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By Joe Lutrario
– Last updated on GMT
Related tags: The Talbot, Robin Freeman, Mark hastings, Kitchin Group, Tony Parkin, Chefs
Swedish chef Robin Freeman (pictured above) is joining Brockley-based pub The Talbot next month as head chef. Freeman has worked in the UK for the past 20 years in restaurants such as Moro, Blacks and 1 Lombard Street, where he worked alongside chef Mark Hix, and most recently helped re-open the Boundary hotel in Shoreditch. He joins the pub, part of Little and Large Pub Company, on 1 October with the aim of making it an all-week food destination and will serve a seasonal and frequently changing menu using UK sourced produce where possible.
Raffles London at The Old War Office (OWO) has appointed former Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park director of restaurants Mark Hastings as director of food and beverage. Hastings will oversee all aspects of the food and beverage operations both for Raffles London at The OWO, which will have three signature dining experiences from Michelin-star Chef Mauro Colagreco, as well as for The OWO Residences by Raffles. Hastings has previously worked as general manager at Gordon Ramsay Group and Hakkasan restaurants and most recently held the position of general manager at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred restaurant City Social.
Kitchin Group has announced a duo of new appointments at its restaurant business. Steven Spear has taken the helm as restaurant manager at Tom Kitchin’s flagship restaurant The Kitchin with his predecessor, Matteo Inzaina, stepping into a new role as training and operations manager for Kitchin Group. Inzaina, who has been restaurant manager at Edinburgh’s Michelin starred The Kitchin for more than five years, joins the management team in leading The Kitchin, The Scran & Scallie, The Bonnie Badger, and newly-opened KORA by Tom Kitchin, working with the teams to develop and direct a group training academy. “Steven has been a great appointment for us. With his standard of excellence in the daily running of a restaurant and his passion for teamwork and attention to detail, our guests are already encouraged by a warm welcome from a familiar face in the very best of Scottish hospitality,” says Kitchin. “We’re looking forward to watching Matteo flourish in this new role with us, and we’re also really excited about driving forward an even stronger programme of training for our entire team - both in the kitchen and front of house.”
Fabrice Lasnon, former executive chef at The Savoy, has been named executive chef at Pan Pacific London. The hotel, located on One Bishopsgate Plaza is home to Straits Kitchen that showcases Southeast Asian cuisine. Born in France, Lasnon has worked in New Orleans, London, Madeira, Cairo and Dubai. From 2003 to 2006 he directed the cuisine at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, before joining the hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin in 2007. He then moved to Marrakech to re-launch La Mamounia followed by being appointed as executive chef at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum in Turkey. In 2018, having headed up the kitchen at The Murray in Hong Kong, he returned to London as executive chef at The Savoy. “I am thrilled to be joining the Pan Pacific London team,” he says. “I believe in preserving the original identity of a cuisine by fusing traditions, local produce and local know-how with new ideas, textures and a different approach. I also believe that none of that is possible without a team who have been developed to their best and are committed to bring it together with an open mind.”
Tony Parkin has left his role as head chef at The Brickmakers Arms in Surrey, owned by the Noble Inns Group, to join the Michelin-starred House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel in Waterford, Ireland. Parkin, who was previously chef at The Tudor Room at Great Fosters Hotel but left the role at the end of July to join the Surrey pub. He will begin his new head chef at the Irish restaurant next month. Simon Bonwick, former chef-patron at The Crown at Burchetts Green, was recently appointed head chef at Noble Inns’ The Princess of Shoreditch, replacing Ruth Hansom at the Shoreditch pub.
US operator Noble 33 debut UK restaurant will be headed up by chef Ivan Simeoli and general manager Miles Butler. Both are well known on the London restaurant circuit. The Italian-born Simeoli’s CV including stints in Passione in Fitzrovia and Osteria 60 at the Baglioni hotel in Knightsbridge while Butler joins from Soho’s Dean Street Townhouse.The original Sparrow Italia opened in LA in late last year, with a menu inspired by Italian coastal cuisine. "I can’t wait to go back to my Italian roots when heading up the kitchen Sparrow, Simeoli says. "The team in LA are focused on using high-quality, sustainable and organic ingredients to create bold Mediterranean classics with a twist, which is exactly how I like to cook. I will also be adding some personal touches to the menu, with a range of seasonal signature dishes exclusively for London.”
Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate in Essex has appointed Robert Pearce as Executive Chef. In his new role, Pearce will oversee the hotel’s entire culinary operations, including modern British restaurant, Garden Room, and the more recently launched Fox Bar. With more than 16 years in the hospitality industry, Pearce will be responsible for the development of menus, running the kitchen, training of the team and maintaining standards of the restaurant. Pearce’s menus will showcase the best seasonal British produce, grown in Down Hall’s one-acre kitchen garden. Highlights include crispy pork terrine served with baby onions, pickled carrot and homegrown purple sprouting cauliflower alongside burrata and black truffle tortellini, with butternut squash velouté, sage and pumpkin seed pesto, and summer truffle. Pearce’s CV includes time at a number of D&D London restaurants as well as joined Orsett Hall Hotel where he progressed from Head Chef to Executive Chef after two years.
Thai Leisure Group, which owns the Chaophraya and Thaikhun restaurant brands, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Charlotte Kennedy as head of sales. The company has also promoted a number of its current employees including Monica Modena, who was recently promoted to head of marketing, and Richard Simpson, previously at Drake and Morgan, has been promoted from business manager at Chaophraya Edinburgh to become Chaophraya’s director of operations. The new appointments come as the Thai restaurant group begins a £1m refurbishment programme across its restaurants. Every Chaophraya site will be refurbished over the next three years, with the renovations kicking off at its Glasgow site.
Restaurant Associates has announced the appointment of three new regional managing directors across its nationwide estate. Sara Senior, previously sales and retention director, moves to regional managing director with a remit to oversee Restaurant Associates’ key London clients. Ming Lai joined Compass Group Australia over a decade ago, before coming to the UK in 2014 where he joined the Restaurant Associates . Having worked across account management for key clients, as well as fulfilling the role of operations director, Lai has been promoted to the position of regional managing director to oversee national and international contracts from across Restaurant Associates’ portfolio. Finally, Kerry Ford joins Restaurant Associates as regional managing director responsible for Chartwell’s Universities & Colleges as well as the venues collection, in a newly created position.
James Green is now executive head chef at Mama Shelter in Shoreditch with Mattia Rinaldi named as the hotel’s new F&B director. Green brings has more than 20 years of experience working in establishments such as Drake & Morgan, Gordon Ramsay Group and Mango Tree and will run a team of 10 chefs with the introduction of a new, global-inspired menu. Rinaldi, meanwhile, will oversee the drinks programme at hotel’s restaurant and Garden Bar. Having entered the UK hospitality scene 10 years ago, his experience includes a number of senior management roles at Gaucho Restaurants and Ivy Collection where he was part of the opening team for the Ivy Asia. “At Mama Shoreditch, we’re placing a key focus on our food and beverage offering to further enhance and appeal to the local community and provide delicious options to our guests. Mattia and James both bring a wealth of creative experience, and we look forward to seeing the impact the new menus bring,” says Mama Shelter general manager Robert Alam.
Sam Pullan, the co-founder and head chef of Knaresborough restaurant and bar The Bear at Carriages, has left the business after two years. Pullan acquired the business, formerly Carriages, out of administration in 2020 with business partner John Dixon. Following £100,000 of investment and extensive renovations, The Bear at Carriages opened in summer 2020. The site - which features a purpose built solid fuel fire ‘bear pit’ - quickly established itself as a destination venue 'delivering a completely different style of hospitality designed to compete with the restaurant and bar scenes of nearby Harrogate, York and Leeds'. Pullen intends to work with and support some of the region’s leading, award-winning chefs at a time when 'the hospitality industry looks to continue to bounce back from the most challenging periods it has ever faced'.
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