We are delighted to announce this year’s CODE Hospitality’s Women of the Year 2024 sponsored by Bibendum

With over 850 nominations across seven award categories, our judges have selected 55 women from across the industry who have made a significant impact in hospitality over the past 12 months.

At an event hosted by Guardian critic Grace Dent at Claridge’s ArtSpace, we revealed the individual category winners and crowned our Woman of the Year, as well as our Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Award winners

Woman of the Year
Adejoké Bakare

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sally Clarke

Breakthrough talent
Abby Lee

Change advocate
Kayleigh Waine

Paula Fitzherbert

Prue Stamp

Amy Poon

Sustainability Trailblazer
Sylvia Travers

Hannah Crosbie

A message from our sponsor

Bibendum Wines

Bibendum Wine is proud to once again be the headline sponsor of CODE Hospitality’s Women of the Year. After a hugely successful campaign last year, we know the power that this initiative has in celebrating the female stars in our industry. As part of our focus on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’, we recognise the gender gap that still exists in the industry – and are actively trying to be part of the solution, while celebrating women pushing the boundaries for change. This year we’ll once again run various campaigns and activities around women in hospitality, to create a collaborative space for collective improvement, sharing and actioning real change.

As a premium wine specialist, Bibendum has stood at the forefront of the wine industry for the past 40 years, and we continue to pave the way today. As an On Trade specialist, we work with a huge range of customers, from Michelin-starred restaurants, to cocktail bars and pub groups. We shake up the sustainable status-quo, partnering with mindful producers, while pursuing a positive impact on the planet and our communities.

We work with over 280 of the world’s most talented winemakers, and in addition to our core range, we also offer an ever-evolving selection of fine wines from across the globe.

Supported by

Woman of the Year

Adejoké Bakare
Founder, Chishuru

Self-taught, Nigerian-born chef Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare made history in February 2024, becoming the first black female chef in the U.K. to win a Michelin star and only the second black woman in the world to do so. 2024 has been her year so far, but then, so was 2023, when she realised her dream of opening her West Africa-inspired restaurant Chishuru in the centre of London. “One of the most blisteringly gifted and original chefs in the city,” wrote Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard. “I’d have peeled off my own face to get at anything this woman wants to cook,” wrote Tim Hayward in the FT. Remarkable to think that Bakare only started cooking professionally four years ago, when she won a six-month residency in the amateur category of the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019. Chishuru, a word for the silence that descends on the table when food is served, offers Bakare’s interpretation of the Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba food traditions she grew up with. “What I’m proudest of at Chishuru is being able to cook my food, my way,” Bakare told CNN. “There’s not many chefs around who have that privilege. I feel blessed.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sally Clarke
Founder, Clarke’s

When Sally Clarke opened Clarke’s at 124 Kensington Church Street in 1984, the plan was to be there “just a few years”. Forty years later, London’s restaurant scene is unimaginable without Clarke’s; unimaginable without the quietly radical influence this no-nonsense chef, restaurateur and writer from Surrey has exerted on it. Clarke’s passion for food was ignited early by family holidays to France. After school, she studied in Paris at the Cordon Bleu, and learned the ways of the professional kitchen as an unpaid commis in the city’s restaurants. But it was a trip to California in 1979 to live and work that changed everything for Clarke, as it was there that she ate at seminal Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse, and met its founder Alice Water, still a dear friend and mentor. Clarke returned to London in 1983 galvanised. She found her site and opened Clarke’s in 1984, serving a risky, rigorously seasonal, ‘no choice’ menu of Californian-influenced cuisine. Everything she served, from bread to pastries, ice creams and chocolate truffles, was made in-house.

Clarke’s is a little different today. The menu is à la carte; the food more British in accent; but Clarke still writes the menu herself, twice a day. Though the restaurant may seem ‘old school’ with its white tablecloths, beautifully lit art, fresh flowers and besuited staff, it has always been well ahead of its time in terms of seasonality, sourcing, and food waste.

Clarke has grown the business in a considered manner over the last four decades, opening two shops (on Campden Street and Westbourne Grove), a wholesale bakery and a production kitchen. She now employs over 100 staff, some of whom have been with her for decades – a testament to the safe, supportive workplace she has nurtured. She was awarded an MBE in 2009.

