30 under 30 Class of 2019/20

Published 2 December 2019

CODE’s annual list of rising stars has, this year, focused on a real mixture of familiar names and less-familiar faces – all of whom are making waves in the hospitality industry. Our celebration includes some newcomers who are definitely ‘ones to watch’

In association with CMS Law

Anaïs van Manen, 28
Head of research and development, BAO

Fed up of staring a laptop all day, van Manen began cooking at 21. Her international career has taken her to Bogota and the restaurants Bones in Paris and alongside Michael Hazlewood at Antidote in London. Since then, she has hosted several pop-ups celebrating modern Vietnamese food, works with Kitchenette Karts, and was the opening chef at the crowd-funded Dalston café Snackbar. Van Manen currently works for BAO as their head of research and development.

Tomáš Kubart, 26
Restaurant director, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Tomáš Kubart, 26 Restaurant director, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill It’s been an outstanding year for Kubart as he was named the 2019 Restaurant Nanager of the Year by the Instititute of Hospitality and the Academy of Food and Wine Service. At 26, Kubart already has 10 years of hospitality experience, having begun his career as a waiter at the Mandarin Oriental in Prague at 16. Following a stint at Bar Boulud, where he worked his way through the ranks to maitre d’, Kubart joined the team at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill before its opening in the Corinthia hotel in 2017.

Sam Orbaum, 28
Restaurant manager, The Drop

Orbaum opted for a career change in 2017, joining Quo Vadis as a waiter following a career in PR. His aim was to learn about hospitality with a view to writing about restaurants. Instead, Orbaum found his vocation and fast became a customer favourite. As such, he was an obvious choice for restaurant manager when Harts Group opened The Drop wine bar and restaurant in King’s Cross, where he now leads the restaurant, curates the wine list and oversees the drop-in event series.

Daniel Smith and Natasha Norton-Smith, both 27
Co-founders, The Fordwich Arms

Having met 12 years ago at catering college, the pair have quickly become big stars of the hospitality industry. The opening of The Fordwich Arms in Canterbury two years ago is the culmination of their efforts (he is chef/partner and she is pastry chef/partner). The restaurant fast became a monumental success. The pub was awarded a Michelin star after 10 months and was recently rated best pub in the UK.

James Timmins and Julia Jefferis, both 26
Co-founders, Utter Waffle

Both previously chefs at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, it was Colombia that inspired the pair to start Utter Waffle. Timmins & Jefferis noticed a savoury crepe culture: fresh, inexpensive social food you can eat with your hands, and were keen to bring something similar back home. They began experimenting with waffles and, as Jefferis is a coeliac, they wanted to create street food that was inclusive and approachable. Despite being a young company, they have already been featured on Sunday Brunch, ITV News London and won three British Street Food Awards.

Ollie Gold, 29
Founder, Pophams

With such a cult following it’s hard to believe that the café and bakery Pophams only opened its doors in 2017, with founder Ollie Gold at the helm. Gold spent seven years working in catering departments in various Formula 1 teams, and when a derelict chemist in Islington became available, Gold was able to turn his vision of opening a bakery into a reality. Now with three sites, Gold continues to work on ensuring Popham’s creations are both eye-catching and great quality.

Santiago Lastra, 29
Founder and chef, Kol

Set to be one of the biggest openings of 2020, Kol will be the debut restaurant for Lastra. ‘Col’, adapted by Lastra to read Kol, means cabbage in Mexican Spanish, representing his belief that the simplest things can be made extraordinary if you believe in them. Following two years of travelling the globe and research trips around the UK to gather inspiration, alongside returning to his homeland to launch Noma Mexico in 2017 as project manager, Lastra is a chef with a passion for combining his native techniques with local ingredients.

