Friday five: The week’s top stories

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five Hawkerman Matt Worswick

Related tags: Matt Worswick, Savoy grill, National Chef of the Year, The Chilli Pickle

Our most read stories this week include chef Matt Worswick taking on the Savoy Grill; the Vacherin’s Nick Smith being crowned National Chef of the Year; and the launch of the Cancel The Curfew campaign.

- Former Pennyhill Park chef Matt Worswick has joined the Savoy Grill​ as its executive head chef. Announcing the news of the appointment on Twitter, Gordon Ramsay said: “So happy to welcome Matt Worswick who is joining the Savoy Grill team as Executive Head Chef ... Welcome to the team Matt !! Gx.” Worswick left the Michelin-starred The Latymer at Pennyhill Park, where he worked for a month under four years, at the end of last year to join The Shanghai EDITION hotel as its executive chef. 

- Highly-rated Brighton Indian restaurant The Chilli Pickle​ has given over part of its space to a spin-off inspired by the hawker markets of South East Asia. Hawkerman will initially trade on lunchtimes only from within a specially-designed section of the North Laine restaurant. Billed as a pop-up, the new brand tips its hat to the ‘hawkers that devote their lives to perfecting one single speciality, refining recipes that have been handed down through generations of masterful cooks until they’re the best they can possibly be’.

- Nick Smith, head chef at Vacherin London, has been crowned National Chef of the Year 2021.​ Smith beat off competition from nine other chefs in the final of the prestigious cooking competition, in partnership with Knorr Professional, which was held earlier this week (30 September) as part of Hospitality Week. He was also named winner in the Best Dessert category, sponsored by Valrhona. Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle, near Edinburgh, was named runner up, his third top three ranking in as many years, with April-Lily Partridge placed in third, the highest-placed female finalist in the competition’s 48-year history. 

Syrian chef and refugee Imad Alarnab will open his first permanent restaurant in Soho’s Kingly Court this autumn.​ Alarnab, who has been cooking in London for the past four years at a series supper clubs, including a two week pop up in Bethnal Green, and charity events, will launch Imad’s Syrian Kitchen in November. He is looking to raise £50,000 through crowdfunding to support his new venture. The chef and entrepreneur previously ran two successful restaurants and a cafe and chain of juice bars in Damascus but his businesses were destroyed during the Syrian Civil War.

- A campaign putting pressure on the Government to make a U-turn on its 10pm curfew​ launches this week in response to the negative impact it is having on the hospitality sector. Created by a group of hospitality professionals from across England and Wales, the #CANCELTHECURFEW campaign will attempt to raise awareness amongst consumers of the impact that the policy is having on their industry; in hope that they will join them in pressuring the government to make a U-turn on the policy.

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