Breakthrough talent

An emerging talent with exceptional skill, creativity, and early impact in hospitality, with potential for future success in the industry


Abby Lee
Chef & owner, Mambow

The word was out about Abby Lee’s thrilling Malaysian cooking in 2022 when her restaurant Mambow was still a Peckham pop–up, but it wasn’t until late last year, when Mambow relocated to Clapton that everybody, but everybody, was raving. Four stars from the Evening Standard (“a Malaysian masterpiece”); five stars from Time Out (“incendiary cooking”); “electrifyingly good” from Tom Parker-Bowles. It’s remarkable, then, that Lee, even with her Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, had barely ever cooked Malaysian until a few years ago. It was only during lockdown when she went home to Singapore and Malaysia, that she reconnected with roots and learned her family’s recipes for the first time. It was, she says, “an epiphany.” She returned to London on a mission to preserve those recipes and promote modern Malaysian food in all its beauty and complexity. Her specialism at Mambow is Nyonya cuisine from the Peranakans, the descendants of early Chinese migrants, and such dishes as prawn and pork lor bak, cuttlefish kerabu, and stone bass with a perut ikan-inspired curry sauce. This year, she was also voted one of CODE’s 30 Under 30 class of ‘23/24.

Ayesha Kalaji
Chef & owner, Queen of Cups

Kalaji grew up in North Wales with her British mother and Jordanian father, knowing little about the food of her heritage, but for what she tasted at her grandmother’s table in the holidays. It wasn’t until she read Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS that she explored Jordanian food in earnest (her dissertation was on the Semiotics of Middle Eastern Food). That led her to Leiths which, in turn, led her to The Palomar, Bubala and The Good Egg. In 2021, she opened The Queen of Cups in Glastonbury, winning a Bib Gourmand there in 2023. Kalaji appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals last year. She didn’t win but her “far from classic” middle Eastern cooking made its mark.

Sabrina Khan
Owner & director, Maasi’s

Former teacher Sabrina Khan is the accidental restaurateur behind Maasi’s, a Pakistani café operating out of a church hall in Cardiff. Her career change began during lockdown when she sold samosas, made to her mother’s recipe on Instagram. Maasi’s (Punjabi for ‘auntie’) opened in July 2021, with an all-female team of home cooks – not a trained chef among them – making everything from scratch. In 2023, Maasi’s picked up the ‘Best Street Food’ award in the BBC Food and Farming Awards, and ‘Best of Cardiff’ in the Food Awards Wales. As Khan has said: “I wanted to create somewhere where my mother would feel comfortable coming to eat by herself and I think we’ve achieved that.”

Carmen Mac
Head of creative, brand & communications, Super8

2023 was a huge year for the Super 8 restaurant group, defined by the launch of Tomos Parry’s third restaurant Mountain in Soho. Carmen Mac has the challenging, but enviable job, of supporting Mountain as well as Brat and Brat Climpson’s Arch with ever more creative campaigns, design, brand development, social media, internal comms, and events programming. Recent sell out events have included collaborations with Trippa Milano, Newcomer Wines, Ixta Belfrage, and Bar Termini, with more to come in 2024. Before Super 8, Mac was operations manager at Sargasso in Margate, sommelier intern at Cadeau in Copenhagen, and general manager at the late, lamented Peg.

Rebecca Perry
Director, Emile Wines

Rebecca Perry established London-based importer and retailer Emile Wines in 2020, after a decade working as a buyer for a Burgundy specialist while studying for her Diploma. Four years later, with a five-strong team of women around her, Perry has a seriously impressive roll call of restaurant clients (Silo, The Connaught, Spring, Sketch, Noble Rot…) and winemakers from Burgundy to Napa. Emile Wines stands out in a male-dominated field with its strong visual identity and refusal to gatekeep. Newcomers can learn from its journal and online glossary (‘A’ is for acidity, ageing, and amphora), attend a ‘Wine School’ event, or treat themselves to a restaurant-quality wine to drink at home.

Alice Power
Head chef, The Black Swan

Alice Power was appointed head chef of Tommy Banks’ Michelin-starred restaurant the Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire, in February 2024. A graduate of Leiths School of Food and Wine, Power worked at Carousel before joining The Tommy Banks Group as chef de partie in 2021. The move into hospitality was a career pivot for Power, who holds a first in Art History from Leeds; she previously worked as a senior policy advisor at the Cabinet Office. In her new role, she works closely with executive chef Callum Leslie and the team from the Banks’ 160-acre family farm.

Evie St Pier
Key account manager, Lucky Saint

Evie St. Pier joined alcohol free beer brand Lucky Saint three years ago with little experience but lots of passion for hospitality. She’s worked her way up, fostering relationships with major industry operators including Inception Group, Patty & Bun, and Market Taverns, and encouraging growth in the ‘no and low’ category. In 2023, she independently set up an FMCG collective for industry colleagues aged under 30 (or with less than five years’ experience) hosting three events where attendees could meet their peers, network, and exchange ideas. More events are planned for 2024.

