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Brighton Hospitality

Celebrating the Brighton and Sussex hospitality industry.

Brighton Hospitality

Master chef- The Professionals Winner 2023 - Tom Hamblett- copyright BBC

Born in Sussex and triumphant in MasterChef: The Professionals, 24 year old Tom Hamblet is assuming the role of Head Chef at the Camellia restaurant from January 3rd to March 31st, 2024.We caught up with Tom following his special victory after seven weeks of competition on the BBC’s compelling chef challenge.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Simon Stern, the mind behind The Better Half pub. The pub’s name subtly nods to Hove as ‘The Better Half’ of the city. Prior to Simon taking charge, the Hove pub had been a neglected old man’s boozer. Simon’s transformative touch has turned it into a welcoming establishment, where his successful formula ensures that both drinkers and diners find themselves returning for more.

The Plotting Parlour, honoured with two BRAVO awards for the best cocktail in Brighton, stands as an esteemed high-end drinking destination in the city.

Ed provides insights into his business, delves into the importance of BRAVO awards in Brighton, and offers a sneak peek into their new venue along with future plans.

Duncan Ray from The Little Fish Market in Hove shares his preferred food and drink spots in Brighton. He highlights indulgent experiences such as his favourite Brighton cocktails at Gung Ho, The GingerMan on Norfolk Square, and personal delights like Unithai on Church Road. Additionally, he reveals his go-to Brighton coffee shop for a perfect brew.

Meet Amber from Oeuf Cafe, a pastel coloured dreamy Hove café for those wanting a candlelit breakfast over some Etta James playing in the background. Amber ran restaurants across London and Brighton and hospitality has always been at the forefront of her career. From chains to independents, Amber has taken the best bits from each and amalgamated them into Oeuf!

Meet Michael Bremner in The Dish and explore his top tips for the best dining experiences in Brighton. The inspiration behind  two of the city’s finest restaurants, 64 Degrees and Murmur, Michael has left an indelible mark on the culinary scene; with appearances on the Great British Menu (2017) and numerous local and national accolades.

Meet Dave Mothersill from Furna Restaurant as he unveils his notable career achievements, advice for fellow restaurateurs, and his profound passion for 6B at Unithai (we couldn’t agree more!). Delve into his journey, gain wisdom from his experiences, and explore his deep-rooted enthusiasm for opening his own restaurant in Brighton

Inspired by David Chang, founder of “MOMOFUKU” Dominic loves his style of Korean fusion cooking and sharing plates. Bonsai Plant Kitchen is described as an experimental Asian, plant based restaurant, the food is Japanese focused but with hints of Thai and Vietnamese. Favourite accolade: “The Grace dent review we received in the Guardian was particularly special.”

David talks about his career from lawyer to a chef, recounting nostalgic tales of culinary adventures with his family during his youth. Additionally, he elaborates on the inspiration and concepts motivating the Hove Food Trail.

Sean is the Wholesale and Training Manager at Trading Post Coffee Roasters in Brighton and we explore his expertise in the field. Uncover essential industry insights about selecting the ideal coffee for your business.

Kyriakos provides a glimpse into the modern ethos driving Nostos greek restaurant, shedding light on their integration within the Hove business community and their recent awards and local press. 

Colin recounts his transformation from a Food Safety and Quality In-flight Delivery Manager to a Hove café owner. Uncover the compelling details of his journey, the obstacles he overcame and learn about his loyal customers.

Laura accumulated 15 years of experience in Italian hospitality, followed by an additional three years in England. Her journey began as a kitchen assistant, initially taken as a summer job but kindling a lasting passion. Progressing to the role of Chef de Partie, she developed a profound appreciation for Italian cuisine, particularly seafood and fresh pasta. 

In a former chapter of her life, Tamara embarked on a trajectory that initially involved obtaining a law degree and subsequently qualifying as a chartered accountant. This foundation equipped her with robust commercial, financial, and operational expertise, honed through diverse roles across multiple sectors. 