Amir Mousavi, 28
Group development chef, Gather & Gather at Sky Studios

Whilst food has always been a passion of his, Mousavi only began a professional chef career after dropping out of art school and moving to London from Amsterdam. After co-founding street-food business VOL and working at Fera at Claridge’s, he soon found his passion in food development. In September 2018, Mousavi assumed the role of group development chef in Sky Studios, forming an integral part of the team that looks after the menu and concept development of 27 Sky sites serving almost 30,000 colleagues daily.

Toby Burrowes, 28
Head chef, Elystan Street

Australian-born Burrowes started his culinary career at 14 at a family-run Italian restaurant, where he first discovered his love for cooking. He moved to London in 2013 and joined Phil Howard in the kitchen at the two-Michelin-starred The Square, where he worked through the ranks to sous chef. Since becoming head chef at Elystan Street, the restaurant has achieved numerous accolades, such as AA Restaurant of the Year for London 2017-2018, and held a Michelin star since 2017.

Grace Regan, 29
Founder, SpiceBox

A serial entrepreneur, Regan was named one of the UK’s best young entrepreneurs in 2015 for her first start-up Clippet news, leading her to Silicon Valley: while there, she became vegan. Disillusioned by the tech world and keen to make her dream of opening a curry house a reality, Grace founded SpiceBox from her kitchen home. She then entered the world of street food, with SpiceBox named a YBFs finalist; this year she opened her first vegan curry house in Walthamstow.

Niall Keating, 28
Executive chef, Whatley Manor

A man of many achievements, Keating joined Whatley Manor as executive chef in 2017 and soon after, he was awarded a Michelin star. He was praised in the Michelin Guide 2018 for his daring and innovative cooking and awarded Michelin Young European Chef of the Year 2018, an award collected in front of some of the world’s most prestigious chefs.

Tobie-Anna Durk, 26
Founder, Kelly’s Cause

During her training at Le Cordon Bleu London, she met Kelly, the foundation’s namesake, who had struggled with mentalhealth difficulties throughout her life, worsened by the unforgiving atmosphere she faced in the workplace. Kelly took her own life at 23, the motivation behind Tobie-Anna founding Kelly’s Cause. Her aim is to honour Kelly’s legacy by making tangible steps towards protecting the wellbeing of all hospitality employees by providing mental health training in hospitality through custom-designed first aid courses.

Luca Piscazzi, 30
Head chef, La Dame de Pic

After graduating in Italy, Piscazzi first got his foot in the kitchen door at distinguished Aspleys at The Lanesborough. Subsequently, he has held key positions in highly acclaimed restaurants across the world, including the three-Michelinstarred La Pergola in Rome and Mandarin Oriental’s two-star Amber in Hong Kong. Returning to London, Piscazzi is now head chef at Anne-Sophie Pic’s first restaurant in the UK, Le Dame de Pic, which was awarded two Michelin stars this year.

Joel Holmes, 27, general manager Conor Daly, 27, restaurant manager Charlie Crote, 24, junior sous chef

An impressive young team is behind The Stratford’s seventh floor restaurant Allegra. General manager Holmes moved to London to pursue a career in hospitality, working at Corbin & King and Petersham Nurseries before joining Patrick Powell’s team. Similarly, restaurant manager Daly began his career at 13, with previous experience at Sorella and The Laughing Heart. Junior sous chef Crote, with a wealth of experience including five years at the Ritz, completes this impressive under-30 team.

Alice Cross, 27
People partner, Dishoom

In what seems like a unique job role, Cross has made an immense impact after joining Dishoom as their first people partner in 2018. She quickly became a beacon of Dishoom’s values and has helped define and craft their approach to wellbeing. Cross has launched a programme for the team that supports individuals with mental, physical and financial wellbeing, transforming how Dishoom induct new joiners, leading to lower staff turnover and increased internal promotion.

James Dye, 29
Financial director, Camberwell Arms, Frank’s Café, Peckham Springs and Bar Story

Dye’s entrepreneurial spirit has always been evident, hosting club nights around south London at 18. As a successful founding director of Peckham Springs, a cocktail bar under the railway arch, he later became financial director at both Frank’s Café and Bar Story. In 2017 Dye joined the team at Camberwell Arms. To add to his busy schedule, Dye has recently completed a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Real Estate at UCL.

