Two senior staff suspended from The Kitchin Group following bullying allegations

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Two senior staff members have been suspended from The Kitchin Group and an independent inquiry has been launched to investigate claims that they were involved in incidences of bullying and physical assault.

The allegations were made anonymously on social media, but claimed that working for The Kitchin Group - comprised of Michelin-starred The Kitchin and The Scran and Scallie - was "a toxic workplace," and that harassment and abuse were perpetrated by senior staff.

Explaining the suspensions in a statement to The Guardian, managing director of The Kitchin Peter Southcott said: "Following allegations of unacceptable behaviour, two senior members of staff have been suspended while these claims are fully and independently investigated. We will not hesitate to take whatever action may be necessary.”

'Where we have fallen short, we will address it and remedy it'

Meanwhile, the chef himself conceded that though they have taken "significant strides" to improve on practices in their kitchens, they had "fallen short." 

He said: “Top kitchens the world over can be high-pressure, frenetic and challenging environments where emotions often run high. However, the exacting standards of our food and service must be matched by the standards of behaviour in our kitchens and wider operations.

“In the last few years, the feedback from our team members underlines the significant strides we’ve taken to improve what had often been a traditional culture in our kitchens, but we have more to do.

“Where we have fallen short, we will address it and remedy it. That will be our clear priority in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

One person behind the allegations described an incident in which a senior member of The Kitchin team had deliberately burned them with a tray, calling it "incredibly painful."

They added that the only thing that had stopped them from retaliating "was the shame of the idea of being sacked from a Michelin-star kitchen."

Another person said they saw a pan being thrown in the kitchen, saying that in the "old fine-dining French way," people had been trained to think that "through pain, suffering and sacrifice, you can get to greatness. It is becoming clear that is not the case any more.”

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 2nd July 2021

Two senior staff suspended from The Kitchin Group following bullying allegations