Hailing from the dynamic island of Malta, Luciana’s diverse journey spans over two decades across the United States (primarily New York and South Carolina) and Australia. Settling in the UK in 2008, she resided in Tunbridge Wells and London before eventually relocating to the vibrant city of Brighton in 2013.

In 2017, Natalie inaugurated LOST, shortly after returning to the UK from a 13-year stint in New Zealand. Despite lacking prior experience in hospitality, her genuine ardor for culinary arts and hospitality propelled her endeavour. Previously, she dedicated 15 years to the field of education, serving as a skilled speech and language therapist.

Stella devoted 15 years to the realm of children’s publishing, assuming roles as an editor and writer. However, an abrupt realisation prompted her to transition from the office to the outdoors. Motivated by a newfound passion, she embarked on creating gourmet camping cuisine and crafting memorable outdoor experiences.

Amanda has been a trailblazer in the realm of vegetarian cuisine for decades, serving as an inspirational figure for many. Dive into Amanda’s remarkable journey, uncovering the pivotal elements that have solidified Terre à Terre’s esteemed reputation as one of the UK’s premier vegetarian restaurants over the years.

Sarah Cotton, fondly referred to as the “houmous lady” and a prominent figure in Brighton, has earned a legendary status. Alongside her brother, she has established the gold standard for houmous, leaving an indelible mark on our culinary experiences for years to come. Smorl’s is located at Brighton Open Market

Nicky transitioned from her roles in beauty and teaching to venture into customer service, administrative tasks, and accounts management at The Roasting Party, a renowned coffee roastery in Winchester. During her tenure, her partner Duncan Ray extended an invitation for her to join not just as his life partner but also as his business partner.

Ivana Roy, the co-owner and operations manager at French restaurantPetit Pois‘, is renowned for her unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional service and ensuring guests’ culinary delight. Her profound affection for the people of Brighton fuels her enthusiasm for the dynamic challenges and trials that the bustling hospitality industry presents.

Embarking on her hospitality journey five years ago, Sarah reluctantly heeded her husband’s suggestion to purchase The Cleveland Arms, initially envisioning a part-time commitment. However, she finds herself still posing the question, “When will I be working part-time?” Recognising our aptitude in this partnership, we further expanded into the mobile bar business, launching Orange Beach Bars in 2021.

Gemma’s journey to becoming a plant-based advocate and the founder and chef at Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen evolved through diverse experiences in travel, hospitality, and welfare. Balancing her roles as a dedicated mother to two children, she draws inspiration from them, striving to uphold a harmonious equilibrium between her professional endeavours and personal life.

Naomi’s professional journey in the hospitality industry boasts managerial roles in some of Brighton’s best restaurants. Her unwavering passion for the field and relentless pursuit of knowledge exemplify her resilient can-do spirit. Her impressive resume stands as a testament to the power of hard work and self-belief, demonstrating how far dedication and confidence can take one.

Daisy epitomises the story of determination and success, having diligently risen through the ranks to assume a senior role in the hospitality sector. Her upbringing in pubs, under the guidance of her landlord and landlady parents, instilled in her a profound passion for the industry. Currently serving as the head of sales and reservations at two of Brighton’s renowned venues, she oversees Trading Post Coffee and its five Sussex-based cafes.

Having primarily honed his craft in prestigious 4 or 5-star restaurant hotels such as Burnham Beeches, Stoke Park, and Hartham Park, Steven has always been drawn to the world of fine dining. Commencing his journey with a modern apprenticeship under the guidance of a head chef, he steadily advanced through various kitchen roles before ultimately joining South Lodge Hotel as a chef de Partie. Steven is the chef and owner at etch.

Following a degree in Law Nick worked in Event Management for 12 years in London and Brighton before being made redundant. Nick then worked as a waitress for a year before taking over ownership of the Brighton Routemaster.

Video interview with Raz Helalat from Brighton’s Coal Shed Restaurant and the Black Rock Group of restaurants, including Burnt Orange, The Salt Room, and Tutto. Raz shares insights into his experiences as a business owner, discussing challenges and his journey into the Brighton restaurant business.