Afees Bello, 28
Group back-of-house operations manager, Corbin & King

Bello joined Corbin & King in 2012 as the assistant back-ofhouse manager for the opening of Brasserie Zédel, before moving on to The Beaumont, where he was awarded a Shining Star award by Boutique Hotelier in 2018. Bello recently re-joined Corbin & King to lead the back-of-house operations for all seven restaurants within the group, overseeing more than 100 personnel and ensuring the smooth running of the department.

Merlin Labron-Johnson, 29
Founder and chef, Osip

The time finally arrived for Labron-Johnson’s first solo project this year, as he opened Osip in November. After working in Michelin-starred restaurants across the globe and winning a Michelin star for Portland at just 24, Labron-Johnson’s new venture is in rural Somerset within the small Number One Bruton hotel. His small farmto-table restaurant serves menus made up of hyper-local produce.

Kate Frobisher, 29
Founder, Urban Pantry

Frobisher trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine before jetting off to Sydney for the year, where she fell in love with their breakfast culture. Inspired by her travels, she opened Urban Pantry singlehandedly in 2015 at 24. It proved to be a hit, winning three Time Out London Awards and winning the 2019 National Breakfast Awards for Best Breakfast in the UK. Now, Frobisher is launching ‘Through Loving Cuisine’, a gifting business for customers to send quality comforting dishes to friends in need.

Alex Nietosvuori, 27
Founder and head chef, Hjem

Originally from Landskrona in Sweden, Nietosvuori moved to London in 2016 after an initial pop-up with Carousel. In early 2019, he opened Hjem in Northumbria with his partner Ally Thompson. The name is the Northumbrian and Scandinavian word for ‘home’, and the restaurant shines a spotlight on Northumberland produce together with Scandinavian cooking techniques. The 24-seat restaurant has already received high praise from guests and critics alike.

Danny Wallace, 23
Chef de partie, Kala

It’s hard to believe that Wallace is just 23, with a CV featuring Murano and Merchant’s Tavern amongst others. Wallace’s difficult start in life, as touched upon in Gary Usher’s Channel 4 Documentary ‘The Rebel Chef: my restaurant revolution’, highlights the determination which has been key to his career going from strength to strength. Recently named as OFM’s ‘Young Chef of the Year’, Wallace is now chef de partie at Usher’s Kala in central Manchester.

Dhruv Mittal, 28
Founder, DUM Biryani and Lucknow 49

Born in India and raised in Manchester, Mittal always dreamed of opening his own restaurant. So, he took matters into his own hands and travelled across India to develop knowledge of the cuisine, opening DUM Biryani House in London in 2016. Last April Mittal opened his second restaurant Lucknow 49 in Mayfair, an Indian restaurant specialising in that city’s cuisine.

Georgia Hutcheon, 25
Managing director and head of events, Arnold and Henderson

Raised in New Zealand, Georgia Hutcheon recognises the power of food to bring people together. She joined the Four Corners Group as a manager at 17, opening its flagship restaurant Ombra a year later. Hutcheon discovered her love of events when moving to Melbourne, joining the Caravan events team upon her return. She joined Arnold & Henderson in 2017, running their new site Rochelle Canteen at the ICA, and has worked her way up to become managing director of the whole business.

Julius Roberts, 27
Farmer, Thomson Farm

Having worked at Noble Rot in London, Roberts escaped to the countryside to transform his family cottage in Suffolk into a productive smallholding. He lives predominantly off home-grown produce or foraged treasures found in the surrounding woods, inspiring others to cook more adventurously, seasonally and sustainably. His approach seems to be catching on, with a growing following on his Instagram @telltalefood keen to learn about everything from keeping bees to sheep shearing, how to milk goats and trim their toenails.

