Published 7 December 2022
Notting Hill is enjoying a culinary renaissance, and DORIAN is playing a big part. This ‘accidental’ restaurant (the basement acts as the production kitchen of Notting Hill Fish + Meat Shop) opened in the autumn, with Max Coen as head chef. This 26-year-old has worked at two of London’s best restaurants, Kitchen Table and Ikoyi, and at the highly acclaimed Frantzen in Stockholm. Coen’s passion for seasonal produce is evident on the menu at DORIAN, an ‘of the moment’ fixture fast becoming one of the hottest tables in town.
Welsh chef Nick Rudge gained solid grounding in fine dining over seven years at The Fat Duck, where he rose to become sous chef. Now back on home turf in Wales, he’s bringing this finesse into more accessible territory with his debut restaurant, The Jackdaw. Tucked away above a bingo hall on Conwy High Street, it’s an unlikely spot for a destination restaurant but Rudge’s refined yet generous cooking is well worth a long journey. His talent is not going unnoticed and in October the chef was named The Good Food Guide’s Chef to Watch for 2022.
When Meedu Saad handed over the hobs at P. Franco to Jamie Smart in spring, he had high praise for the chef’s ‘thoughtful and considered’ cooking. Smart has clocked up time at Brawn, Lyle’s, St. John, and Auberge de Chassignolles. Now he’s running an assured one-man kitchen at east London wine bar Cadet. His blackboard menu captures the changing seasons with nuance and dexterity, showcasing the superior quality of produce he sources from farms like Flourish and Namayasai. Alongside wines poured by Beattie and Roberts, and charcuterie from George Jephson, a seat at the counter in Cadet is never easily attained.
Turning a traditional family-run ocakbasi into a vigorously modern Turkish-British restaurant is a rather uncommon pursuit. But the pandemic was fertile ground for such experiments and this one is paying off. In March 2020 Dirik was called back from the hallowed kitchens of Copenhagen to help save the family business along with his brother Ferhat. He brought with him a wealth of technique and creativity that has propelled Mangal II to centre stage. Carefully sourced and sustainable British ingredients are given the Turkish treatment on the grill to create a brilliantly executed seasonal menu. Think cull yaw köfte, wild mushroom börek, or künefe with Douglas fir syrup and pink naval orange.
Blades is a great example of why hospitality is such an exciting industry, and why it offers so much possibility to young people. He is the youngest head chef Adam Handling has ever appointed and got his first taste of kitchen life aged 15 by way of a stage, and quickly progressed. After time with Simon Rogan in both London and Hong Kong, Blades helped Handling launch his latest venture, Ugly Butterfly in west Cornwall, as sous chef, before being promoted to head chef in July 2022. Overseeing the zero-waste restaurant, Blades designs and creates sustainable menus, and is passionate about advocating for hospitality as a career and inspiring the next generation. Handling says of Blades: ‘Connor is the future of hospitality, and I know for a fact that he’s the future of my restaurants’.
In the heart of East Devon is Glebe House, a remote restaurant and guesthouse overlooking the sweeping wilds of Coly Valley. It is here where head chef Sam Lomas is charting his course, using produce from Glebe’s 15-acre smallholding to create dishes that draw crowds the country over. Cheshire-born Lomas, 27, moved to the Devon countryside early, starting his career at the famous River Cottage, where he won the Rising Star Award in 2013. Stints at a popular bakery in Macclesfield followed, before he returned to nature, first cooking at Surf Tiree on a Hebridean island off the coast of Scotland, and then at Tide Llanw Cafe at Halen Môn on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales. These experiences have undoubtedly formulated Lomas’ approach to food and to experience, where at Glebe he is using ingredients cleverly, and playfully, to allow guests to feel connected to the fields that surround them.
After running a successful fine dining pop-up called Bad Seeds during the pandemic, an at-home affair that sold out every week, Yorke and his business partner opened Heron in Leith last summer. The restaurant serves farm-to-table fine dining showcasing the best of seasonal Scottish produce. Yorke trained under Dominic Jack at Castle Terrace in Edinburgh and also spent time The Bonnie Badger. Since its conception, Heron has received glowing reviews from the press.
