The Staff Canteen Live 2022: Networking Lunch at SY23

The Staff Canteen

Today, we were given a warm welcome by Nathan Davies and his team at their Michelin-starred Aberystwyth restaurant, SY23, for the April edition of our 2022 networking lunch series

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We invited the crème de la crème of the Welsh culinary scene to meet up with suppliers in an informal setting and enjoy a tasting menu with a wine flight prepared by Nathan and his team. Ingredients throughout the menu, as well as the wine pairings, were provided by some of the events' sponsors.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee MV Magnum



Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009
Local Grains - Cultured Miso Butter


Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009
Scallop - Sea Herbs - Burnt Butter

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2014
Turbot - Cockles - Broccoli

Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard, 2014
Lamb - Shallot - Black Garlic


Nyetimber 1086 Prestige Cuvee Rose 2010

Pen Helyg Cheese - Cauliflower

Nyetimber Cuvee Chérie MV


Sour Cream - Grains – Chocolate

Rhubarb - Granola - Cream Cheese


Nyetimber Cuvee Chérie MV

Chocolate - Burnt Butter



Attending were Mark Robertson, James Sommerin, Georgia Sommerin, Nick Rudge, Hywel Griffith, Laura Graham, Leighton Thomas, Mark Dowding, Ryan Jones, Jake Nutt, Adam Gaunt-Evans, Andrew Tabberner and David Robertson.

The team at SY23


Sponsoring the event were ChefWorksNyetimber and Unox


What the guests said

Nick Rudge, chef owner of the Jackdaw in Conwy said the format, which allows operators to interact with suppliers in their spare time, rather than over the phone works much better for him. 

"It’s more personal," he said.

Having enjoyed a great conversation with Alec Robinson, the ambassador for Nyetimber attending the event, and currently looking to improve his restaurant's wine list, he added: "Connections like these can actually can get you to speak to the people directly rather than through the phone. Having the food paired with Nyetimber is the better way to do it."

Alec concurred with the sentiment, and said the event had been a success for Nyetimber, too.

"I often think that the best way to get to know our wines is in situ and to taste them, with incredible food," which he was glad to have enjoyed courtesy of the team at SY23.

 "This is a perfect way to do that, obviously with a few interruptions from me over the course of the lunch."

Our guests, being given a tour
of the restaurant's outdoor
cooking and dining area

Jake Nutts, restaurant manager at Ynyshir, attended one of The Staff Canteen's networking lunches in 2018 back when he worked in London, so was very glad to be back on his new home turf.

"It's been great to meet people," he said, "and it's nice to see The Staff Canteen over here as well."

As for the format of the lunch, he said: "For me personally,  breaking down that awkward barrier of, 'I'm trying to sell you something that you might not want' in a much more casual sort of, 'this is what we offer' is interesting.

"It's a much sort of more approachable way to deal with buying or selling. In this environment, things are tough. So trying to build a connection with a supplier first, I think is the most important thing - and sat around lunch, that's the best way to do it."

Nathan with Alec Robinson,
brand ambassador at Nyetimber

Unox's UK Key Account manager Rebekah Crowsley said the event had been "absolutely fantastic."

"There's been some brilliant people, not to mention some phenomenal food."

To get to meet chefs in such a setting was ideal, she said, as "you don't want to go in with a hard sale with a chef. You want to go, you want to understand their business, what they do day-to-day."

"And when they're in their own environment, in their kitchen, they're so busy, they can't always convey that. So be able to come to somewhere like this, where they can sit down, in a relaxed atmosphere, tell you about their day-to-day, the issues they're facing at the moment or equally what their plans are for the future - you just start to build that relationship, get that conversation, understanding of somebody."

"And then it's not about what we're talking about today, it's not business business. It's about next week, the week after, in a month, two months' time. When a need comes up and you can follow it up from that."


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th April 2022

The Staff Canteen Live 2022: Networking Lunch at SY23