Chef Tom Cenci made head of food for 26 Grains and Stoney Street restaurant

The Staff Canteen

the tough times caused by Covid haven't dampened Tom Cenci's ambitions, as the chef has landed the role of Head of Food at both 26 Grains at Neal’s Yard in London’s Covent Garden and its sister restaurant Stoney Street in Borough Market.

In an interview with The Staff Canteen, the former executive chef at The Duck and Waffle said he was “left jobless” after Covid, and the multiple lockdowns caused his previous restaurant, Loyal Tavern in London’s Bermondsey, to fold. 

The chef then posted an ad on social media saying that he was interested in doing a collaboration with a venue, restaurant or another chef. This led to him being put in touch with Alex Hely-Hutchinson, the owner of 26 Grains and Stoney Street.

This led to a year-long residency at Stoney Street, and now, to the role of Head of Food at both Stoney Street and 26 Grains.

Hoping to take the offering at both sites to what he calls "another level", the Christmas period in the context of Covid means that things remain uncertain.

“With the pandemic out there, things still aren’t full,” he said. For the time being, the focus will be “just making sure we get through Christmas [and] have a successful Christmas.”

The chef does have plans in mind for the new year, namely progressing the brand and moving towards all day dining.

He said: “They’re very well-known for their breakfasts [and] their brunches,” but he would like to “give it more of an identity as all day dining.” With the launch of the Christmas menu coming later on in November, it seems like the brand is well on its way to achieving it.

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 9th November 2021

Chef Tom Cenci made head of food for 26 Grains and Stoney Street restaurant