The Staff Canteen Live 2022: Networking Lunch at Alchemilla

The Staff Canteen

We kicked off our 2022 networking lunch series at chef Alex Bond's Michelin-starred Nottingham restaurant today, treating our guests to a great start to their year.

Fill in this survey if you would like to join us at our next working lunch on Tuesday, February 22nd at The Pem at London's Conrad St James hotel.

Chefs from around the country caught up with suppliers in an informal setting, enjoying a five-course meal prepared by Alex Bond and his team.


Nyetimber Classic 2010

Mackerel, escabeche, chamomile, finger lime

Beef tendon from Udale, raw langoustine, gherkin, dill

Hash brown, miso BBQ sauce, smoked marrow

Lobster, chanterelle, burnt lemon, brown butter

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2014

Mussel, pink fir, seaweed relish

Nyetimber 1086 Prestige Cuvee 2010

Aged duck from Udale, mataike, caramelised hay cream, pickled walnut

Nyetimber 1086 Prestige Cuvee Rose 2010

Larch rose wood, beetroot, yoghurt, scotch pine

Nyetimber Cuvee Chèrie MV

Chocolate, chicory, artichoke


Attending were Tom Heywood, head chef at The Rattle Owl; Rosanna Moseley, head chef at The Oyster Club; Ed Warren, chef owner of Warren's Eatery; Lee Smith, chef owner of Lovage Restaurant; James Sherwin, chef owner of Wild Shropshire Restaurant; Lucy Kelly, executive head chef of Severn Valley Railway; Xun Esvan Yao, pastry chef at World

Service Restaurant; Matthew McKinley, head chef at Browns Restaurant; Tom Bennett, development chef for Muscle Food; James Peck, private chef and founder of Burnt Lemon Catering; Private chef Craig Floate; Paul Huddleston, chef owner of The Waterside in Shipley; Ben Evans-Dodd, sous-chef at Rafters, Riverside House; Steven Wattrus, head chef of Wilson Vale; James St Claire-Jones, executive head chef at Hoarcross Hall Hotel and Spa and Joe Bains, head chef at Jöro.



Sponsoring the event were ChefWorks, Meiko, Nyetimber and Udale, providing items for the menu where appropriate and goodie bags for the hosts and chefs attending.

What the guests said

Having paired wines with each of the award-winning team's dishes, central regional sales manager for Nyetimber Thomas Jacques said; "It's an amazing opportunity to be able to speak to chefs and to learn more about what's going on in the industry - and really, just connecting with various different people from all over the country."

"I think it's such a brilliant way of being able to get to know people on a basis where there's no distractions, there's no interference in any sort of way. You get to really connect in a genuinely sociable way, so it's great."

Rosanna Moseley, head chef at The Oyster Club, who was attending a TSC lunch for the first time, said: "it was great chatting to all the chefs in the industry, talking about what's going on at the moment, staffing, things like that.

"Obviously the food has been amazing," she added, and to meet the sponsors in such a context "is a lot more informal, over a meal you can just chat and it's a bit more free flowing and a natural conversation than it would be if you spoke to a supplier normally." 

Should the suppliers reach out now, having attended would make a difference to her interaction with them, she continued, "because you know who they are already you've spoken to them already."


Overall, the event "has been brilliant for networking, meeting people, you get a really nice meal, try some food, travel to a different city... It's been really good."

Lucy Kelly, the executive chef at Severn Valley Railway said: "It's been amazing, just to feel that everyone is going through the same thing, they have the same issues, it makes you feel like you're less alone."

"I met a few faces that I'd seen before and to put faces to names has been really good."

Steven Wattrus, head chef at Wilson Vale agreed, and added that "it's great to meet the suppliers - some of them I hadn't heard of, others that I had heard of but it allowed me to put a face to the name. 

"It's a great way of meeting other people in the industry."


Lucy added: "I quite often get message after message after message and [suppliers] probably think I'm being rude but I just don't have any staff so I'm working on the ground with them and I don't really have the chance to reply swiftly." 

"This is a great way of relaxing and really learning in-depth about what they do rather than just getting a quick snippet."

Steven agreed, and said: "When a supplier comes to the restaurant it's always just a quick ten minute chat and you always feel they've had to come out of their way to talk to you and you just don't have time to sit there and chat."

"This way, you've got nowhere to go, you can sit down and talk to them, you can have an in-depth conversation about what they believe in and whether it follows what you do as well."


In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th January 2022

The Staff Canteen Live 2022: Networking Lunch at Alchemilla