Change advocate

Promoting and implementing impactful changes in areas such as diversity, inclusivity, or community engagement, inspiring others to make a difference 


Kayleigh Waine
General manager, Bamboo Door & Co-founder, Safe Square

Every town in the country needs a Kayleigh Waine. Waine, whose full-time job is running Bamboo Door, a busy cocktail bar in Sheffield city centre, is also the co-founder of Safe Square, a new initiative to help make nights out in Sheffield safe for girls and women. Safe Square is a dedicated welfare and medical hub, where users can get first aid, report crimes, charge their phones, book taxis, and wait in safety. Waine has had her own experience of being spiked on a night out and has implemented enhanced anti-spiking training and practices at Bamboo Door. She is also a signee of Women’s and Girls’ Night-time Safety Charter in Sheffield. “I want to make it my mission to help address the issues I see every weekend,” she says.

Kimberley Coke
Comms & partnerships, StreetSmart

StreetSmart raises money for homelessness charities by partnering with restaurants every November and December, asking them to add just £1 to their diner’s bill. Kimberly Coke, who’s in charge of its PR, marketing, social media, and, crucially, partnerships, works tirelessly for the rest of the year to make sure StreetSmart’s name stays front and centre. Indeed, in 2023, more than 600 restaurants in 24 cities signed up to its seasonal campaign, its biggest to date. StreetSmart has raised over £12m for the homeless since it started in 1998.

Lorraine Copes
CEO & founder, Be Inclusive Hospitality

Lorraine Copes is an industry powerhouse. She founded the not-for-profit social enterprise Be Inclusive Hospitality in 2020, on a mission to accelerate racial equality in the hospitality and food and drink industries. BIH is octopus-like in its reach; its Elevate mentorship programme, Seat at the Table scholarship programme, Spotlight awards, and annual Impact Report are just some of its many arms. As Copes told CODE: “We are a social enterprise, so our key measure for anything that we do is impact.” Copes, who worked in procurement at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and the Wolseley Hospitality Group, also works as a coach and as a food and drink editor for Black Business Magazine. “Purpose led and well fed,” is how her Instagram bio puts it. Words to live by.

Sofia Gassne
Head of HR, Hawksmoor & founder, Culture Bar

Sofia Gassne was recognised by CODE in 2023 for her exceptional work in ‘Respect and Support’ training (since picked up by other companies) in her ‘day job’ at Hawksmoor. This year, we single her out also for Culture Bar, the business she founded last year to address toxic workplace culture by delivering anti-harassment, bullying and women’s safety training. Gassne delivers diversity and inclusion to all new starters at Hawksmoor; leads the Women at Hawksmoor network and sits on the steering group for the London Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter.

Aashifa Hussain
Senior coffee trainer, Well Grounded

Well Grounded is a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs speciality coffee training academies for adults facing barriers to employment. One of the graduates from its first intake back in 2016 is Aashifa Hussain, who is now Well Grounded’s senior coffee trainer. In the last seven years, Hussain has trained hundreds of new baristas, not only teaching them coffee skills but offering career guidance and pastoral support. In 2023, she was key in establishing Well Grounded’s new Bristol programme whose pilot cohort of 12 newly accredited baristas graduated in early 2024. “It is obvious how much she cares,” writes a nominator. “The students love her.”

Vicky Ilankovan
Executive director, Equal Measures

Vicky Ilankovan was one of the original beneficiaries of Equal Measures, founded by Deano Moncreiffe in 2020, to advocate for those from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnicities and marginalised groups who face barriers to progression in the bar industry. Ilankovan joined full-time in 2022, becoming executive director in September 2023. Her role at Equal Measures covers education and mentorship, qualifications such as WSET and Personal License courses, fundraising, and organising distillery tours, brand partnerships, portfolio tastings, and networking events. In two years, she’s grown the beneficiary pool from 21 members to over 600. That she’s known in the Equal Measures community as ‘auntie’ is testament to the regard in which she is held.

Jennifer Marsh
General manager, Escape Restaurant, HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Jennifer Marsh heads up Escape Café and Restaurant within HMP Wormwood Scrubs in West London, where she helps prisoners gain the industry-recognised qualifications and work experience they need to find employment in hospitality on their release. Her role encompasses everything from mentoring trainees to bringing in guest chefs and potential future employers. “Jennifer embodies the transformative power of hospitality training,” says a nominator. “Her unwavering belief in the potential of every individual motivates others to get involved and make a positive difference.” The restaurant, opened in 2021, is a partnership between prison education provider Novus and The Right Course, a charity founded by Fred Sirieix.

Michelle Righini
Director & founder, We Recover Loudly & Radical Hospitality

Michelle Righini, who has worked in front of house and operations for close to two decades, had a productive 2023. In May, she launched her podcast We Recover Loudly, drawing on her own experience of addiction and burn out, to create a resource and support network for the hospitality industry and to provoke new conversations around workplace culture. Then, in December, she started her own consultancy Radical Hospitality, to deliver training and workshops on subjects as diverse as workplace drinking, neurodiversity, sexual harassment, and bullying. She’s proof you can have a thriving career in recovery.


