The Best of The Staff Canteen 2021

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

As 2021 draws to a close, many will breathe a sigh of relief that

the year's hardships are over. 

Despite everything we have faced collectively this year, there are positives to be drawn for hospitality: rarely have we seen so much solidarity and camaraderie. In the hardest of times, we have witnessed people coming together to support the industry in ways never seen before. 

Many tears have doubtless been shed this year, but we hope that some of them were tears of joy or laughter - and that we were responsible for a few of them.

Here is a selection of our favourite moments of the year on The Staff Canteen.

When Daniel Clifford called Salt Bae a 'Mickey Mouse' chef 

Justifying the price of a meal at his Cambridge restaurant, where he chooses to use the world's best ingredients, to pay his staff well and to open only four days a week, the chef alluded to Salt Bae's £630 steak. which has stirred up as much outrage online as it has attracted visitors in their thousands.

He said: "Do you want a [£630] steak cooked by Mickey Mouse or do you want to come to a two star restaurant where you've got 15 chefs that care about everything that they do? There's a big difference isn't there." 

Listen to the full podcast, co-hosted by Daniel Clifford and joined by guest chef Michael Smith below:


When Core by Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze at The Connaught landed three Michelin stars in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2021

In a later interview with The Staff Canteen, Hélène said that after 25 years in the industry, she's just as inspired and motivated as ever.

Meanwhile, Clare said being a Michelin-starred chef is far from being glamorous, and the lifestyle, in its likeliness to that of an Olympian, is actually rather boring

The return of the...

Oh no, wait...

When Calum Montgomery of Edinbane Lodge predicted that labour laws will soon prevent chefs from working five-day weeks

When Gareth Ward joined our podcast co-host, Great British Menu judge and Michelin-starred chef-owner of Man Behind The Curtain, Michael O'Hare


When it came to light that Salt Bae charges more money for a portion of mash than he is willing to pay his Chef De partie...

But that he has found it nearly impossible to find anyone to work for him


Holborn Dining Room chef Calum Franklin's recipe for Dauphinoise, Comté and caramelised onion pie 

A divisive, yet crucial question


When the founders of Farmyard Restaurant in Norwich

made the decision to raise their prices,

pay their staff proper wages

and offer them flexibility in their working hours

And lo and behold, when we caught up with them months later, they had hired a dozen new chefs, as well as keeping hold of their existing team

When Mickael Viljanen was a guest on our podcast, shortly after taking the reins at Chapter One


Our biography of Great British Menu 2021 chef Oli Marlow

(He was also The Staff Canteen's Chef to Watch in May, and

the winner of The Staff Canteen 'One to Watch' Award 2021

Chris Siomadis' recipe for Salmon tartare with squid ink and tapioca crackers, compressed Granny Smith apple discs, avocado and Greek yoghurt mousse


Merry Christmas to all from The Staff Canteen team

In these challenging times…

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 23rd December 2021

The Best of The Staff Canteen 2021