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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!

Dean Brackenridge

General Manager

The General Manager

Dean Brackenridge is our very own Michelin Plated chef who has made the tricky transition to General Manager at the Crabtree Inn Dean is from Brighton and decided at an early age that he wanted a future in food. At just 14 he did work experience at the Food for friend’s restaurant under Head Chef Karen Samuel and never looked back. He left school as quickly as possible and went on to become the youngest ever Sous Chef at that renowned award winning eatery. Dean joined the Crabtree team in 2018 as Sous Chef – and quickly rose to become Head Chef that same year! Dean has amazing taste buds and an eye for food that most chefs would crave. He is also passionate about the provenance of Sussex and is dedicated to our mantra of ‘fresh, local and seasonal’ Trouble is Dean is quite simply one of the nicest, most reliable people you will ever meet and his continual desire for perfection has let him successfully trade the heat of the kitchen for the calm excellence of the Crabtree restaurant and bar. With his knowledge of food, love of wine, dedication to service and team ethos, Dean wants only one thing at work and that is happy clients.