Olivia’s culinary journey commenced at the tender age of 18 in the quaint setting of The Fig Tree in Sussex. In the intimate team of three chefs, including the owner, she rapidly honed her skills and acquired invaluable experience. Transitioning to the Coal Shed and subsequently its sister establishment, The Salt Room, she spent three fruitful years before moving on to a position at etch.

Driven by her background in circus tricks, the establishment of a performer’s agency, and studies in event management, Helen Hutton‘s journey culminated in the creation of Tropical Sushi. Her story within the hospitality industry is marked by remarkable achievements and accolades, showcasing the success of Japanese restaurant Tropical Sushi under her guidance.

During her time studying Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University, Rachel encountered an exciting prospect to undertake a year-long placement at the esteemed 5-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. While her degree could have steered her in various directions within the industry, the moment she set foot in The Royal Garden, she was certain that this was the ideal work environment for her.

Starting her management journey 24 years ago in retail in Dublin, Penny navigated a bustling customer-centric role that involved overseeing a team. This experience laid a foundation for her next venture abroad, where she joined a tour operator and managed a chalet in the picturesque French Alps. Penny is owner at Space and Thyme which operates in The Black Lion, The Post House and the Mesmerist

In brief, Aoife has been immersed in front-of-house work since the age of 13, a passion ingrained in her. When her business partner Annie envisioned opening a Mexican restaurant in Brighton, the rest, as they say, is history and welcome to La Choza Mexican restaurant. Mexican food is Aoife’s strong passion and there are so many regional dishes showcasing so many flavours; each region has its own indigenous dishes to explore.

Meet Sophie Tavener, head chef at Lost in the Lanes. Sophie has been a chef for nearly 10 years, starting out cooking in Spain where she worked at the Ibiza Food Studio and Finca with chef Boris Bueno.

In our interview, we have the privilege of speaking with the formidable Manju, who realised her lifelong dream by establishing her own vegetarian Indian restaurant in Brighton. Specialising in the vibrant flavours of the Gujarat region of India, Manju crafts a diverse and entirely vegetarian menu. From delightful thalis to sharing plates and creatively reimagined street food classics.

Tony’s journey began with a detour from his initial dream of radio during school. Opting for college, he underwent a 3-year training in Catering and Hospitality Studies. His path led him to London at 19, where he worked at The Savoy Hotel. After a break from the hospitality industry for travel, and a temporary departure from a 15-year radio career due to redundancy, Tony decided to fulfill his dream by opening Starfish and Coffee.

Ben Woodwards background is from the travel and tourism sector initially and we offer a glimpse into his professional journey. Discover his unique perspective on working in the vibrant city of Brighton and explore his personal favourite venues.

A co-founder of the Table Talk Foundation and Table Talk Business Club.

As the Relationship Director, Dan provides valuable insights into his career trajectory and the motivations that led to the inception of the Table Talk Foundation. 

We interview Messa Ben, a highly seasoned chef from Brighton Cookery School, unraveling his remarkable journey from Michelin kitchens in Paris to his role as an educator, teaching the art of cooking in Brighton. As the founder of Brighton Cookery School, Messa imparts innovative cooking techniques, spanning a diverse range of styles and genres to its students.

We meet Rob Allen, the proprietor of The Geese Pub in Brighton. Rob shares insights into his extensive background in hospitality, entrepreneurship, and the journey of establishing his own pub in Hanover. Renowned for setting the benchmark for exceptional Sunday roasts, Rob and The Geese have consistently attracted a loyal clientele of locals and visitors alike over the years.

Oli shares the perspective that running one’s own business comes with substantial responsibility, particularly when managing a team. The role demands constant engagement, as there’s always room for improvement and additional tasks to address. Despite the challenges, the endeavour offers a sense of freedom and control over one’s destiny, making it a rewarding and empowering journey.

Adam’s daily routine is dynamic, encompassing various responsibilities: managing the hub in Bevendean, overseeing the weighing and sorting of food for the Brighton cafes, or engaging in the collection and preparation of food, his tasks are diverse. Additionally, his role involves strategic activities such as finding ways to reduce overheads, brainstorming methods to boost donations.