Setting strategic direction, influencing change, and achieving substantial impact through leadership in the hospitality industry 


Paula Fitzherbert
Global head of communications, Maybourne Hotel Group

Even after two decades in the job, Paula Fitzherbert’s heart still skips a beat whenever she walks into one of the Maybourne Hotel Group’s hotels. She adores her job and makes it look like round-the-clock fun, meeting the great and the good of art, politics, fashion; attending parties; and coming up with ever more creative ideas to keep the hotels relevant. In fact, the most glamorous job in hospitality is also one of its most serious; and Fitzherbert has been instrumental in getting PR seen as a key component of a hotel group’s business model. Fitzherbert admits she’s on call 24/7, working across time zones, and making magic happen at the group’s three London hotels, Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Berkeley, and at new properties The Maybourne Beverly Hills and The Maybourne Riviera. It doesn’t look as if Fitzherbert’s workload will ease any in 2024; she has her hands full with the launch of The Emory, Maybourne’s first new-build hotel and London’s first all-suite hotel.

Clare Henshaw
Head of hospitality, Fortnum & Mason

Clare Henshaw made her start at Fortnums behind the deli counter on the lower ground floor, working her way up, via procurement management, to head of hospitality in July 2023. She’s been heavily involved with the establishment of the Piccadilly retailer’s new third floor Food & Drink Studio, billed “a playground of delicious discovery”. The studio’s shaking up food retail as we know it, hosting talks, masterclasses, supper clubs and tastings with famous names and emerging talents. She’s praised for the behind-the-scenes work we don’t see; training, mentoring, and prioritising sustainability at every turn. She’s also a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

Asma Khan
Chef & founder, Darjeeling Express

Kolkata-born Asma Khan’s pioneering restaurant grew from supper club to fully fledged restaurant, and was the first UK restaurant to appear on Netflix’s Chefs Table. Darjeeling Express has moved sites twice, but what has remained constant is its all-female Indian staff, average age 50, none formally trained. Khan herself didn’t cook until 1991 when she moved to England, and only did so professionally after her law degree and PhD. Khan continues to speak out about the abuse women face in kitchens. She’ll say it herself: she doesn’t want to be a celebrity chef. She wants to be a disruptor.

Jenny Lau
Writer & freelance consultant, Celestial Peach

British Chinese writer and food activist Jenny Lau is the creator of food platform Celestial Peach. It’s with Celestial Peach that Lau brings together many strands of her work including the Asian Slaw Alliance, a sprawling, provocative, cabbage-focused story-telling project; her Asian Dessert Exchange; and her regular potlucks for foodies of East and South East Asian heritage. She teaches workshops but views herself as a student not an expert; and seeks to keep learning from others, sharing with others. Her debut non-fiction book An A-Z of Chinese Food (Recipes Not Included) will be published in January 2025.

Alex Nicholson-Evans
Founder & director, Living For The Weekend

Birmingham Cocktail Weekend enters its tenth year of shaking and stirring in 2024. To celebrate, founder Alex Nicholson-Evans, is making it a double, with the Summer Edition in July to be followed by a Winter Edition in October. In between, she has the Birmingham Restaurant Festival to plan. She’ll also be building on the success of the inaugural Bristol Cocktail Weekend in 2023, and engineering even more collaborative inter-city action. Since November 2023, Nicholson-Evans combines city-wide festival-planning with a unique new role; that of Birmingham’s first City Curator, commissioning art, festivals, and events in the city centre.

Anni Opong
Managing director, Arc Inspirations

Anni Opong has seen Arc Inspirations, the northern bar group she joined in 2003, grow from three venues to three brands (Banyan, Manahatta and Box), 21 venues, and 1000 employees. Arc Inspirations’ founder and CEO Martin Wolstencroft credits Opong for helping drive the growth; guiding it out of lockdown even stronger than it was before (Arc Inspirations won Best Operations Team and Best Managed Pub Company at the 2022 Publican Awards); and directing the business’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy and practice. He says: “Anni represents the change our colleagues can see and believe in.”


Providing exceptional mentorship, guidance, and support, significantly advancing the careers of emerging hospitality professionals 


Prue Stamp
Head of people & culture, Urban Leisure Group & Two Tribes Brewery

Australian human resources pro Prue Stamp is, as one of her nominators puts it, “the glue that holds everyone together”. After a decade with Urban Leisure Group, Stamp has risen up to the position of Head of People and Culture there and at Two Tribes Brewery. The field’s demanding; implementing processes, policy, and professional training, while keeping abreast of ever-changing regulations. At the same time, it calls for compassion and empathy, qualities Stamps’ mentees report she has in spades. “She keeps the culture alive.” Beyond the walls of the business, she’s now supporting and mentoring up-and-coming people and culture professionals in London, Manchester and Liverpool. She’s a mental health first aider, a mindfulness and wellbeing at work coach, and is a contributor to Countertalk, going in depth on such subjects as onboarding and careers in H.R.