Maher’s savoury bakes and sweet treats attract many to The Palmerston in Edinburgh, where she serves an ever-changing menu of delights. Maher learned her trade on the job and by reading about pastry. With no formal training, Maher creates accomplished bakes such as fig leaf creme diplomats, chocolate and hazelnut escargots, and gorgeous pan aux raisins. She regularly shares pictures of her pastries on her popular Instagram page, where she is known as @darciebakes.
The Edinburgh-born wine personality Hannah Crosbie has been referred to as the ‘Nigella of wine’ more than once. Her informed but relaxed approach to viticulture has paved the way for a more accessible and diverse conversation in the industry, and her ‘learn while-u-drink’ tutorials have helped to demystify a too often esoteric and patronising world. Crosbie’s career began in a fine dining restaurant at the age of 17, and since then she has gone onto create Dalston Wine Club, designed to encourage more young people into the sector, and launched an events programme for Soho House concentrating on natural wines.
It’s rare to leave a fine dining restaurant and, moments later, plan a return visit. But such is the magic of Northumberland’s Pine, where high-achieving culinary fireworks are brought down to earth by a charming front of house team spearheaded by Buchan. Her warmth and instinct for hospitality perpetuate an easy informality through the restaurant, despite a consistent string of plaudits cementing Pine’s place at the forefront of the British hospitality scene. Pine is in The Good Food Guide‘s Top 20 list.
Lockdown meant different things for different people. For Dawnay, it saw him take over his parent’s Brixton garden to start smoking meat. As an ode to his Polish-Jewish background, the 21-year old began making Reuben sandwiches, popping up in nearby pubs and restaurants in order to sell them. He also delivers his smoked meat and salmon through the online marketplace DELLI, and appeared at MEATOPIA in 2022. We’re excited to see what’s next for Dawnay, because who doesn’t love a Reuben?
Working as a chef in London, Feeny was struck at just how much waste was produced every day in restaurant kitchens. It was during his time at The Conduit, a restaurant committed to avoiding all single-use plastics, that he came up with the idea of creating a free manual offering guidance on how to do the same. Feeny researched and wrote his manual, No Mise en Plastic, while on furlough. He has since helped chefs cut their environmental impact – without affecting the quality of food. Feeny has won our ‘Innovator award’ – for taking a new and dynamic idea and working to solve industry challenges.
There hasn’t been a Rahel Stephanie supper club with tickets to spare; seats sell out in a matter of minutes. After moving to London from Indonesia, Stephanie set up her plant-based evenings, called ‘Spoons’, from her iPhone in 2019. She was inspired by the authentic and regional dishes eaten while traversing the streets in her home country, and watching Indonesian ‘aunties’ on YouTube who exchange tips and recipes with their communities. Today, Stephanie is also working to educate Western diners on Indonesian cuisine, with inaccurate representations across the Western world still happening aplenty. Satay, or ‘sate’, is the foremost example of this: in Indonesia, the word means ‘skewer’, and has no relation to peanut sauce at all.
After moving home to Bristol, Grantham started serving coffee on an area of disused pavement just outside Clifton Village during COVID in 2020. Can’t Dance Coffee has now evolved into a permanent container, with outdoor seating on the original spot, and a mobile coffee trike and a Piaggio APE popping up around Bristol and beyond. Supporting local and independent businesses is a core part of Can’t Dance Coffee: beans are supplied by Triple Co. Roast, and cakes by Flour House, both Bristol-based businesses. As a statement of its dedication to independents, Grantham walked out of the Bristol Balloon Festival in August 2022 after becoming aware that Costa Coffee would be giving away free coffees to all visitors on entry.
The Standard hotel brand is known for doing things a little differently, and for anyone familiar with its London outpost on Euston Road, this is certainly the case. A lot of The Standard’s originality is down to McGovern, the hotel’s marketing and culture manager. Her role involves creating unique cultural events programmes, ensuring the hotel stays relevant in a highly competitive market. She now looks after the marketing for The Standard in Ibiza too.
