People on the move in hospitality: December 2018

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

People on the move in hospitality: December 2018

Related tags: Chefs

We round-up who was on the move in hospitality last month.

Matt Gillan

Chef Matt Gillan has left Brighton restaurant group Kemptown Project following the closure of his restaurant Pike & Pine.​ Gillan is moving on to focus on other projects, including his Electro Pirate casual dining concept, currently at The Foresters Pub in Horsham. The former Pike & Pine site will be replaced by Thai barbecue concept Lucky Khao, run by Gillan's former business partner Mike Palmer. Gillan said: “Pike & Pine has been great and I am really proud of what we have all achieved and would like to thank everyone who has been involved - our wonderful team, guests, suppliers and people behind the scenes."

Tom Cenci

Tom Cenci has stepped down from his role as executive chef at London's Duck & Waffle after six years at the restaurant.​ He joined the sky-high dining room ahead of its opening in 2012 and was promoted to executive chef when his predecessor Dan Doherty took on a broader chef director tole in 2017. Doherty himself left the restaurant last year. Cenci has yet to annouce his next move, but says he is planning to take some time off. 

Simon Cope

Simon Cope resigned as chief executive of burger chain Byron last month.​ He took on the role in September 2017 after originally joining as managing director, and previously worked at Wagamama and pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers. During his tenure as CEO he oversaw the high-profile closures of 19 restaurants across the UK as part of Byron's Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA). The group now has 55 sites in its portfolio.

Mark Poynton


Chef Mark Poynton is to oversee the kitchen​ at a new cafe, bottle shop and bar in Cambridge, opening this month. He will take the reins at Thirsty & Hungry, ahead of plans to open his own restaurant in the city centre. Poynton will serve a lunch menu of sandwiches, sharing plates and lighter dishes before the cafe turns in to a bar in the evening. It follows his departure from Cambridge restaurant Alimentum last summer after a decade in the kitchen, during which time he held a Michelin star for five years.

Rooney Anand


The outgoing chief executive of Greene King, Rooney Anand, has been appointed non-executive chairman of the Casual Dining Group.​ Anand, who in November announced his departure from Greene King after 14 years at the helm, replaces Martin Robinson, who is stepping down after four years with the business. Robinson but will remain at the company for a handover period. CDG, whch operates restaurants brands including Café Rouge, Belgo, Las Iguanas ansd Bella Italia, says the appointment, which is effective from this month, will help the group identify growth opportunities.

Sam and Georgie Pearman

The duo which founded and then left The Lucky Onion hotel and restaurant group in the Cotswolds have confirmed their next project. Sam and Georgie Pearman are to relaunch The Talbot coaching inn in Malton, working alongside owner Tom Naylor-Leyland. The site will close this month before reopening in February with newly designed living, restaurant and bar spaces, while a revamp of the bedrooms will be completed shortly after. 

Brian Humphrey


Brian Humphrey has been appointed executive chef at Liverpool-based Graffiti Spirits Group. The former senior operations head chef at Living Ventures will create new concepts for the group's eight-strong collection of restaurants and bars. He will also be involved in the Duke Street Market project, a new 500-capacity venue in Liverpool which will house a 60-cover restaurant, six kitchens, and serve 'specialised drinks'.

Noel Busby


Noel Busby is the new executive chef at the De Vere Latimer Estate hotel in Chesham. He joins from a similar role at Cucina in Hertfordshire, where he catered for up to 1,300 corporate and leisure guests a day, and previously spent four years at Marriott International. His role at De Vere Latimer Estate will include overseeing the 1838 Restaurant and Bar.

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