Top chefs head up the agenda at this year's Restaurant Congress

By Stefan Chomka contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stephen harris image by Toby Glanville, taken from The Sportsman book
Stephen harris image by Toby Glanville, taken from The Sportsman book

Related tags: Restaurant congress, Restaurant

Skye Gyngell, Stephen Harris, Gary Usher, James Close and Alexis Gauthier are among the top industry names speaking at this year’s Restaurant Congress.

The annual congress highlights the key trends and issues that will dominate the restaurant conversation over the coming years, tackling issues including food waste, veganism, front-of-house development and dealing with addiction and depression.

It is being held on Monday 11 June at The Hurlingham Club in London and is partnered by Estrella Damm and Aubrey Allen.

Skye Gyngell, chef-patron at Spring Restaurant will discuss why she introduced her cooking with scraps ‘scratch menu’ and why banishing plastic straws is just the start of her campaign against the material.

Alexis Gauthier, chef-patron at Gauthier Soho, will look at whether veganism and classic French food can ever go hand in hand in the future, while Gary Usher will describe how he has built a flourishing group of modern bistros through crowdfunding.

The congress will also feature a number of panel discussions, including one featuring top chefs James Close, from two-Michelin-starred The Raby Hunt, Stephen Harris, chef at The Sportsman, the National Restaurant of the Year 2017, and Mikael Jonsson, chef-patron of Michelin-starred Hedone ,who will be reveal how they have come to run some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the country despite having had no classical training.

Duncan Ray, chef-patron at Hove’s The Little Fish Market will join Simon Bonwick, chef-owner at Michelin-starred The Crown at Burchetts Green, to speak on the highs and lows of running a kitchen single-handedly.

Emma Underwood, restaurant manager at the newly opened Stem, in Mayfair, and partner in the TMRW Project, will talk about why front of house need stages too and how The Switch project is giving waiters, managers, bartenders and sommeliers a chance to learn from their peers.

Andrew Clarke, chef at Brunswick House, will be tackling the issue of dealing with addiction and depression and introduce The Pilot Light Campaign, which he is launching to get people talking about mental health.

Other speakers at the event will include Smoking Goat’s Ben Chapman, on sourcing exotic ingredients in the UK, and Ikoyi founder Jeremy Chan on exploring West African cuisine.

The Restaurant Congress is being held on Monday 11 June at London’s The Hurlingham Club on the afternoon of the National Restaurant Awards. For more information and to book your free ticket to the congress contact Stevie Robinson on 01293 846 508 or via or visit

Related topics: Events & Awards

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