GRIF Society London Briefing
09:00 - 09:05
Introduction & Welcome Remarks
Jennifer Pettinger-Haines – Managing Director Middle East , Bench Events; Co-Founder, GRIF
Managing Director Middle East , Bench Events; Co-Founder, GRIF
Jennifer has been a member of the Bench Events team since November 2008. Originally from Australia, she has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney. Prior to joining Bench Events she spent two years as a project manager in London for a conference company. She is presently working from Dubai as project manager of the successful Arabian Hotel Investment Conference. Currently she is focusing on programme development and speaker acquisition in addition to overseeing AHIC’s operations.
09:05 - 09:20
Top Trends for 2019
A closer look at what to keep an eye on in the restaurant sector
Henry Mason – Managing director, Trend Watching
Managing director, Trend Watching
Henry Mason is an experienced and sought-after keynote speaker and author of Trend-Driven Innovation. In the past 5 years, Henry has given over 100 keynote presentations in more than 30 countries, speaking alongside thought leaders (from Seth Godin to Steven Johnson), ground-breaking entrepreneurs (from Robin Chase to Eric Schmidt), global figures (from Kofi Annan to Muhammad Yunus) and many, many more. Henry was included in GQ's Most Connected Men in Britain list in 2016.
09:20 - 09:35
What is keeping the industry up at night?
Findings from the Future Restaurants Initiative work over the last 12 months.
Peter Backman – Principal, Peter Backman
Principal, Peter Backman
Peter is an expert on the structure and dynamics of the foodservice sector, and its supply chain, in the UK and across Europe. He enlightens senior executives and other people who make significant decisions in the foodservice sector including investors, operators and suppliers to the foodservice sector. His forthright and challenging views are based on data-driven insights – as a former scientist his view is “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist”. He has been involved, as a researcher and consultant within the sector, for over 30 years blending his knowledge with a deep understanding of the trends, key players and challenges of organisations with an interest in foodservice.
He regularly speaks at conferences worldwide and his views are sought by television, radio, the Bank of England and the press. Peter has many innovations to his credit having been the first person to define the structure of the eating out market in the terms which are now widely used by the industry, as well as the most extensive database model of the foodservice sector.
Peter is a founder and past Chairman of Arena, the UK pan-industry networking organisation that he was instrumental in setting up twenty five years ago. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.
He is happily married, the proud father of three grandchildren and when not at work, can be found in the gym or investigating his family history.
09:35 - 10:05
A focus on the staffing
How do are the leading restaurant brands hiring, retaining and growing from within? What does Brexit mean to them?
Felicity Spector – Food writer
In conversation with
Rik Campbell – Co-founder, Kricket
Born in 1988, Rik had an innate entrepreneurial flare. Rik studied at Newcastle University- in parallel with his degree he founded and managed his own events and promotions business in the city.
In 2010, Rik moved to London after university and worked in Corporate Finance. At the same time, he set up a new and more boutique style events brand called A PARTY WITH US. In 2014, Rik left his job in the city. That year Rik met with Will and they decided to combine their expertise and develop a new project. The result was Kricket at POP Brixton which they opened in 2015. Rik took on the role as Kricket’s Front of House and managed day-to-day duties of running a restaurant.
After a year in Brixton the duo received investment from the White Rabbit Fund. This allowed the duo to open their first permanent restaurant in Soho in 2017, the team have since opened Kricket Brixton and Kricket Television Centre.
Charlie Carroll – Founder, Flat Iron
Founder, Flat Iron
Charlie loves food. As a child he started cooking at an early age and grew fruit and vegetables. He studied Zoology at Cambridge University before working in the city as a strategy consultant. After a year working for the founders of Wahaca, Charlie spent 9 months developing Flat Iron as a business before launching as a pop up above a pub in east London in 2012. He enjoys spending time with his young family, travel, cooking, eating, drinking and fly fishing.
Thom Elliot – Co-founder, Pizza Pilgrims
Co-founder, Pizza Pilgrims
Pizza Pilgrims started life in 2011, after driving a three wheeled Piaggio Ape back from Italy on a 6 week “Pizza Pilgrimage” of discovery. Once home, we installed a Neapolitan pizza oven and sold our first pizza on Berwick St Market. Since then, we have traded at a huge variety of events across the country, and opened 11 pizzerias in London and Oxford (so we can make pizza in the rain). We are only interested in making the best quality pizza possible - with handmade, 48 hr proved dough and ingredients shipped in from Naples. The pizza is accompanied by Italian wines & craft beers - as well as fussball, arcade machines and tunes you have not heard in a while.
10:05 - 10:35
Where do the investors see opportunity in the London market?
With more restaurants opening than ever before, has it become saturated?
Chris Miller – Founder, White Rabbit Fund
Founder, White Rabbit Fund
Chris founded White Rabbit Fund in 2016 as a hospitality development platform, providing capital and support to chefs to launch and grow their ideas. The platform focuses on incubating exciting new talent, to turn ideas into successful businesses.
