People on the move: May

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality job moves May

Related tags: Plaquemine Lock, Galvin la chapelle, Tom kerridge, Luca, Big Table Group

This month's job news includes a new head chef for the Louisiana-inspired Plaquemine Lock and a big promotion for Tom Kerridge Group's Matthew O’Connor.

Plaquemine Lock

Jacob Kenedy has appointed Tom Clements to oversee the kitchen at Plaquemine Lock, his Louisiana-inspired pub and kitchen in Islington. Clements joins from the neighbourhood Italian restaurant Stockwell Continental, where he was head chef. Prior to this, Clements was head chef at Covent Garden seafood restaurant Parson’s, and sous chef at Kenedy’s Soho restaurant Bocca Di Lupo. Clements - who knows Cajun and Creole cuisine well - will create a seasonally changing menu of some of his favourite dishes for Plaquemine Lock including shrimp and andouille gumbo, soft shell crab and sweet beignets.

Galvin La Chapelle

Arturo Grenato has taken the reins of Galvin La Chapelle, Chris and Jeff Galvin’s Michelin-starred Spitalfields restaurant. The Italian-born chef joins from Club Gascon, where he was also head chef. His CV also includes L’Etranger and The Greenhouse. Dishes on the new menu include barbecued white asparagus, miso, parmesan, wild hop and spring truffle; and dill cured stone bass, citrus dressing, burrata and caviar. 

Tom Kerridge Group

Tom Kerridge’s six-strong restaurant group has promoted Matthew O’Connor to business development and guest relations director as it looks to focus on guest experience. O’Connor, who has been with The Tom Kerridge Group since 2018, joined as part of the openings team for Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, where he rose from deputy restaurant director to Restaurant Director in fewer than two years. Taking his place at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill will be Blaine Whiteside, who as previously deputy restaurant director. 


Clerkenwell Italian restaurant Luca has appointed Nancy Wegner as its new head of people. Wegner has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry having worked at restaurants including The Palomar, The Laughing Heart; and The Clove Club, where she met Luca’s co-founders Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith. As head of people - a new role for the business - Wegner will be responsible for Luca’s drive to cultivate an ‘industry-leading company culture and encouraging more people into hospitality as a career’.

Big Table Group

Las Iguanas and Bella Italia operator Big Table Group has appointed David Rust to the newly created role of director of food and beverage. David has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and joins from Brewhouse and Kitchen, where he was head of food having previously filled the same position at Whitbread for more than 10 years. The new role, which will be responsible for continuing to improve the quality of food and drink at all Big Table’s brands, will oversee menu planning and development across Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge, and marks the first time that food development teams from the three brands will all report to the same person.

Luxury & Boutique Hotels

Paul Hackett, head of inspections and assessments at AA Hotel and Hospitality Services, has been appointed as managing director of Luxury & Boutique Hotels (LBH), a niche marketing consortium for independent luxury UK hotels run and operated by hoteliers Gregor and Claire Ritchie. The well-known inspector joins LBH, which operates under the Ritchies’ parent company, independent management consultancy Optimum Hotel and Leisure Management, on 6 June. Hackett has been brought in to help shape the brand, founded in 2020, which offers marketing and operational support membership to privately owned hotels seeking access to UK domestic leisure and corporate markets without the dependency on costly OTAs. 

Corinthia London

Charlotte Weatherall has joined the executive team at Corinthia London as director of sales and marketing, reporting to the hotel’s managing director Thomas Kochs. Weatherall has held several senior sales and marketing roles across leading international hotel brands, including Rocco Forte Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and, most recently at The Langham, London where she was director of sales and marketing. At Corinthia London, Charlotte will focus on strengthening its commercial performance, capitalising on her ‘exceptional’ industry relationships.

Peckham Cellars

South East London’s Peckham Cellars has appointed Pablo Urain Alfonso as head chef following the departure of Henry Freestone. Orginally from San Sebastian, the 33-year-old moved to London in 2015 and has held chef positions at Crispin (Spitalfields), Nordic Bakery (Covent Garden) and community Italian restaurant Morso on Abbey Road, before joining Peckham Cellars as sous chef in 2021. Urain Alfonso will continue to offer a broadly modern-British menu but guests can also expect some Spanish/Mediterranean-influenced dishes. 

Fairmont St Andrews

Chef Ian Syme has returned to Fife’s Fairmont St Andrews to lead its five restaurant venues. Originally from Anstruther, Syme is rejoining the team following a three-year stint as executive sous chef at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire. Syme previously spent almost three years at Fairmont St Andrews as executive sous chef, as well as a stint as head chef at its Seafood Ristorante


Fridays has appointed Rhiannon Scarlett as its chief marketing officer. She brings with her extensive experience from the retail sector, having worked with groups including Tesco and The Body Shop. Scarlett will be responsible for all CRM, loyalty, and digital operations, bringing to life ‘the brand’s focus on quality, relevance and simplicity, while also celebrating its unique heritage, people and generosity of spirit’.

The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, London 

Pierre Morvan has been named head pastry chef at The Cadogan and will launch a new afternoon tea concept at the top-end Chelsea hotel later this year. Morvan’s CV includes senior roles at The Ritz London, Harrods, and most recently at Chelsea’s gourmet deli, Colette. He also bring experience from some of the top restaurants in France, including Michel Guérard’s three Michelin star Les Prés d’Eugénie in Eugénie-les-bains.

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