Ravneet Gill, 28
Founder, Countertalk

As an experienced pastry chef, previously working at Black Axe Mangal, St. JOHN Bread and Wine and most recently new opening Wild by Tart, Gill has experienced first-hand the difficulties associated with working in hospitality. Her platform Countertalk works to make the hospitality industry better for everyone, encouraging businesses to consider the wellbeing of their staff.

Maya Tarrant, 27
Head of bar culture and training, JKS restaurants

Starting her career in Bristol, Tarrant successfully lead the team at The Blind Pig in Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House to a Tales of the Cocktail ‘best restaurant bar in the world’ award. In 2016 Tarrant joined JKS restaurants as head of bar culture and training, where she creates individual plans for team member development and seeks to create a positive and consistent culture across 15 restaurants and bars.

Rémy Baben, 25
Assistant restaurant manager and wine buyer, Wild Honey St James

Originally from France, Baben kicked off his career in hospitality at Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Bay in Monaco. Baben left France in 2015 to work at The Landmark, before joining the Sofitel Group, working in both Philadelphia and London. When The Balcon relaunched as Wild Honey St James earlier this year, Baben was promoted to assistant restaurant manager, as well as looking after the beverage offering and wine list.

Giorgio Bargiani, 30
Head mixologist, The Connaught Bar

The Connaught Bar recently voted the best bar in Europe at the World’s 50 Best Bars 2019 awards. Bargiani’s remarkable contributions to innovations within the Connaught Bar have seen him named as head mixologist early in his career. He regularly guest speaks at Bartender.it events, with hundreds of Italian bartenders travelling to listen to his expert insights.

Bruno Mariano, 24
Restaurant manager, Lorne Restaurant

An early starter, Mariano’s career has already taken him to Oxo Tower and The Square as head waiter before working as assistant manager at TW2. At 24, he has now joined the team at Lorne, taking on the role of restaurant manager. Mariano is praised for his manner with guests, whilst he has also helped to improve staff retention at the restaurant.

The Grill at The Dorchester
Tom Booton, 26, head chef, Adam Nevin, 25, sous chef
Eugenio Egorov, 29, head sommelier, Jennifer Santner, 28, general manager

With the head chef, sous chef, head sommelier and general manager all under the age of 30, The Grill at The Dorchester is
certainly trusting young talent to launch the restaurant into a new era. One of London’s finest young talents, Booton is the youngest ever head chef of the Grill. He will work alongside sous chef Nevin, who joined from The Hand & Flowers. Egorov takes on the role of head sommelier, whilst Santner leads the team as general manager

Ones to watch in 2020

James Dainton, 23
Assistant restaurant manager, Northall, Corinthia London

Dainton began his career at The Arden Arms at just 13. He went on to become head waiter at Gravetye Manor in West Sussex, before moving to Cliveden in Berkshire. Relocating to London in 2017, Dainton was assistant restaurant manager at Michelin-starred Pétrus in Belgravia, before joining Corinthia London in 2018 as assistant restaurant manager of The Northall restaurant.

Pierce Aungier, 24
Junior account manager, Bacchus

Starting his professional PR career in 2017, Aungier works with some of the UK’s most talented restaurants and chefs at Bacchus. With a passion for the restaurant business and a keen food fan, his clients include Allegra at The Stratford, Momo and internationally renowned bakery Poilâne. He is currently working on Mourad’s latest offering, Mo Diner, alongside the two new sites from the Joël Robuchon group.

Gianmichele Papa, 22
Head waiter, Brigadiers

Papa joined the team at the JKS group restaurant Brigadiers when it opened, having previously worked at Tom’s Kitchen. Despite English being his second language he has improved swiftly and has made a big impact in a short amount of time. The JKS management team remarked that they have never seen such a sharper rise in performance in such a short amount of time, leading to Papa being promoted to head waiter within 18 months.

