The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Front of House Networking lunch at Simpsons

The Staff Canteen

On Monday 3rd of June we hosted the second front of house networking lunch of the year at michelin-starred restaurant, SIMPSONS.

Having launched the chef networking lunches in 2016, The Staff Canteen returned to host a lunch for front of house hospitality professionals. The Front of House Networking lunches, which we initially launched in 2020, before the industry went into mothballs because of the big C-word, will run once a quarter across the country.

The guests

Today at Simpsons, we welcomed 13 front of house industry professionals. 

Oliver Kaviani, Restaurant Manager at JÖRO Restaurant
Patrick Bostock, Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier at The Flintlock, Cheddleton
Sabrina Kenth, Front of House and Events Manager at Ashas, Birmingham
Emma Morgan, Group Business Services Director at Open Restaurant Group
Toby Heap, General Manager at Tropea
Jacob Dolman, General Manager at Harborne Kitchen
Maddy Smith, Manager at Butchers Bistro
Abbigail Day, Restaurant Manager at The Boat Restaurant
Christopher Hindle, Hotel Manager at Dormy House
Henry Poultney, Owner at Poli / Grace + James
Andrew Frost, Manager at Opheem
Tomasz Janicki, Head Sommelier at Grace & Savour
Rume Manoharan, Restaurant Manager at 670 Grams

When asked to comment about the lunch, Emma Morgan, Group Business Services Director at Open Restaurant Group, said, "Venue's lovely, food has been gorgeous and wine has been great. The Bloomsbury was my favourite wine today and there's a story behind that. It was the reason why I wanted to do only English Marsh wines at one of our venues and it was the first wine I tried that was an English wine and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I noticed that Ridgeview were here, I was very excited because I do want to work with them again."


Special thanks to our five sponsors that made this lunch possible Chef WorksHoshizaki, Ridgeview Wine Estate, Lightspeed and Nespresso Professional. 

Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications for Ridgeview Wine Estate, attended her first networking lunch today said, "It has been a faboulous event, so many wonderful people from Birmingham and beyond, we had some fantastic conversations. The menu from Simpsons was just awesome and I think it perfecly matched with our sparkling wines, I hope everyone really enjoyed that as well."

When asked why The Staff Canteen Front of House networking lunches were important, she continues, "What I loved was the kind of intimacy of being able to change tables, just have some really good chats, but more of those relaxed chats, where we can learn more about their buisnesses and for them to learn more about us in a  less formal setting so we just can get to know each other. I really enjoyed that part."


The guests were treated to an exclusive menu prepared by Chef Luke Tipping and served by Operations Manager, Pawel Skrzypinski and his team, with a wine pairing for each course from Ridgeview wines.

Selection of Canapes

Bloomsbury en Magnum


Cured chalk stream trout, Isle of Wight tomatoes, tapioca, oyster leaf

Blanc de Noirs 2015


Scottish scallop, citrus fruit, chicory

Blanc de Blancs 2018


South coast lamb, courgettes, pickled wild garlic

Sparkling Red Reserve


Duck egg custard tart, strawberry sorbet, apple marigold

Ridgeview Rosé


Nespresso Professional Exclusive selection Galapagos Blend


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  – 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 16 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 560,000 followers across Facebook, X, 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 3rd June 2024

The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Front of House Networking lunch at Simpsons