Gemma Bell
Founder, Gemma Bell and Company

In November 2023, Gemma Bell and Company sent out its own press release, announcing a new senior leadership team and the creation of a new projects and partnerships divisions alongside the existing communications and marketing departments. Bell, who founded the business in 2011, and now works with such names as Ottolenghi and St John, seeks out opportunities to empower her employees and mentees, for example partnering with the Taylor Bennett Foundation to offer paid internships to young people from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background. Bell is frank and forthright in her own communications, speaking out about Palestine and always staying true to her values.

Ella de Beer
Co-founder, Electric Mayonnaise & CPO, Ottolenghi

Ella de Beer is motivated by the desire to drive meaningful change in the hospitality industry, by tackling the skills shortage and nurturing the next generation of hospitality professionals. In her role as director at Electric Mayonnaise, she has helped establish their Into Hospitality programme in partnership with Springboard this year, giving new recruits of all ages and backgrounds the skills and experience they need to find fulfilling work in hospitality. Previously head of people at MJMK, De Beer joined Ottolenghi as CPO (Chief People Officer) in January 2024.

Lisa Donohue
Head of coaching, KERB

Lisa Donohue, a former brand and marketing communications specialist, was the first hire at KERB’s not-for-profit social enterprise KERB+ in May 2022. As Head of Coaching, she has established KERB’s coaching for work and coaching for business programmes; built relationships with impact partners working with the homeless, refugees, ex-offenders, and the young unemployed; and helped participants in the Streets Ahead programme launch their street food businesses. In 2023, KERB delivered over 850 hours of free coaching; saw 31 businesses graduate from its no-cost inKERBator programme; and worked with more than 320 people from less advantaged backgrounds. Donohue is also a qualified humanistic integrative counsellor.

Kimberly McBride & Anna Søgaard
Co-founders, Suppher

Kimberly McBride and Anna Søgaard worked together at Erst in Ancoats, Manchester. In 2019, they founded SuppHer, their fundraising supper club programme powered by women, and have since collaborated with the likes of Mana, Flawd, and Isca and raised money for charities including Host Nation and Trafford Rape Crisis. 2023 saw change at SuppHer with the series venturing down south for the first time; and SuppHer becoming a CIC (community interest company). It has two new directors in Anna Carmichael who’ll work with McBride on events in the north, and Sinead Murdoch, who’s working with Søgaard, now head chef at Bistro Freddie, in the south.

Maureen Mills
Director, Network London PR

When it comes to London restaurants, Canadian-born PR veteran Maureen Mills knows everybody and everything. She runs her boutique agency out of a small Wimbledon office, but is always out and about, visiting clients, and doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner with journalists, colleagues, and industry bigwigs. As senior as she is, she’ll always happily jump on a call, chat through an idea, or make an introduction, even when there’s little in it for her. Look at the senior staff of any of the top PR agency, and you’ll most likely find someone who made their start under Mills.

Lucy Noone Blake
Director, PEAR

Lucy Noone Blake has always had a direct line to the industry, having grown up in a family with a fresh produce business. She’s now co-director of a Manchester communications agency but isn’t limited by any conventional definition of the role, moving seamlessly between consultancy, public relations, industry forums, mentoring up-and-coming talents, and launching brands like Hawksmoor and Soho House to the city. She’s also co-founder of Club de Padel, Manchester’s first padel club.

Monique Sierra
Managing director, Brutto

The news of Russell Norman’s death in November last year shocked the industry, with thoughts turning to the restaurateur’s family, friends, and loyal staff. Monique Sierra, Norman’s close friend and right-hand woman, has ensured continuity at Brutto, supporting staff, customers, and suppliers who loved Norman and the magical space he had created in Clerkenwell. “It goes without saying that Trattoria Brutto will continue just as Russell would want it to,” reads a tribute on @bru.tto’s Instagram. Sierra runs the restaurant as Norman did, having fun with new ideas like the ‘One O’Clock Risotto’ and making St Valentine’s Day for walk-ins only.