Through the Fishlove campaign, Nicholas and Karl from Moshimo have made significant strides in transforming the fishing industry, marking them as leaders in the field. In an interview with Nicky, discover the positive practices that Moshimo has implemented to contribute to the planet’s well-being, including their impactful Fishlove campaign and the initiative of Vegan Wednesdays.

The plan was to become an actress, but Cassie started temping from Uni, then worked as a registrar of births, deaths and marriages in which time she met Henry Butler. She now runs Butlers and is married to Henry!

Sussex Suppliers and Influencers

In her interview it is wonderful to hear about Ellen‘s passion for the vibrant tapestry of Brighton restaurants. Moving to the city in 2018, she has become obsessed with exploring and understanding the ever-changing and evolving hospitality landscape. Her Brighton food photographer role allows her a glimpse behind the scenes, appreciating the dedicated work that goes into making each food business unique and special.

We meet Noel Preston, the Managing Partner of Preston Insurance Brokers. Noel and his team arrange, place and service insurance policies and programmes for businesses, predominantly throughout Sussex. Noel is also an ambassador for the Table Talk Foundation working alongside Dan Wade and his team.

A newly established family-run distillery in Henfield, Sussex. Georgina and John share insights into their unique approach to crafting rum. Launched in December 2022, Goldstone Rum distinguishes itself by adhering to traditional methods and stands as one of the few distilleries in the UK that produces rum from scratch. The couple believes in making rum the proper way, fermenting a blend of sugar cane juice, jaggery, panela, and molasses to create their award-winning spirits.

The Cheese Man and Tony Cowling are slightly unique and some may say “old school” in the way they work, as they still run a traditional van sales service for their customers where chefs and restaurant owners can jump in the back of the van and choose the produce they require. 

For almost a decade, the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has been collaborating with restaurants and the broader foodservice sector. Their efforts involve offering a comprehensive framework, guidance, support, and a community of like-minded individuals, all aimed at catalysing positive change and steering towards a more sustainable future for the food industry.

A commendable restaurant fundraising initiative dedicated to aiding FareShare Sussex & Surrey and Brighton Foodbank in their tireless efforts to combat food poverty. Discover how your business can get involved in this new charity working with Restaurants in Brighton

Introducing a meat box initiative that minimises food miles within Sussex.  They procure premium, grass-fed beef and lamb sourced from the Adur to Eastbourne region, promoting sustainability and supporting local farmers.

Diana serves as the co-owner of Kemptown Project, overseeing three of Brighton’s beloved dining establishments. Operating the renowned Redroaster cafe during the day and transforming it into the acclaimed Lucky Khao restaurant at night, they also manage the well-regarded Lucky Beach situated along the seafront. Additionally, they specialise in importing, roasting, packaging, and retailing fairtrade and organic coffee .

Sarah Driver, the proprietor of Rathfinny Wine Estate, boasts an intriguing career trajectory before starting in the Sussex Vineyard business. From solicitor in both the City and Hong Kong, she moved to a role as a dedicated parent to four. During this period, she not only lectured ‘Women Back to Business’ at her local college but also taught Law through the Open University while serving as a Commercial Mediator.

We meet Phil and Melissa, the proprietors of Beal’s Farm situated in Eridge Park Estate, Tunbridge Wells. Discover their specialty in producing acclaimed air-dried whole muscles, salami, and chorizo, meticulously crafted from the finest meat sourced from their beloved herd of outdoor-reared Mangalitsa pigs.

Luciana Cousin and Nicholas Cousin are the co-founders of Across Rainbows, and they have initiated the “Back Off. Back Up.” campaign, a bold initiative addressing street harassment and abuse. The campaign features a signal, “Back Off Back Up,” indicating that it’s acceptable to seek help. The associated app functions as a map of Brighton and Hove, highlighting designated safe venues. These establishments, including Brighton restaurants, serve as havens for individuals facing harassment, feeling unsafe, or seeking a place of respite.

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