Manchester restaurant Grafene appoints team ahead of opening

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Grafene's executive chef Darren Goodwin (left) with head chef Damien Cunliffe
Grafene's executive chef Darren Goodwin (left) with head chef Damien Cunliffe

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New Manchester restaurant Grafene has appointed its kitchen and front-of-house teams ahead of its opening this month. 

The 190-cover Modern British restaurant on King Street, located in the former Brasserie Blanc site, is scheduled to open on 22 July. 

Owned by Paul and Kathryn Roden, the owners of Losehill House Hotel & Spa in the Peak District, the £1m restaurant will be run by Kelly Wimbledon and Nick Wadeson as general manager and deputy general manager respectively. Restaurant manager is Amir Manouchehri, previously of Alchemist NYS and in-store trainer at Alchemist Spinningfields.

The kitchen will be run by head chef Damien Cunliffe, previously senior sous chef at Volta in West Didsbury. 

Cunliffe, who will be overseen by executive chef Darren Goodwin, head chef of Losehill House, will be joined by sous chefs Phil Smith and Sean Forshaw. 

An open pastry kitchen, located within the centre of the restaurant, will be run by pastry chef Cristina Molinari, who has worked at the Ritz in Paris and London's Buddha Bar and bar manager is Chris Jew, former head bartender at Manchester House.  

Paul Roden said more than 300 people applied for the restaurant's management positions with another 500 for staff roles. 

“We have assembled a talented team with a proven track record of success, each of them has a wealth of experience and enthusiasm making for a hugely enjoyable bar and dining experience for all guests," he said. 

“Chef Damien’s creativity and work ethic goes hand-in-hand with the rest of our expert team. The staff have already began working together and it’s extremely exciting to see them full of passion and ideas. We’re really looking forward to opening.”

The restaurant, which takes its name from the 2D material Graphene, discovered at Manchester University, will open from breakfast through to dinner offering a daily-changing market-based a la carte menu, a 7-course taster menu and small plates. 

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