an architect for seven years, Graham decided to follow his passion for food and become a chef. Following positions at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, L’Autre Pied and Odette’s, he joined James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy’s Pidgin in January 2016. By September he had taken on the role of head chef and Pidgin was recently awarded Best Restaurant at the 2017 Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Krisztian Palinkas, 23
Head chef, Rambla
Born in Denmark, Palinkas’ childhood was spent working in a fishery next to the Baltic Sea. It was here his passion for fresh, quality seafood began. In 2014, Palinkas moved to London and has since been working under the guidance of chef and restaurateur Victor Garvey. Palinkas is currently head chef at Garvey’s newest restaurant, Rambla on Dean Street in Soho.
Bonny Porter, 28
Owner, Balls & Company
Born and raised in Sydney, Porter started her career as an apprentice chef at Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill. In 2012, she appeared on Masterchef: The Professionals in Australia, where she became the youngest-ever finalist at just 23. It was Marco Pierre White who encouraged Porter to move to London, where she joined The Arts Club in Mayfair before opening her first restaurant Balls & Company on Soho’s Greek Street in 2015.
Fin Spiteri, 27
Bar manager, Rochelle Canteen at the ICA
Son of industry stalwarts Melanie Arnold and Jon Spiteri, Spiteri worked as club and bar manager at Quo Vadis before playing a vital role as managing partner of the Flat Iron Project in Borough, now a permanent fixture at Flat Iron Square. Throughout his career, Spiteri has continually supported Rochelle Canteen, co-owned by his mother, and he has just taken up the role of bar and events manager at their second restaurant at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Tommy Banks, 28
Owner and head chef, The Black Swan
Banks started working at The Black Swan, his family’s pub, with no real intention of becoming a chef. However by 2013, at just 24, he was awarded a Michelin star, making him the youngest chef in Britain at the time to hold that accolade. The Black Swan now has four AA Rosettes. He was a winner on BBC Two’s Great British Menu in both 2016 and 2017. In October, this year, The Black Swan at Oldstead was named the world’s best rated restaurant by TripAdvisor.
Tori Slater, 29
Managing director, Gerber Communications
After graduating with a degree in International Hospitality Management and a passion for the restaurant and hospitality industry, Slater spent time at Toptable, Soho House Group and D&D London. From there she moved to Tanya Layzell-Payne’s PR company Gerber Communications, where she has worked on the launch of Skye Gyngell’s Spring and Ikoyi, among other projects. Slater has recently been appointed managing director of the business.
Toby Burrowes, 26
Head chef, Elystan Street
Born in Australia, Burrowes discovered his passion for cooking aged 14, at an Italian restaurant in Corowa. He has since worked at The Pickled Sisters, in the Cofield Winery and The Provinence. In 2013, Burrowes moved to London to join Phil Howard at the two Michelinstarred The Square in Mayfair, where he became sous chef and was then appointed head chef at Howard’s Elystan Street. The restaurant has since received numerous accolades, including its first Michelin star.
Niall Keating, 26
Executive chef, Whatley Manor
Keating was just 15 when he started working in hospitality, washing dishes at The Fitzherbert Arms, Swynnerton. He has since worked in places such as Restaurant Sat Bains, Benu and Kong Hans Kaelder. In 2016, Keating became executive chef at Whatley Manor. He oversees the main restaurant, The Dining Room, which has just been awarded its first Michelin star.
Ben Marks, 25
Co-owner and head chef, Perilla
Before launching his own restaurant, Perilla, in November 2016, Marks (above right) started his culinary career as a commis chef at Operakallaren in Stockholm. After becoming a chef apprentice at Claridge’s in London, he took the role of chef de partie at Noma in Copenhagen, before returning to London to work at The Square. Now he and Matt Emmerson have a hit on their hands in Stoke Newington.
Matt Emmerson, 26
Emmerson may have got a first in chemistry at Sussex University, but it was being a childhood friend of Ben Marks that has proved more useful to his career. He returned to London after university to pursue his interest in food, and worked at Polpo Farringdon and Ape & Bird. After working at the relaunched Polpetto on Berwick Street, he left in September 2015 to set up Perilla with Marks.
Aaron Webster, 28
Co-owner, Smoke & Salt
After gaining experience at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and The Latymer at Pennyhill Park, Webster became sous chef at The Shed in Notting Hill. It was here that he met his now business partner, Remi Williams. The duo started Smoke & Salt in 2014 as a supperclub, in which carnation it was named, one of Time Out’s Coolest Supperclubs. This year it found a permanent site at POP Brixton and is already highly successful.