Demonstrating creativity and resilience, driving their hospitality business to notable success 


Amy Poon
Founder & director, Poon’s London

Amy Poon had the good fortune to be born into a restaurant family. Her father Bill, a seventh-generation chef from Hong Kong, opened Poon’s of Covent Garden in 1976 and won a Michelin star in 1980, feeding the great and the good, from Mick Jagger to Barbra Streisand. Amy Poon, an Oxford graduate, writer and entrepreneur, who’d had no intention of ever following in his footsteps, surprised herself by taking on the family business, resurrecting the Poon’s name as a pop-up in Clerkenwell in 2018. As she says, “what chance does one stand against kismet?”. In 2021, she was back with a spin-off, Poon’s Wontoneria, which enjoyed a successful lockdown run at Stevie Parle’s JOY, and in 2022, she launched nationwide delivery of her famous wontons and cult sauces. In 2023, the pop-up returned, this time for three months at Carousel. Three months turned into a year at Carousel, during which time Poon and her team served well over 200,000 wontons. Poon may be the boss, but she’s the first to roll up her sleeves and crack on, making wontons, serving customers, and clearing tables, all the while searching for a permanent home for the brand. An announcement of which is rumoured to be imminent.

Spasia Dinkovski
Chef & founder, Mystic Burek

After 15 years of cooking other people’s food, Dinkovski, a self-described third culture kid who was born in Sussex to Macedonian parents, began cooking her own. That was in lockdown, when she cooked her way through her grandmother’s handwritten cookbook and began delivering her glorious golden filo pies around London. She got the keys to her Sydenham café in 2023 and has already had to upsize. Her flavours only get more enticing: think rhubarb, cardamom and halva, and lamb and ghee potatoes with dipping gravy. Dinkovski’s first book Doma: Traditional Flavours and Modern Recipes from the Balkan Diaspora was published by DK in April.

Florence Mae Maglanoc
Founder & chef, Maginhawa Group

Maglanoc’s 2024 got off to a cracking start with a five-star rave for Maginhawa Group’s new Filipino restaurant Donia from the Evening Standard’s Jimi Famurewa who ascribed Donia’s success not only to the food but to the “palpable professionalism, courageousness and creativity” of founders Florence Mae Maglanoc and Omar Shah. Everything Shah and Maglanoc touch demonstrates these same qualities, from their Filipino bakery Panadera to their ice cream parlour Mamason’s, to their Japanese-Filipino fusion joint Ramo Ramen in Soho. Maglanoc, one of CODE’s 30 Under 30 class of ‘23/24, hopes one day to open in New York. Something tells us she’ll do it.

Siobhan Quinn
Co-founder, Hot Sauce

If the UK’s food media hadn’t heard of Hot Sauce before, they certainly had by the summer of 2023, when Hot Sauce’s client, South London fried chicken institution Morley’s made headlines with a month-long pop-up chicken shop in collaboration with Heinz at The Standard. The activation was the work of Siobhan Quinn of Hot Sauce, a spin-off of one of London’s best known communications agencies Sauce. Quinn wants to invigorate brand partnerships by working with the disruptors of food and drink such as Hot Sauce signings Hannah Crosbie, Riaz Phillips and Rahel Stephanie. Further major deals are, we’re told, in the offing.

Natalia Ribbe
Founder, Ladies of Restaurants & owner, Sète

Natalia Ribbe is one of the industry’s proudest champions; a ‘natural, effusive host’ (Grace Dent’s words), known for L.O.R (Ladies of Restaurants), the women’s networking group she founded in 2016. Ribbe’s journey has taken her from the floor of some iconic New York most restaurants (Le Cirque and Blue Water Grill among them) to a successful career in marketing and events in the UK, and her own restaurants. The road’s not been without its bumps, the biggest being when she lost her restaurant to a £50,000 banking scam. Her drive undimmed, she came back fighting, with Sète, her first solo venture, in Margate in 2023.

Jenny Thompson
Owner, Altrincham Market

Jenny Thompson and Nick Johnson, the duo behind Altrincham market, Mackie Mayor in Manchester, and the Picturedrome in Macclesfield were awarded MBEs for service to Business and the Food Sector in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. A reward commensurate with over a decade’s work, rejuvenating historic buildings, reimagining modern markets, and championing independent businesses and new talent. Johnson said of Thompson in the Manchester Evening News: “She is just so integral to our joint success and often goes unrecognised.”

Guirong Wei
Chef, Shaanxi Koufuda

London’s diners are hooked on hand-pulled biang biang noodles and Xi’an hamburgers, and that’s down to Guirong Wei who has done more than anyone to introduce London to the cuisine of China’s north-western Shaanxi province. First at Xi’an Impression in Highbury, which she co-owns, then at her first solo restaurant Master Wei in Bloomsbury, and at her two new openings, Master Wei in Hammersmith, and Dream Xi’an in Tower Hill, her most ambitious project to date. Remarkable to think she came to London knowing no English and knowing nobody.

Baneta Yelda
Company director, Companio Bakery

Assyrian Iraqi Baneta Yelda was holidaying in the UK in 2014, when Isis advanced towards her home city of Erbil. She couldn’t get back, so had to apply for asylum. It was then that Yelda, a biomedical scientist, began to cook in earnest, learning recipes on video calls with her mother, later going part-time in order to work in restaurants. In 2019, she was awarded a refugee scholarship to Nottingham’s School of Artisan Food, passing the Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking with distinction. She’s now co-owner of Companio Bakery, supplier to the likes of Mana and Harvey Nichols, and famous for Manchester’s ‘most sought-after croissant’. As a nominator writes, “Baneta rarely gets an opportunity to stand back and take in how far she has come, figuratively and literally.”

