The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Networking lunch at The Kentish Hare

The Staff Canteen

on Monday 19th of February, we had our second networking lunch of 2024. we welcomed chefs and sponsors to The Kentish Hare

16 chefs were invited to The Kentish Hare, in the picturesque village of Bidborough (Kent):

Patrick Hill - Chef Patron at Thackeray's
Adam Turley - Head Chef at The Old Bank
Alex Yates - Chef Owner at Bowleys at The Plough
Dwayne Richmond - Executive Chef at Finbars of Westgate on Sea
Jordan Mallory - Head Chef at No4
Robin Read - Chef Owner at The Counter by Robin Read
Ben Hughes - Chef and Co-Owner at Quince
Andras Roflics - Head Chef at the Warren Restaurant
Garrett Keown - Development Chef at Harrods Restaurant
Craig Edgell - Head Chef Buoy and Oyster
Rob Cooper - Head Chef at Angela’s of Margate / Dory’s of Margate
Matt Owens - Head of Culinary at Alliance NZ Retail, Wholesale & Foodservice UK, EU & ME (National Chairman Craft Guild of Chefs)
Matthew Sankey - Director at Sankey's
Chris Bartlett - Chef at Meadowsweet
Ryan Sampson - Head Chef at Fordwich Arms
Alex Castle - Head Chef at Bridge Arms

Developement Chef at Harrods, Garrett Keown, described the lunch as 'unbelievable'. "From arrival, drinking beautiful English sparkling wine to meeting a whole array of different kinds of chefs, to the suppliers. 

"I think what The Staff Canteen has done really well is breakdown the barriers," Garrett continues. "So having that soft and welcoming atmosphere where you can meet the suppliers and engage with them in a more casual setting."


Special thanks to our eight sponsors that made this lunch possible Chef Works, Bonemasters Europe, Control Induction, Winterhalter, LightSpeedWilliam Refrigeration, Continental Chef Supplies and Nyetimber. 

"What we get from the lunches is an opportunity to sit down with the chefs in a really relaxed environment," says Joe Hoskins from Chef Works . "We get to talk about their needs and how we can support them. After that we get their contact details and really nurture that relationship as we move forward."



The guests were delighted by an exclusive menu thoughtfully crafted with seasonal ingredients:

CANAPES on arrival
served with Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2010 Magnums


    Nashi pear, almond, coriander
    Paired with Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2016


    Smoked celeriac, beetroot, shitake
    Turnip gratin, green peppercorn sauce
    Paired with Monastrell , Bodegas La Purísima, Spain


    Yoghurt & blood orange granita
    Paired with Nyetimber Cuvee Chèrie
    Praline ice cream



The Restaurant holds two AA Rosettes and was awarded with a Bib Gourmand in 2021. In 2016 it won best newcomer of the year in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastro Pubs and in 2023 jumped up the list to #5. Set up and opened in May 2014 with the Tanner Brothers, James and Chris at the helm. They have assembled a great professional team focusing on delivering the best local food produced by local suppliers, complemented by a specially selected range of superb wines, beers and spirits.

"It's just really exciting sometimes taking that emphasis off London," says Joe Hoskins from Chef Works. "There's so many amazing places in London and we know that, but there's also some really amazing places outside Londom. Places that people haven't thoight about or forgotten. I have spoken to chefs today that said 'I really wanted to come here but it's a bit out of the way', so just having that reason to come for something like this, I think it's really cool."


Chris and James opened their first restaurant "Tanners" in 1999 in Plymouth, Devon. This proved to be the start of a thriving family enterprise and led to the opening of the "Barbican Kitchen" housed in the world famous Plymouth Gin distillery in 2006. They are heavily involved with selected colleges/Universities nurturing the next generation of Chefs and front of house staff into the industry and both were awarded Honorary Doctorate of arts in 2007 from Plymouth University.

Chris Tanner wearing a ChefWorks jacket

Starting young, Chris Tanner worked first in the kitchen of a local restaurant aged just 12, before beginning his training at West Kent College where he won the Outstanding Student Award. His talent has taken him since to Le Gavroche in London, and further afield to New York and France under the Roux brothers, before returning to England to open the three Rosette-winning Kitley Hotel in Devon. Teaming up with James was the next logical step.

From humble beginnings at Brookers Oast in Tonbridge, James Tanner developed his experience in a number of restaurants, before arriving at the Roux brothers' Lake Placid Lodge in upstate New York. Back in England, he headed to the two Michelin-starred Lettonie in Bath before returning to Kent as Head Chef at Tunbridge Wells' Right on the Green ahead of his partnership with Chris. James has appeared on numerous television shows and currently holds a regular cooking slot on ITV's Lorraine. James is also the Chef/Director for Hotel Olympia.



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th February 2024

The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Networking lunch at The Kentish Hare