Dominik Jurasz, 26
Head tea sommelier, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Jurasz discovered his love for tea when he moved from Poland to the UK. He is currently the head tea sommelier at Mandarin Oriental, where he works diligently on an ever-growing variety of teas to serve depending on season and trends. The fruits of his labour are evident with his recent accolade of ‘Best Tea Service’ by Tea UK.

Kitty Tait, 15
Founder, The Orange Bakery

By far the youngest on our list, Tait founded The Orange Bakery alongside her father at the age of 15 and, as she says of their products on their website, if you can’t find them, just look for the queue! They bake 100 loaves of bread a day, as well as cinnamon buns, cheese straws and more for the shop and sell out in under two hours. We’ll certainly be looking out for what Kitty gets up to in the future.

Charles Roberts, 24
Guest relations manager and maitre d’, Sette and Nolita Social

Starting off as VIP guest relations assistant at the O2 Arena, Roberts joined the opening team of Sexy Fish. After three successful years, Roberts stayed with Richard Caring as he moved across to be part of the pre-opening team of the re-invented Annabel’s, where he was maître d’ for the Rose Room and Garden. He is now guest relations manager and maitre d’ for Sette and Nolita Social, located inside the Bvlgari Hotel London, looking after VIP and celebrity relations.

Amelia Harper, 28 Area marketing manager, Rosewood London

Harper joined Rosewood with five years’ experience in the luxury sector, beginning her career with a placement at Harrods, followed by two years as a marketing executive at Conrad St James, where she was awarded that hotel’s General Manager’s Employee of the Year in 2014. Harper now works to increase the Rosewood brand awareness across Europe, with her strategies so successful that other Rosewood properties have decided to implement them.

Ross Mangan, 28
Head chef, Rye by the Water

Going back to the early days of The Dairy Group in 2014, Mangan covered the role of demi chef de partie as they launched The Manor. Since then, he has been involved in multiple projects, opening Sorella in 2018 as sous chef, and most recently taking up the post of head chef at Rye by the Water, part of The Dairy group. Mangan masterminded a business plan, concept and direction for the west London restaurant, with the team praising him for treating it like his own.

Harry Brooks, 25
Restaurant manager, The Farmers Arms

With a passion for cooking, Brooks entered the industry fresh out of school as a commis chef before working in the French Alps as a chalet chef. Since his return, he’s worked at both Five Bells and The Seafood Restaurant Padstow. He’s now settled in North Devon, as restaurant manager of The Farmers Arms, a recently renovated historic village pub in Woolsery, helping to guide the pub and restaurant through its ambitious rejuvenation project.

Bella Babbit, 25
Restaurant manager, The Laughing Heart

Being a wine pro seems to come naturally to Babbit. She previously worked as junior sommelier at The Clove Club and Luca, before moving on to join The Laughing Heart, where she currently covers the role of restaurant manager. Alongside the owner Charlie Mellor, Babbit continues to develop an individual and unique approach to the wine list.

In association with CMS. 

CMS is a top ten global law firm with a leading hospitality and leisure team that provides domestic and international support to some of the world’s fastest growing restaurant businesses and concepts. Our full offering provides a seamless service to up-and-coming, as well as global and sophisticated, hospitality businesses.

We have significant experience advising clients on a variety of matters in the restaurant sector. For buyers and sellers of restaurant chains, franchisors of their concepts, property developers, investors and founders on the establishment of new businesses, outsourcing contractual agreements, health and safety provisions, trademark brand protection and helping clients with their dispute issues. We not only offer a full menu of legal services but we can also provide access to an unrivalled network of contacts of owners, executives, investors and funders.

As the company’s David Roberts says, “CMS has a long history of supporting hospitality talent in the UK. We act for several of the country’s leading chefs and restaurateurs and regularly help them transition from the kitchen and restaurant to the boardroom.” 

This list was first published in the 2019 winter edition of CODE Quarterly. To subscribe, please click here 

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