The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Networking lunch at Lyla

The Staff Canteen

​On Monday 15th of April, we HELD OUR networking lunch Stuart Ralston's newest restaurant, lyla, in edinburgh.

Stuart Ralston Lyla


THE guests

14 chefs joined us at Lyla: 

Kelvin Bain, head chef, Saltire Hospitality; Sam Yorke, head chef/owner, Heron; Finn Steele-Perkins, head chef, Masaman; Ross Cochrane, head chef, Mara wine bar; Aidan McLaughlin, head chef, eighty eight; Andrew Toogood, head chef/owner, Porter and Rye; Scott Smith, chef/owner, Fhior; Kevin Young, executive chef, Maki and Ramen; Gary Townsend, head chef/owner, Elements restaurant; Ian Boyd Thorpe, head chef, The Rutland; Tomas Gormley, head chef/owner, Cardinal; James Aikman, head chef, Skua; Owen Morrice, head chef, The Black Grape; Brian Grigor, chef/patron, eòrna restaurant.

Start Ralston Lyla

When asked to comment about Stuart's food, Ian Boyd Thorpe, head chef, The Rutland said "Today's been amazing. Really, really good. The venue's incredible. The menu was fantastic and completely faultless to be honest." Ian also prased the event concept too by saying: "format has worked really well because it's great to meet the people behind the companies and we'll definitely be able to use the suppliers moving forward. "

Scott Smith hosted The Staff Canteen Networking Lunch at his restaurant Fhior in 2020, but this time he attended as a guest, when asked to comment about the event Scott said: "I think it's always important to have the opportunity to talk to others in the industry face to face. You can get very insular in your own mind and to get out in a room full of people that are all experiencing the same thing. It's kind of gives you a bittersweet comfort. I think for, a chef, your whole business is built up around relationships, whether that's suppliers for food, wine, equipment or uniforms. You get to meet the person, you get to have a conversation with them and I think that creates a better working relationship going down the line."

Start Ralston Lyla



Special thanks to our eight sponsors that made this lunch possible Chef WorksBonemasters EuropeControl InductionWinterhalter,  Williams RefrigerationContinental Chef Supplies, Nespresso Professional and Alliance wine

When asked about why the concept of The Staff Canteen networking lunches work for them, Stephen Kinkead from Winterhalter UK said "The great thing is it's not always me that will attend, so we spread the love. To get this number of chefs and to be able to talk to them on a one-to-one basis ... it's invaluable.

We're quite blessed by the fact that we're a brand that chefs appreciate and want to discuss.  The normal route [to chefs] is to do a trade show or to do an event.  Trade shows are very hit and miss.  For the price of a lunch sponsrship you get key people; decision makers to be able to discuss your brand with."

Start Ralston Lyla

Donna Dowson, representing Nespresso Professional from Lyreco attended her first networking lunch and commented " The lunch has been absolutely phenomenal from the beginning right the way through.

I feel the business environment was really releaxed.  Everybody opened up really quickly.  A lot of networking and swapping numbers.  I think getting the reach [these chefs] at this event today was phenomenal." 


The guests indulged in an exclusive menu prepared by Stuart Ralston and his team:

Alp blossom cheese, onion, quince

Scallop, nori, yuzu kosho

Lobster, kohlrabi, sake

Laminated brioche, cultured butter, wild garlic capers

Classic Cuvee 2017, Roebuck Estates


Cured bream, radish, apple

Sábalo, Bodegas Barbadillo, Andalucia, Spain


Brill, fermented white asparagus, N25 caviar

Chardonnay 'La Poirière', Domaine Berthet-Bondet, Jura, France


Wagyu Beef, onion , black walnut + Bonemasters Stock

Fleur de Ka, Château Ka, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon


Yorkshire rhubarb, red pepper, goats milk


Xoco chocolate, barley koji, kumquat

Tokaj Late Harvest, Mád Wine, Tokaj, Hungary


Praline bon bon

Paloma pate de fruit

Pear and rum canelé

Financier, white chocolate, kombu

Nespresso Professional Exclusive selection Galapagos Blend

Stuart Ralston Lyla


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th April 2024

The Staff Canteen Live 2024: Networking lunch at Lyla