Naved Nasir, head chef, Dishoom
Fewer barriers to entry for new creative independent restaurants. Right now, rents and rates are astronomical, there are significant staff shortages to contend with and the political uncertainty is too scary for most to consider investing in a restaurant opening. I would love to see more people feel that they can take a risk and express themselves freely.
Neil Rankin, chef-owner, Temper
Licensing laws relaxed so you can get more wine bars and cocktail bars in central London. And Brexit killed with fire.
Anna Hansen, chef-owner, The Modern Pantry
Having just returned from a trip to New Zealand I noticed how well the foodservice industry has adapted to the rise of food intolerances. I would like to see the chefs and restaurants coming up with more innovative ways to cater for these requirements.
Nathan Eades head chef, The Wild Rabbit
We need to encourage more young people into the industry and making more links with colleges and academies; ensuring that we are inspiring the next generation. Our industry is a fantastic place to be - there aren’t many others that have the power to put instant smiles on guests’ faces.
Nick Beardshaw head chef, Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
More focus on classics and refinement, rather than experimentation and food ‘fashions’. I would also like to see more support for amazing traditional pubs which are closing every week.
Ben Tish, culinary director, The Stafford London
More emphasis on service. There are some great restaurants out there but with the rise of informal dining restaurants and laid-back environments, the service element can be lost. I’m not talking about the rise of new fine dining places, but just a bit more skill, knowledge and care.
Mark Dobbie, Andy Oliver and Tom George, co-owners, Som Saa
Fermentation has always captured the attention of chefs. It is so important in Thai cuisine and we hope to see more restaurants taking an interest in fermentation and beginning to ferment foods in-house.
Gabriel Pryce, founder, Rita’s and Bodega Rita’s
First, more food from all over the world as appetites grow and people look for new experiences. Second, people produce these foods at all levels, from street food to fine dining. Third, that all this will create a greater smorgasbord of flavours across the UK, and seeing them cross over will become less of an issue and good chefs can do more to explore it without being labelled some wacky fusion try hard.
Stevie Parle, owner, Palatino, Craft London, Pastaio and Sardine
I think 2019 will be tough for us all but I’d like to think something good will come of it. Some innovation, something fresh and new, new models, new ways of doing things. We have incredibly smart creative people working in hospitality and I’m sure we’ll work through this. I don’t know what it’ll be, but I hope we don’t have to burn everything down to get there.
Bryn Williams, executive chef, Bryn Williams at Somerset House
In an ideal world, I’d like to see our business rates frozen and VAT to drop. More restaurants sourcing their produce from British soil, too – it will reduce air miles and keep the flow of money going around Britain, which is what we’ll need in what’s going to be a difficult time.
We also asked chefs which fellow chef or restaurants they'd like to see come to the UK this year, to see their answers click here.