Will Bowlby, 29
Co-owner and head chef, Kricket
It was a big step up when Kricket moved from Brixton to a smart new location in Soho. But the restaurant is thriving, thanks to its two dynamic creators. Bowlby spent two years as head chef at Cheval in Mumbai, then returned to London and worked under Vivek Singh at Cinnamon Kitchen. In 2015, Bowlby and Rik Campbell cofounded Kricket; the move to Soho was last January. They have since been shortlisted for various awards including the YBFs, the London Restaurant Awards and Tatler Restaurant Awards.
Rik Campbell, 29
After graduating from Newcastle University, Campbell (above left) moved to London and worked in corporate finance, at Deloitte in the City, specialising in hospitality. During his time there he also started a boutique events company called A Party With Us. In 2014, he left Deloitte and joined forces with Bowlby to co-found Kricket. The duo are opening a second restaurant in west London in 2018.
Merlin Labron-Johnson, 26
Labron-Johnson is a good example of the energy that is making London’s culinary scene so powerful. At just 24, and within nine months of it opening, he was awarded his first Michelin star for Portland. In November 2016 he was awarded ‘chef of the year’ at the London Restaurant Festival Awards. Labron-Johnson is originally from Devon and had previously worked at In De Wulf in Belgium.
Jeremy Chan, 30
Co-owner and head chef, Ikoyi
Chan left the world of finance five years ago, to start cooking. He began at Hibiscus, followed by a brief stage with the Young Turks. He worked under Robert Reid at Balthazar London before heading to Copenhagen to stage at Noma in the test kitchen. On returning to London, Chan worked for Ashley Palmer-Watts at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal before leaving to start Ikoyi, which opened in St James’s Market earlier this year, already attracting positive reviews.
Ollie Templeton, 26
Co-owner and head chef, Carousel
The Templeton clan has done a brilliant job of making Carousel an always-interesting creative hub for visiting chefs. Ollie Templeton has the role of head chef, working with many internationally acclaimed names in creating their four-course dinner menus. But his own lunch service menu is noteworthy too, with a range of seasonal small plates.
Erchen Chang, 27
Chang is already a well-established figure in the London culinary scene. She is chef director and co-owner of BAO’s two sites and this year’s new opening XU, which is named after her grandfather. Chang draws inspiration from her home country of Taiwan, as well as her studies at Slade School of Fine Art, a combination which is on show at the stunning interior of XU on Rupert Street.
Tom Adams, 29
Co-owner, Coombeshead Farm
It’s the destination that everyone wants to visit: the Cornwall restaurant with rooms where foraged and farm food is shared round the table. The critically acclaimed Coombeshead Farm was started by Adams with business partner April Bloomfield last year and he has just been crowned young chef of the year at the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2017. Adams had co-founded Pitt Cue Co in 2011 aged just 22 – moving from a food truck on the South Bank to a site in Soho and then the City... before he moved to there.
Bastien Ferreri, 28
Food and beverage manager, Frenchie Covent Garden
Sommelier Ferreri has worked his way up at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants throughout France and London, including Le Bistrot d’Eygalières, Chez Bru, Vallon de Valrugues, Marc de Passorio, Maze by Gordon Ramsay, Murano and Hibiscus. He joined Frenchie Covent Garden when it launched, as food and beverage manager, and was part of the team that won best front of house and best opening of 2016 by GQ magazine.
Matthew Maynard, 27
Head of food and drink, Trafalgar St. James
Born in north London, Maynard was part of the opening team at Riding House Café, establishing his appetite for the hospitality world. At 22, he became general manager at Plum & Spilt Milk at The Great Northern Hotel. Maynard then moved on to Fortnum & Mason in Dubai before returning be part of the launch team at the department store’s restaurant, 45 Jermyn St. He’s now head of food and drink at the newly re-opened Trafalgar St. James hotel.
Rob Howell, 25
Co-founder and head chef, Root
Howell was first appointed head chef at the Pony & Trap in Bristol and from there was given the opportunity by its owner Josh Eggleton to open the vegetable focused Root with business partner Meg Oakley. Howell had previously spent time gaining experience at Ondine, Bristol’s Casamia, Elystan Street, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and Studio in Copenhagen; now he’s at the forefront of the move away from meat-led restaurants.
Francis Roberts, 30
General manager and sommelier, Westerns Laundry
From a Peckham rooftop to an Islington restaurant, Roberts has had an interesting journey. The largely self-taught sommelier came to London for Franks in south London, then managed Anchor & Hope before spending time at Holborn Dining Room, 8 Hoxton Square and Buyers Club in Liverpool, where he created the first natural wine list in the North West. Roberts is now GM and sommelier at Westerns Laundry (and has added a WSET Level 3 qualification to his wine knowledge).
