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Meet the people behind the crabtree

We have been very fortunate in having some great people to work with us at The Crabtree.
Our policy is to attract bright, motivated, professionals who have a passion and knowledge for food, drink and service.

Simon Hope


The head honcho

Originally from Kent, he studied Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University before moving to London to run the legendary Food for Thought restaurant in Covent Garden.
In 1981 he opened Food for friends restaurants in Brighton followed by Food For Friends Patisserie in 1986 and is the author of 3 cookery books. Since 2004 he has pursued a career in event catering with Food Solutions Partnership, consultancy and journalism.

Jon Gilham-Hills


The Architect

Quite simply Jon is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet!
He's also a perfectionist with an attention to detail that means we will have not only the best kept cellar in Sussex but also a fine selection of English, Organic, Vegetarian and Vegan wines.
Jon is a highly skilled carpenter and if you are joining us for dinner the chances are you'll be sitting at a table built by him!

Abilio Oliveira

General Manager

Our new General Manager Abilio Oliveira has over 20 years of experience within the hospitality industry and is an expert in modern British inspired cuisine. Having worked alongside top chefs such as Tristan Mason, (Restaurant Tristan, Horsham), Mark Raffan (The Crown Inn, Horsted Keynes) and Steve Drakes (The Anchor, Ripley), Abilio has honed his customer service skills (hospitality is his secret weapon) and takes pride in creating the perfect wining and dining experience at The Crabtree. He has worked with some of the best suppliers in the industry and is a huge advocate for supporting local businesses. We are thrilled to have Abilio on board as part of our team as he brings with him a wealth of experience from reputable restaurants and high end gastro-pubs and an enthusiasm for the business which is infectious!