The Staff Canteen Live 2023: Networking lunch at Mana by Simon Martin

Alex South

Alex South


On Monday 15th May, we were excited to welcome chefs and suppliers to our TSC Live Networking lunch at Simon MArtin's Mana, Manchester

Michelin-starred Chef Owner Simon Martin and his team at Mana created a fantastic menu to be enjoyed by our guests.

Some of northern England's most skilled and renowned chefs were invited to Mana to sample an extraordinary culinary adventure made possible by his fantastic team, and supported by some of the industry's most prestigious operators. 


Celeriac, preserved cep 

Cod's Roe and Mezcal 

Magnums of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee MV 


Wasabi and dill 

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2015


Scallop and Katsuobushi 

Nyetimber Cuvee Chérie Demi-Sec MV


Classical tartars 

 Nyetimber 1086 Prestige Cuvee Blanc 2010 

MONKFISH (cooked on Globaltic Coals)

Aged duck liver fat, inoculated grains, NYC pizza sauce 

Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard 2014  

BARBECUED HOGGET (cooked on Globaltic Coals)
White Miso 


Sweet Cicely and English Strawberry 

Nyetimber Cuvee-Chérie Demi-Sec MV 


Adam Reid, Executive Chef, Adam Reid at the French; Simon Jewitt, Head Chef, Crafthouse Leeds; Bob Cox, Head Chef, Pollen Bakery; Aktar Islam, Chef Owner, Opheem; Rikki Hughes, Head Chef, 263 Preston Restaurant; Anthony Wright, Head Chef, L20 Restaurant; Matt Ramsdale, Senior Sous Chef, Northcote; Eddie Kilty, Chef Owner Kilty & Co Private Dining; Sam Williamson, Head Chef, Williamson & Jones; Sam Karle, Head Chef, Dakota Hotel, Manchester; Sean Noonan, Head Chef, Cottons Hotel & Spa; Connaire Moran, Head Chef, The Owl; Jake Lowndes, Chef Owner, Little Seeds Bar and Kitchen; Elliot Hill, Executive Chef, Grosvenor Hotel; Thom Bateman, Chef Patron, The Flintlock at Cheddleton


Globaltic, Unox, Lightspeed, ChefWorks, Udale, Nyetimber

What the guests said

Commenting on the event, Aktar Islam, Chef Owner of the one Michelin-starred Opheem in Birmingham, said: "Mana is a restaurant that has been on my radar from the day it opened, and it's been a wonderful experience that you managed to convince Simon to open on a Monday! It's been everything that I hoped it to be, the restaurant is beautiful, the team is so passionate, and it's just lovely to catch up with everyone from The Staff Canteen and all the fellow hospitality buddies of mine!"

Discussing the format of the event and the opportunities to meet face to face with companies and suppliers, Aktar said: "I think the reality is I get hundreds of emails every week trying to sell me something and my intial reaction is to bin it. In situations like this, I got to meet two particular suppliers today that I'm going to have conversations about, as they're doing some really interesting stuff so I'm really looking for to it, and we've arranged to continue the conversation, and I think it's a lovely way to do business."

"For me it was lovely. We sat and enjoyed a lovely meal together, the wine was fantastic, and it turns out the product that they had developed was something that I was looking for," Aktar added.

Discussing the opportunity to sample wines and produce, Aktar said: "Today we had Nyetimber, we do stock Nyetimber but there are couple of examples that I've not tasted before, and I'm looking at it now and I'm thinking there's something that we can potentially do with that particular bottle on a particular part of our menu."

Praising the event, Aktar said: "Our world is very busy but if you do get the opportunity to move a couple of things around, come and make it because it's definitely worthwhile. I've enjoyed a great lunch and I've caught up with some great people and I've met two suppliers, one of whom is going to give me a solution to something that I've been looking for, for quite sometime. It's benefited me professional and personally." 

Commenting on the event from a sponsorship point of view, Klim Artemov, Commercial Director at Globaltic, said: "It's been brilliant. Great crowd, great people, some nice potential customers for us as well, but also good networking and I'm going to meet up with a couple guys, so it's been really good."

Two of the dishes on Simon's menu were cooked on Globaltic coals, commenting this Klim said: "Brilliant! The main thing about our coals is that it gives very little flavour, so it exposes the food's own flavours, which is nice to see that the team used it to it's best. I'm looking forward to coming here [Mana] with my wife." 

Describing the format of the event, Klim said: "We've been to exhibitions before and everyone is in a rush and there's too much to see. This is a bit more cosy and more intimate, so I think it's a much better format for us as a business. Here we have a nice drink, have a nice laugh, and meet with good people."

Commenting on the event, Thom Bateman Chef Patron of The Flintlock at Cheddleton, said: "Aside from the wonderful food and wine, it's just a great opportunity to see everyone in the industry, have a good chat about what they're up to, what I'm up to, and how we can move forwards together. It's a really good space to be with other people who are likeminded and learn more stuff and pass more information on as well."

Discussing the format of the event, Thom said: "I think you feel such a benefit from having that industry knowledge from the person who is either creating or supplying a particular good or service. It's invaluable really, it's a unique insight that you wouldn't really get normally." 

Thom added: "I love an email as much as anybody but having that face to face interaction, taking it back to that basic human interaction, is invetiably much more beneficial for you and for them because you can understand where they're coming from and how that could add value to your offering."

Recommending the event to other chefs, Thom said: "If you get an invite to this and don't come you are certainly missing out. I would highly recommend to any chef that they should come given an invite. It's a great opportunity and not one to be missed."

Commenting on the event Scott Duncan, Managing Director of Unox UK, said: "I thought that today was absolutely excellent, it's exceeded my expectations. I think meeting all the chefs one-to-one in a relaxed environment on their day off has been really refreshing. Everyone is really relaxed and willing to talk and whilst it wasn't all about sales, it was about networking, people really wanted to listen as well, so it's been really really good."

After having positive conversations with chefs, including multiple future appointments booked in thanks to the event, Scott added: "I think the format is really good. Unlike trade shows and other networking events, in this relaxed environment moving around the tables really works for me, and it was really refreshing."  



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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 15th May 2023

The Staff Canteen Live 2023: Networking lunch at Mana by Simon Martin