Sophie Orbaum, 28
Head of communications, The Harts Group
Sophie Orbaum is a familiar name in the hospitality communications industry. Having previously been part of the Gerber Communications team, where she worked on the openings of Gymkhana, Hoppers and Café Murano and others, she joined Harts Group 18 months ago to launch El Pastor, re-launch Quo Vadis after a refurb and develop and maintain the Barrafina brand.
Richie Corrigan, 28
General manager, Corrigan’s Mayfair
This year, veteran restaurateur Richard Corrigan appointed his son Richie as general manager of Corrigan’s Mayfair. This is not nepotism; Corrigan Jr has training from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, to add to being brought up in the restaurant industry. He has years of experience at his father’s restaurants Bentley’s, Corrigan’s, and Virginia Park Lodge, as well as Rosewood London.
Sebby Holmes, 27
Holmes started cooking at just 12. Now 27, he recently opened restaurant Farang in Highbury. Holmes started working at Thai restaurant The Begging Bowl, where he worked his way up to sous chef. From there, he moved on to Smoking Goat, where he spent more than a year as head chef. His first book Cook Thai was published this year. Holmes also works as a consultant for EatGrub, a wholesaler for edible insects.
Liam Nelson, 30
Restaurant director, Stevie Parle Restaurants
Nelson began his career in the hospitality industry just over 10 years ago whilst studying at university. Starting at Davys of London in Canary Wharf, he then went up to the Michelin starred Box Tree Restaurant in Ilkley. Nelson took up his first general manager role at Sam’s Chop House in Leeds and a year later, he joined the team at Barbecoa. He is now restaurant director for Stevie Parle’s restaurants, having worked with Parle over four years and helped the company’s growth from one to six sites.
Addyson Pope, 29
Marketing manager, Caprice Holdings
Pope has been with Caprice Holdings since 2014. Starting as a marketing executive, she quickly moved to group marketing manager. She works across the whole Caprice portfolio, but with a particular focus on the group’s Mayfair restaurants such as Sexy Fish and Scott’s. Pope’s own passion for food and fashion has led to partnerships with brands such as Bobbi Brown, Liberty London and the House of Creed.
Luca Missaglia, 29
Senior bar manager, Aqua Shard
Missaglia, originally from Vimercate in Italy, began his career in London in 2008 at The O bar, where he won ‘Best Bartender in London’ from ImBibe. He then moved to LAB Bar in Soho before working at Quo Vadis – winning multiple mixology awards before going on to become Club Manager. Missaglia joined Aqua London in 2014, before moving to Aqua Shard at the end of 2015, where he has developed a distinctive cocktail list.
Greg Almeida, 29
Head bartender, Scarfes bar at Rosewood London
With more than 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Almeida has worked amongst popular names such as Montreal’s LAB bar, Mayfair’s Novikov lounge and Michelin starred Pollen Street Social. He assisted multi-award winning bartender, Monica Berg, before joining her to open Oslo’s Himkok bar, which made the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Almeida was appointed head bartender at Scarfes Bar earlier this year.
Oscar Holgado, 28
Head chef, Murano
Holgado first moved to London to be a part of Angela Hartnett’s opening team at Murano in Mayfair in 2008. He went on to build up experience in kitchens across the capital including Fera at Claridge’s and Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. In 2016, he was appointed head chef at Pitt Cue in the City, before returning to Murano to resume work with Hartnett and the team, now as head chef.
Richard Sharples, 27
Executive chef, Elite Bistros
Initially disinterested in cooking as a profession, Sharples was inspired by chef Darren Rowe at the Bay Horse in Pendle, where he honed his cooking skills. After three years, he acted as sous chef for Mary-Ellen McTague at Aumbry before working with her on pop-ups, post-Aumbry's closure. In 2016, Sharples joined Gary Usher’s Sticky Walnut, before becoming head chef at his new opening Hispi in Didsbury. He has since taken on an executive chef role for Elite Bistros, helping Usher oversee all his four restaurants.
Rose Ashby, 27
Head chef, Spring
Born in London and raised in South Africa, Ashby trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine. The opportunity soon arose to join Michelin-starred restaurant Petersham Nurseries where she thrived under the tutorage of Skye Gyngell and, later, Greg Malouf. In 2014, after working on her own projects, Ashby teamed up with Gyngell once more, and helped open Spring at Somerset House. Starting as senior chef de partie, within two years she became head chef and now runs the 25-strong team.
Ones to watch in 2018...