In the two years since its creation, White Rabbit has opened 11 restaurants backing 4 different brands – ‘Kricket’, ‘Lina Stores’, ‘Island Poke’ and ‘Kym’s’.
Chris’ first investment was modern Indian concept ‘Kricket’ (www.kricket.co.uk), following their successful pop-up in a shipping container in Brixton. Chris backed the founders to launch their first full restaurant in Soho, followed by sites in Brixton and White City.
His second investment was Hawaiian grab-and-go brand ‘Island Poké’ (www.islandpoke.co.uk). Since then they have opened six restaurants - Soho, Broadgate, Canary Warf, Fitzrovia, the City and Shoreditch.
Chris also backs Italian heritage brand ‘Lina stores’ (www.linastores.co.uk), opening its first pasta bar in Soho, growing the business from the original Deli, first launch in 1944.
Recently he has launched modern Chinese restaurant ‘Kym’s’ (www.kymsrestaurant.com), backing the Michelin starred Chef Andrew Wong to open his second site in the City.
Previously Chris was Commercial Director for the Soho House Group, working on the expansion of members clubs, hotels and restaurants around the world. He started his career in Private Equity focusing on growing consumer brands, fashion and restaurants.
White Rabbit invests from £200,000 to £2m in each project.
www.whiterabbitfund.com / @whiterabbitfund
Darrel Connell – Partner, Imbiba
Prior to joining Imbiba, Darrel was formerly a Director at Foresight Group, a market leading UK lower mid-market private equity firm with £3bn of assets under management. Darrel led the firm's consumer and leisure coverage and was a Non-Executive on the board of multiple high growth consumer businesses.
Darrel is currently a Non-Executive on the Board of Purple Dragon, Vagabond Wines and Farmer J and focuses on sourcing new investment opportunities for Imbiba and deal execution.
Naim Maadad – Chief Executive, Gates Hospitality
Chief Executive, Gates Hospitality
With over 28 years in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia, & the Middle East in various senior management roles, Naim has launched & operated some of the world’s best Hotels, Resorts, Spas & Lifestyle Food & Beverage Concepts.
Naim's career has exposed him to some of the best properties around the world and he partook & orchestrated several amazing openings & operations.
Covering a wide spectrum of positions within senior leadership, including the role of Managing Director for both Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas and The Anantara Group respectively. During his time with these exclusive properties, he was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements, and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands.
Being based in the ME over the past 18 years, he has witnessed tremendous industry growth, gained a deep cultural understanding & have been endorsed by principals & organizations alike.
In 2012, he established “Gates Hospitality” A homegrown Hospitality Company representing handpicked Concepts catering for the affluent life-stylers.
Gates Hospitality, the parent company of well-known homegrown brands such as; Ultra Brasserie, the internationally acclaimed concept; Reform Social & Grill Dubai, Folly by Nick & Scott, as well as Publique, Dubai's premier "Apres Ski chalet", The Black Lion, Bistro Des Arts and ownership of Six Senses Zighy Bay.
Continuing the successful growth of Gates Hospitality’s portfolio 2017, Via Veneto Osteria e Cucina opened Q3 this year; as well as Red Farm at Covent Garden, London, U.K., the first global foray of the group vide an international venue outside the region would be launched early 2018.
In principal, GH expertise that are extended are indicative but not limited to; Hospitality Guidance | Asset Management | Pre-opening Foundation | Day-to-day Operational Success.
Naim's philosophy & approach are simple, connecting like-minded investors, operators & brands to define concepts, successful portfolios & continue on shaping the hospitality industry.
Affiliations - on the Advisory Boards of :-
- Caterer Middle East
- Hotelier Middle East
- BNC Publishing
- Middle East Food Forum
- New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
Contributing Columnist for magazines :-
- Hotelier Middle East
- Caterer Middle East
- Hospitality News Middle East
10:35 - 11:15
The Future of Food
How we need to rethink farming practices to change our industry and save the planet. What result does this have on consumer preferences and what does this mean for the creation of new concepts?
Ben Chapman – Founder, Kiln, Smoking Goat, Brat
Founder, Kiln, Smoking Goat, Brat
Birmingham native Ben Chapman opened his first restaurant, Soho’s Smoking Goat, in 2014 without any history in food work whatsoever. He relocated to London a little over a decade ago to study History of Art. Though he didn’t graduate, the young entrepreneur opened an art gallery, promoting the work of emerging talents, including a pre-White Cube Eddie Peake. Following his time at The Courtauld, Chapman worked as a DJ, and eventually took a trip to Thailand, which ignited in him a passion for the country’s native cuisine, and became the basis of his present vocation. His wide-ranging and illustrious background undoubtedly gives him the freshness of an outsider’s perspective.
Gizzi Erskine – Food writer, TV personality, founder - Filth
Food writer, TV personality, founder - Filth
Many people are very surprised to hear that Gizzi Erskine was a professional body piercer in Camden before realising her life-long dream of being a chef. It wasn’t until the age of 23 that, after 7 years of working in Cold Steel in Camden, Gizzi hung up her piercing tools and trained at the prestigious Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2003. She graduated the top of her year and went on to win a placement at BBC Good Food magazine, where she started to establish herself as an award winning food writer and stylist. During her first years at catering school she cheffed her way through many kitchens and started her own catering company with friend, Abbey Dempsey.
