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“Unless you inspire people, no one’s going to come into the business.” Those were the stark words of Jeremy King, who was part of an expert panel discussing the findings of a new report into London’s shortage of hospitality staff. Unfair pay, lack of efficient business advice, a lack of consolidated education and training and gender disparity were also quoted at the event last Wednesday, organised by the think-tank Centre for London.

But it wasn’t all glum news, as King, Jill Whittaker of HIT Training, Angela Malik of the London Food Board and others discussed the passion and drive of many in the industry and how best to harness and promote it. Detailed questions from the audience and a comprehensive, data-heavy report show how important this sector is to the country’s economy. A link to the report is below in the 'what we're reading' section; it will be interesting to see what is implemented, and by whom, to improve the situation.

Have a good week.


Sons + Daughters

Interesting news from James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, of Pidgin and the recently closed Magpie. Their next venture is a sandwich shop in King's Cross, although CODE suspects there will be more to it than a cheese’n’pickle on brown. Titled Sons + Daughters, the site will open later in summer and is billed as ‘sandwiches, softserve, beer, cocktails’.


There’s already a big buzz about the Manhattan Loft Gardens, the new development in Stratford. Developer Harry Handelsman has called on the ex-head chef of Chiltern Firehouse (which he also developed) to head up the restaurant, to be named Allegra. Patrick Powell will showcase a menu of ‘inventive, seasonal’ dishes in site, due to open this summer, which is separate from, but attached to, the Stratford hotel. The hotel will have its own restaurant, titled The Stratford Brasserie.

O'ver St James's

The popular Borough restaurant O’ver, which offers Neopolitan pizzas made with sea water, is opening a sister restaurant in the west end on 1 May – on the site of Anzu in the St James's Market development. Founder Mauro Palomba and chef Marino Bove believe cooking with sea water makes dough easier to digest.


This May will also see the opening of Gold in Notting Hill. It’s on the site of what was once neighbourhood boozer Portobello Gold and boasts ex-River Café chef Theo Hill heading the kitchen, with ex-Pizza East and Soho House staff running front of house. Dishes will be cooked in wood ovens or over an open fire, on sharing plates.


Plenty of new places to visit this week, including the Mr Lyan replacement, Lyaness, at Sea Containers London… The Gate, pioneers of vegan food in London, have a new site in St John’s Wood… From Wednesday, those in Hackney can visit Casa Fofo, opened by ex-head chef of Pidgin, Adolfo De Cecco… Boondocks in Hoxton has been replaced by Harlem Soul, still run by Bea Vo, serving American urban cuisine…and The Wellington Club is now open on Jermyn Street with a public facing restaurant.

... and closing

Last weekend saw the closure of the smash-hit vegan ‘junk food’ pop-up Filth, Shoreditch, but there are plans for more Filth later this year… Soho’s Jackson and Rye had quietly but speedily closed and reopened, but this time as Martha’s, offering New York diner food…Babel House, which had been open for a year on Bruton Place has shuttered, with its website saying there will be a new exciting concept soon…

Spencer Metzger

Congratulations to Spencer Metzger, winner of this year’s Roux Scholarship, which was awarded after a hard-fought final last Monday. Metzger, premier sous chef at the Ritz, wins £6,000 and the chance to work for three months at a three-Michelin starred restaurant anywhere in the world. He impressed the illustrious panel of judges with his monkfish dish.

Elizabeth Haigh

Elizabeth Haigh has announced her latest residency – this time the chef’s Kaizen House project will be based at Mortimer House for two months from an unannounced date this spring. Haigh will cook dishes based on her British and Singaporean heritage such as udon vongole with pickled wild garlic. Mortimer House, in Fitzrovia, runs an all-day restaurant kitchen.

Executive Head Chef, Humdingers

Humdingers has grown from humble beginnings in to one of London’s leading event catering companies serving an ever-expanding and enviable high-end client list.  
We are looking for someone who can lead, train, motivate and develop the kitchen team.
We are looking for an ambitious candidate who wants to take their career to the next level.  Working with front of house and alongside the founder, you will bring a creative flair, fresh ideas, and focus on quality.

Click here to read more

Chef, Stockton


Stockton is a new bright and airy café, kitchen and bar on Deptford High Street, serving casual modern British food, local beer and exceptional cocktails.

We are looking to build a small team of clever, ambitious, innovative chefs to work together to conceive and deliver a menu of small plates for brunch, lunch and dinner, along with a roast on Sundays.

The team will be responsible for all aspects of day-to-day kitchen operations under the guidance of the owners.

Click here to read more

This week the Dumbwaiter has been all eyes and ears… This year’s Great British Menu is already shaping up to be a corker, with Sabrina Gidda’s facial expressions and Tom Anglesey’s dance among the highlights. And frankly he’s surprised that there isn’t a Twitter account for Michael O’Hare's hair – such was the hoo-ha about the judge’s untamed locks.

He's renowned for hosting legendary lunches with famous faces in the Fortnum's boardroom but Ewan Venters outdid himself last week. The Fortnum's CEO posted a picture on Instagram with Mr Wagyumafia and David Beckham in Hong Kong.

The Dumbwaiter has been watching Madhur Jaffrey on repeat. Not her TV cookery appearances, although those are ace. No, it’s the music video for Nani by Mr Cardomom in which she raps, shops, smokes and is generally very much the OG.

Rather less profane (but not entirely f***-free) was the latest, ace instalment of the Voices at the Table literary salons on the theme of food. Chef Tim Anderson delivered a love letter to Tokyo while Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s paean to rice was charmingly heartfelt – but comedian Nigel Ng stole the show with his hilarious monologue about the insanity of buying sushi from Boots. More please.

From sushi to St. James's. Here are the Dumbwaiter's Best Bites of the Week. 

restaurant of the week
hotel of the week
The Ned

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