After starting her career working in design and visual merchandising in London, Liverpool and New York, Hibbert returned to her native Cotswolds to work at the family business, Thyme. Alongside her mother and brother, the family has made Thyme one of the most desirable country hotels in the UK – with a strong focus on sustainability. As well as working on brand and marketing, Hibbert focuses on Thyme’s sibling brand, Bertioli by Thyme, which includes womenswear, homeware and beauty products. Hibbert’s role is a reminder of how retail has become an important part of any hospitality business.
Georgina MacDougall joined the boutique PR agency Tonic nearly five years ago, having studied languages at University College London before working at Delicious magazine. MacDougall started out as an intern, but a series of promotions has left her sitting as an account director thanks to her ‘smart, solutions-focused approach’ and her keen knowledge of the industry. She has recently relocated from London to Edinburgh, expanding Tonic into the Scottish capital and quickly winning clients. She was also key to helping establish the agency’s ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign: since October 2020, for every complimentary meal facilitated by Tonic, one is donated to someone who might otherwise go hungry.
Having been at Collectiv Food for three and half years, you can understand why Spinetto has been voted the most inspiring member of the team by peers. Her passion for sustainability in the food industry led her to become the business’s first sustainability manager at 27-years-old. She now heads up the new sustainability function in the business, which includes a carbon footprint calculator to monitor last-mile emissions of food deliveries, and is working towards making Collectiv Food a B Corp outfit.
The question of succession is a huge problem in farming families, with the burden of expectation weighing heavily on whomever is next in line. Not so at Darts Farm in south Devon, where third generation Dart is stepping up to the plate, bringing energy and innovation to the family business. At just 25, Dart is a valuable and respected part of a thriving operation, which spans a vineyard, cidery, food hall, cafe and restaurant, butchers, chocolatier, and the farm itself. With a focus on marketing and operations, you might find Dart building the e-commerce business, liaising with chef-customers like Michael Caines at nearby Lympstone Manor, pouring wines, hosting events, or getting stuck into service at The Farm Table, where he always brings an easy charm and a wealth of knowledge.
Southampton born and bred, Sam Smith moved to Padstow to join Caffè Rojano as a commis chef in 2017. Since then, Smith has climbed the kitchen ladder, becoming senior sous in 2019, head chef in 2020, and operations director of the restaurant this year. Today, Smith, a football fan and keen lover of bacon baps, continues to spend time in the kitchen, but might also be found working the dining room, leading the team and welcoming guests as if Caffè Rojano was his own home.
To be head sommelier at Ynyshir, one of the country’s best restaurants, is no mean feat, let alone at the tender age of 28. Rory Eaton has been leading the Welsh restaurant’s wine list for more than four years now, having moved from Best of Hungary, a fine wine and food importer, to take up the role. Eaton’s career began at Cheval Blanc, a small wine bar nestled in the bustling village of Moseley, Birmingham. Today, Eaton, a lover of champagne as much as lesser-known and unexpected varieties – mirroring the outlandish and mysterious restaurant within which he works – charms diners with his relaxed and personable approach. He has also talked about being afforded autonomy by chef patron Gareth Ward, which allows the young sommelier to progress in himself, while pushing the boundaries of what fine dining and wine can be. Ynyshir is in The Good Food Guide‘s Top 20 list.
After graduating from Imperial College London with a physics degree, Beth Morgan-Jones soon realised that working at a desk wasn’t for her. A gap year in Melbourne, Australia, where she cooked in a popular food truck, led to new horizons, and she joined Apricity founder Chantelle Nicholson at her former restaurant Tredwells in 2015. Morgan-Jones rapidly rose from commis chef to general manager, moving gracefully from back to front of house via roles running reception and in the marketing team. She has been integral to launching Apricity, and choreographed the opening of the pandemic pop-up All’s Well, which preceded the permanent restaurant.
Reid originally joined Soho’s Bar Swift in 2019, where she worked her way up to senior bartender. Highly placed in the World’s 50 Best Bars, Reid has now been appointed general manager of Bar Swift’s new site in Borough. Not only has Reid risen to GM at an impressively young age, but she has also progressed and impressed as a young woman in a very male-dominated drinks industry.