Vicky Heafield, 28
Head chef, Berber & Q Shawarma Bar
Talk about a trial by fire… Heafield began her cooking career down a mine in the Australian outback for six months, cooking for 30 miners a day. The Brit came home and undertook an apprenticeship at the University of West London, where she was awarded with ‘Best Performance of the Year’ by Heston Blumenthal and Lorraine Pascal. Heafield is now head chef at Berber & Q Shawarma Bar on Exmouth Market, sister restaurant to Berber & Q Grill House.
Ali Borer, 28
Head chef, Smoking Goat Shoreditch
Borer has had a fast rise through the ranks to become head chef (and co-owner) of the new Smoking Goat in east London. At 28, he’s been with the Ben Chapmanheaded restaurants for a year and half, after leaving the Modern Pantry. Originally from Anglesey, Borer knows and loves working with British produce – from Cornish fish to Dorset-grown Thai spices. His ‘Offal Mondays’ at Smoking Goat were rightly famous. Let’s see what he does in Shoreditch.
Katherine Craughwell, 28
One of the movers and shakers in the burgeoning Bristol restaurant scene is Bulrush. And a big part of the restaurant’s success is manager Katherine Craughwell, who set it up with co-owner and chef George Livesey – she originally trained as an actress, which might help explain her entertaining, informative hosting style. Craughwell and Livesey opened in Bristol partly for economic reasons, but it’s paid off: Bulrush went straight in at number 29 in this year’s National Restaurant Awards.
Innes Haywood, 26
Restaurant manager, Moor Hall
Haywood has a degree in hospitality management, from Edinburgh, but this young Scot also has a wealth of experience: at the Caledonian Hotel, 21212 and L’Enclume. At the latter he met thenhead chef Mark Birchall and when Birchall left to establish Moor Hall in Lancashire, he took Haywood with him. Moor Hall won its first Michelin star this year, and Haywood was promoted to restaurant manager. On a personal level, he’s been a finalist for the Gold Service Scholarship.
Tom Brown, 26
Sous chef, Gauthier
In the six years that he has been at Gauthier in Soho, Brown has been at the centre of one of the restaurant’s biggest and most successful initiatives – to turn its vegetarian menu fully vegan. Brown studied at Colchester catering college and first worked as a commis at the Intercontinental hotel before joining Alexis Gauthier’s team as a chef de partie. Now he’s sous chef with special responsibility for the burgeoning (and increasingly fashionable) vegan offer.
Sara Lewis, 28
Head chef, The Pilgrm
The hotel restaurant scene is growing at a staggering pace: one of the year’s most interesting openings has been The Pilgrm in Paddington. Heading its Lounge restaurant is Lewis, who was previously sous chef at Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store, where she worked from 2013 until it closed in August. At The Pilgrm she intends to continue Loubet’s approach to sustainability and low waste.
Jonny Mills, 28
Chef-director, The Tame Hare
Mills is chef-director of his own restaurant, The Tame Hare, having worked at countryside sites such as The Cross at Kenilworth (where he went from KP to sous in two years) and The Ebrington Arms. Understanding the demands of such sites has led to The Tame Hare, in Leamington Spa, quickly becoming a favourite with the local community – for its unfussy atmosphere and menu of modern British dishes.
Harry Bown, 28
General manager, Granary Square Brasserie
At just 18, Bown got a job as waiter and barman at Bodmin Jail restaurant on the edge of the Cornish moor – and after 18 months he was ready to move to London to further his hospitality career. His stint as a waiter at Gaucho led to becoming group managing partner at 24 years old – while simultaneously studying hospitality management at Westminster College. He’s now established with Caprice Holdings as GM in the new Granary Square Brasserie.
Kiloran Buckler, 27
Buckler was frequently mentioned in glowing reviews for Kitty Fisher’s when it opened, such was her enthusiasm for and expertise in running the front of house for such a busy restaurant smoothly. Originally from the Black Mountains in south Wales, she dabbled in working as a private chef before joining the Mayfair restaurant. After a spell at the well-reviewed Mash Inn in Buckinghamshire as general manager, she is back in the city to work with ex-Kitty Fisher’s chef Tomos Parry on a new venture.
Julia Oudill, 28
Wine and spirit director, Experimental Group
Oudill’s childhood was spent working with her chef father Didier Oudill, at his Michelin-starred restaurant Villa Ilbarritz in south west France. By 18, she had won numerous awards including Best Student Sommelier of France before moving to Paris to gain experience. In 2013, Oudill moved to London to work as head sommelier at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. Three years later, Oudill took on a dual role overseeing wine and spirits across Experimental Group’s 20 international hotels, restaurants, wine and cocktail bars.