A career in TV started with the popular C4 primetime show, COOK YOURSELF THIN, which went onto a 2nd series in 2009, this time with Gizzi as the only host. With C4 firmly backing this exciting new talent, she has since appeared in IRON CHEF, COOKERY SCHOOL and DROP DOWN MENU for the channel. Gizzi joined Sky Living as a new face of the channel and hosted new series COOKS TO MARKET alongside Gu founder James Averdick. The show saw amateur cooks be given the chance to turn their homemade food products into a life-changing business. Gizzi was part of Sky1 show ONES TO WATCH where Gizzi alongside A-list mentors, Rankin, Idris Elba and Paloma Faith helped launch the next generation of hot new talent. Her most recent programme, Seoul Food aired on Good Food and offered an insight into the amazing food and culture found in South Korea.
As a food writer, Gizzi was the Sunday Times Cook; writing the weekly food pages in the Sunday Times Magazine. She is also a Contributing Editor for InStyle and has written for a wide variety of other magazines and newspapers such as Marie Claire, Elle, Elle USA, Vogue USA, GQ, The Times and The Evening Standard. She has also hosted the Observer Food Monthly awards alongside Jay Rayner.
GIZZI'S KITCHEN MAGIC, published by Virgin Books in 2009, was her first solo book and received critical acclaim during its release. Gizzi was the co-author of the hit cookbook COOK YOURSELF THIN, author of MY KITCHEN TABLE: 100 FOOLPROOF RECIPES and has also contributed to COOKERY SCHOOL by Richard Corrigan. SKINNY WEEKS AND WEEKEND FEASTS, was a revelatory healthy eating book of two halves that gives you a delicious, easy-to-stick-to recipe plan, perfect for 1–2lb weight loss per week. Gizzi went on to write GIZZI'S HEALTHY APPETITE which was released in August 2015 and went straight to the Amazon bestsellers list. Her new book, GIZZI'S SEASON'S EATINGS was published by Octopus in September 2016 and guides you through her delicious food from Halloween to Hogmanay. Her latest book, SLOW, was published in October 2018 and sees Gizzi exploring technique, story and provenance. Nigella Lawson called SLOW 'a warming cosy treasure trove of a book'.
Gizzi is part of the Jamie Oliver's FoodTube family and has hosted her own series of videos for the Wild Dish YouTube channel.
Always at the forefront of any trend, Gizzi was one of the first to back the trend of the pop-up restaurant scene having opened 4 pop-ups in the past 3 years; one with Innocent Smoothies at the Tramshed in Shoreditch, one at Clarence House in association with START the sustainability charity, a Tiki lounge at Bestival and an East London gourmet pie shop. She has cheffed at many supper clubs for guests like Boy George, Adam Ant, Sadie Frost, Pearl Lowe, Carl Barrat and Grace Woodward. Her most recent pop-up took inspiration from the Korean hole-in-the-wall scene in New York: Gizzi’s ‘K Town’ at Concrete in Shoreditch was an underground eating, drinking and music venue with a menu that was created and cooked by Gizzi. Entertainment ranged from rockabilly, soul and ska bands, to live Korean burlesque and a Korean Elvis impersonator.
In 2018, Gizzi opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant in the Mare Street Market development. Her plant based burger F!lth concept followed in January 2019 with a residency in Shoreditch.
Her food events are now becoming legendary for those people in the know. GIZZI'S BARN YARD PARTY in Dalson was a one day food event with top chefs running stalls, live music and DJs inclufing Gizzi herself. She programmed her own tent at LATITUDE inviting chefs like Jack Stein, Ben Tish, Carl Clarke and Neil Rankin to reveal some of their best cooking techniques to festival-goers.
Gizzi also teamed up with Italian restaurant Zizzi to mentor the next big thing in food – chef Joe Gray – as part of the Prince’s Trust Tomorrow Campaign. Gizzi and Zizzi created a special three-course menu, which featured in all restaurants nationwide to raise money for The Prince’s Trust charity. Other mentors involved with the campaign include Zandra Rhodes, Kelly Hoppen, Rankin, Liz Earle and Wayne Hemingway. The promotional campaign was shot by Rankin himself.
Her edgy attitude has caught the attention of the fashion world and she regularly makes the fashion pages of the UK’s style press. She has effortless style, unmistakably 60’s with a Rockabilly twist, which has struck a chord with the public, helping her bridge the gap between food and fashion.
Matt Chatfield – Founder, The Cornish Project
Founder, The Cornish Project
11:15 - 11:45
11:45 - 12:15
What’s going on around the world?
A look at key markets that are capturing the attention of restaurateurs, investors and customers.
Jack de Wet – Director of Development, Big Mamma Group
Jack de Wet
Director of Development, Big Mamma Group
12:15 - 12:30
A culinary tour of Bala Baya’s kitchen with Chef Eran
12:30 - 14:00