Thompson’s story is one that embodies our 30 under 30 list, promoting hospitality to young people and showcasing its inclusivity and lack of boundaries. Starting as part-time kitchen porter at Langass Lodge on her home island of North Uist, the 26-year-old is now co-owner and general manager of Mingary Castle on the west coast of Scotland with her partner and chef patron Colin. Gaining experience in Australia and New Zealand, she returned to Scotland in 2018 to work at Inverlochy Castle before opening Mingary in 2021. Her role sees her looking after guests with her wired-hair dachshund, Hamish, by her side. Thompson has won our ‘Pioneer award’ – for breaking new ground in hospitality and establishing a creative and flourishing business.
HIDE, with its multi-million-pound wooden staircase sweeping through the dining room, is a beautifully busy spot in Mayfair. Abdul, as assistant general manager of the main ground floor restaurant, often helps navigate 375 covers a day from breakfast through to dinner. Originally starting as a commis waiter, he’s worked his way up quickly, such is his skill and tenacity. HIDE’s Ollie Dabbous says of Abdul: ‘He is a perfect example of a contemporary GM: all the finesse but none of the fluff or subservience.’
When your parents have successfully forged their careers in hospitality, one might be inclined to rebel and find another industry, but not Spiteri. No doubt influenced by her mother Mel, of Rochelle Canteen, and her father, Jon, the always well-dressed maître d’, Spiteri now finds herself running the operations at the fashionable noodle bar group KOYA. Joining as a trainee in 2018, she now oversees the day-to-day running of their three sites in Soho, the City, and Hackney, working closely with co-owners John Devitt and Shuko Oda.
Running any business at the age of 25 is impressive, not least a newly opened busy boozer in central London. Cue Lara Rogers, who has practically grown up working in pubs (her father Oisín used to run The Ship in Wandsworth and The Guinea Grill in Mayfair). Under its Cubitt House ownership, Rogers oversees The Barley Mow in Mayfair, which boasts a cool ground floor pub and a more formal dining room upstairs overseen by the group’s executive chef Ben Tish. Most importantly, Rogers knows how to pour a decent pint of Guinness.
Milia, originally from Sardinia, has been at the Connaught Bar since 2014. Voted the ‘World’s Best Bar’ for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021, Milia has been mentored by Agostino Perrone and has worked her way up from waitress to her current role as bar manager. As well as serving one of the best martinis in London, Milia leads and mentors a team of 16 and works closely with the wider Mayfair hotel team. She recently won ‘Bar Manager of the Year’ at CLASS Bar Awards 2022.
Forced to leave their homes due to the war in Ukraine earlier this year, Nikulishyna and Vystoropska came to London under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, where they found jobs at the Corinthia hotel. Both were keen to work with people, so hospitality proved to be a natural calling. Nikulishyna is now a hostess at the Crystal Moon Lounge, while Vystoropska is fast becoming an expert waitress. Their stories are not only inspirational, but a pertinent reminder how hospitality can be truly limitless. Nikulishyna and Vystoropska have won our ‘Inspirational story award’ – for overcoming immense personal difficulties to build a successful career in a new environment.
Brother and sister duo Ethan and Jordan Davids, alongside their friend Thomas Tullis, own and operate the Chickpea Group, a collection of pubs with rooms and pizza shops throughout Wiltshire and the wider Southwest. Their business growth has been rapid, but quality remains, and the trio now operate four popular sites, The Bell & Crown in Zeals, The Grosvenor Arms in Hindon, The Pembroke Arms in Wilton, and The Dog & Gun Inn in Netheravon. Their aim, they said, is ‘to provide pared back hospitality with relaxed eating and drinking in cosy, country boozers.’
University of the Arts London graduate Rhona Hamilton-Jones started at Be Inclusive Hospitality just over a year ago and works under the hugely respected Lorraine Copes to help foster a more open industry.
Just 21, Denis Barwick joined the new Scott’s in Richmond for its September launch, having worked at Gaucho and Coworth Park before taking on the position.
Henna Zinzuwadia launched AYO Collective last year, a new club that seeks to break down barriers in the drinks world and expose Londoners to producers and products they might not otherwise see or find.
With already a decade in the industry under her belt, Holly Letch was recently made sustainability manager for JKS Restaurants, keeping an eye on ethicality as it rapidly expands.