Sustainability Trailblazer

Leading the way towards a more sustainable and responsible future through resource-efficient operations, eco-friendly practices, or community engagement 


Sylvia Travers
Head of horticulture, Haigh Hall

Dr Sylvia Travers is a horticulturist with a PhD in pomology (fruit growing) and plant science. She’s also a specialist in the creation and restoration of walled kitchen gardens and, in 2023, was announced as Head of Horticulture at Haigh Hall, a historic country house, near Wigan. Haigh Hall is currently undergoing a £39m restoration and transformation into a five-floor arts and culture centre with its own restaurant and café supplied with produce grown in the kitchen garden by Travers and her team. Travers, who started her career at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, was previously farm director at L’Enclume in Cartmel and head grower at Moor Hall in Aughton. At Haigh Hall, Travers will develop a new food-focused horticultural apprenticeship in collaboration with Wigan and Leigh College.

Sarah Brading
Founder, Flat Earth Pizzas

Sarah Brading of Flat Earth in Bethnal Green sees the humble pizza as a vehicle for change. Hers are all meat-free, with doughs made of Gilchester’s and Wildfarmed flours; and creative toppings such as kimchi, beetroot crumb, and bubble and squeak to cut back on waste. Flat Earth’s 2023 Impact Report has the numbers: Flat Earth sold 887 litres of wine from refill kegs; transformed 575kg spent coffee grounds into eco-friendly fuels; facilitated the collection of 1000 veg boxes from Growing Communities; and its kimchi pizza produces 72 percent less carbon than the UN target limit per meal.

Giulia Cuccurullo
Head bartender, Artesian at The Langham

Spirulina, kombu, tiger nuts, moringa, insects and amaranth…these are just some of the ‘ingredients of the future’ on the menu at Artesian, the award-winning cocktail bar at The Langham. Architecture student-turned-bartender Giulia Cuccurullo developed the new menu in 2023, to show that cocktails can be imaginative but also progressive and sustainable. All of the drinks have non-alcoholic counterparts. Cuccurullo is praised for her 360 understanding of sustainability, where sustainability centres its people and practices as much as its product.

Anna Higham
Owner & baker, Quince Bakery

Scottish baker and writer Anna Higham opened Quince Bakery in north London in February this year. Higham’s a well-known name already for her work at Lyle’s, Flor, and The River Café, and for her book The Last Bite: A Whole New Approach To Making Desserts Through The Year. At Quince, Higham offers a model that is both sustainable and financially viable. She’s choosing, for example, not to offer viennoiserie (which demands more staff, more hours, more space, more machinery); instead specialising in British Isles bakes like yeasted buns and turnovers using heritage grains from farmers she knows. 

Carolyn Lum
Sustainability manager, Wahaca

Wahaca recently topped a survey of sustainable UK restaurant groups conducted by the consumer group Which? with the 13-strong group scoring notably highly on sourcing, transparency, and customer choice. Last year’s press clippings were every bit as positive, Wahaca announced it was taking steak off the menu, and going 59% vegetarian. Sustainability lead Carolyn Lum’s role aims to stay several steps ahead, enacting change long before it is mandatory. Lum’s recently introduced compostable taco trays; helped cut plastic usage down to just 4.7% of total takeaway packaging weight; and maintained Wahaca’s Sustainable Restaurant Association three-star rating.

Jane Oglesby
Founder, Jane’s Farm

It was when Jane Oglesby was a new parent and still a GP that she started to get interested in agriculture. What began with one cow and one calf has grown to a herd of 120 Dexter and Longhorn cows roaming the 200-acre estate in Cheshire belonging to Oglesby and her husband Chris (chief executive of commercial property company Bruntwood). She’s transformed the land from depleted dairy pasture into a healthy diverse ecosystem and supplies her regenerative beef and acorn-fed pork to Manchester restaurants including newcomers Higher Ground and Climat.

Giorgia Tracy
Business development lead for hospitality, Belu

Giorgia Tracy, whose background is in marketing, joined Belu a year ago after two years at JKS Restaurants where she started in guest relations and moved on to partnerships., Working with charities including StreetSmart and Action Against Hunger, Tracy knew she wanted her work to make a difference. Now Business Development Lead at Belu, where 100 percent of the business’s net profit is donated to WaterAid, Tracy works directly with hospitality clients, helping them make more sustainable choices. Tracy’s praised by a nominator for reflecting the Belu ethos and communicating it to partners so well. Belu’s total total contributions to WaterAide to date amount to over £5.8m.


Setting new industry standards with creative and original solutions by embracing cutting edge technology, imaginative design, or innovative customer engagement


Hannah Crosbie
Wine writer & broadcaster

Hannah Crosbie, dubbed the “Nigella of wine”, is a twentysomething Scot with a hotline to a new, cool breed of wine drinker. Eschewing the pomposity associated with fine wine, Crosbie engages her audience with the fun content they want. Filling in for no less than Jancis Robinson, she covered Gen Z’s drinking habits in the FT; while for the Standard, she has decoded all the wines poured on Succession. Her debut book Corker: A Deeply Unserious Wine Book, covering everything from what to drink on a plate to what to drink when you meet the parents, is out in spring 2024. Crosbie is now a regular on Sunday Brunch, and still finds time to host Dalston Wine Club, the cult event series that made her name in 2020.

Kelly Bishop
Owner, Manchester Wine Tours

Manchester-based food and wine writer Kelly Bishop launched Manchester Wine Tours in October 2023. Her tours are guided tours with a difference, taking tourists and locals alike on a leisurely stroll around the city’s best bars, shops and restaurants with drinks and snacks at every stop. She describes the tours as fun, relaxed, and “sneakily educational.” When she’s not strolling around town, you might find her on stage with her punk band, teaching classes at Manchester Wine School, or writing about food, wine and restaurants for titles such as Time Out.

Natsuki Kikuya
Director, Museum of Sake

Natsuki Kikuya is a “sake superpower”, says a nominator. Her family has a sake brewery in Japan but Kikuya only started in sake in 2009, with a job at a sake shop in Tokyo. Her next role was as sake sommelier at Zuma and Roka in London. In 2013, she established Museum of Sake, her magazine, club, and consultancy; and in 2014, helped develop the WSET Level 3 award in sake. In 2015, the Japanese government awarded Kikuya the official title of ‘Sake Samurai’. Most recently, she curated the sake list for Endo Kazutoshi’s new sake bar Kioku by Endo at The OWO.

Justine Murphy
CEO, mymuybueno

Entrepreneur Justine Murphy, CODE’s 2023 Leader of the Year, has had another blockbuster year at mymuybueno, her luxury food and lifestyle brand that incorporates everything from a private chef agency (the world’s largest) to a caviar concierge, and her latest stroke of genius, an online culinary academy. mymuybueno Academy of Culinary Arts launched in late 2023; and offers advanced online courses taught by famous chefs such as Gareth Ward, James Knappett, and recent Great British Menu winner Kirk Haworth.

Julia Pearson
Global VP of F&B Development, Ennismore & Co-founder of London On The Inside & Sausage Press

Who knows when Ennismore’s Jules Pearson has time to sit down and come up with new ideas but in between meals, trips, hotel launches, somehow she does it. Her day job at Ennismore (Gleneagles, The Hoxton hotel group etc) has her working on hundreds of projects globally at any one time; she is responsible for creative across all projects for Ennismore’s Carte Blanched F&B Studio. As a media creative, she founded digital publication London on the Inside in 2010, and her latest project Sausage Press, a series of print guides to London’s best food and drink.

Camilla Topham
Co-founder, Distrkt

At Distrkt, the specialist hospitality property consultancy which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2023, co-founder Camilla Topham, is known for her creative style and forward-thinking outlook. She’s passionate about restaurants and admits to being choosy about the projects she takes on and seeks out those to which she can add value. With Distrkt, Topham, who was previously director at Davis Coffer Lyons, has made destinations of leading developments in London and nationwide, for clients such as Shaftesbury and The Crown Estate.

Laura Willoughby
Founder, Club Soda

Laura Willoughby MBE is a ‘no and low’ trailblazer. She set up Club Soda, her mindful drinking movement, in 2015. In December 2022, building on the success of Club Soda’s pop-up Alcohol-Free Off-License, opened a bar, shop, and tasting room in the centre of London. In the last year, Club Soda has become the de facto home of all things no and low; its programme includes its monthly Queers with Beers event; meet the maker days; alcohol-free mixology and cocktail making workshops; and online courses. Willoughby’s advice for other women is: “Don’t wait to act on your ideas.”

The judges

Hilary Armstrong

Freelance food writer, editor and restaurant reviewer

Thom Hetherington

Founder of Landing Light, and restaurant critic for Manchester’s Finest

Adam Hyman

Founder of CODE Hospitality

Samyukta Nair

Founder & CEO of LSL Capital and CODE Hospitality’s Woman of the Year 2023

Valeria Rodriguez

Head of Fine Wine at Bibendum and experienced sommelier

Explore the 2023 list

Explore the 2022 list

CODE Hospitality's Women of the Year - 2022 list
Weekly bulletin. Eyes and ear of the industry