We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. If you continue and do not change any settings, it will be assumed that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. However, you may change your cookie settings at any time.

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.

Sam Austin

Head Chef

Originally from Stevenage Sam fell in love with cooking after watching the Great British menu where Tom Kerridge and the food blew his mind. Sam's first job at the Swan hotel in Lavenham under Michelin star trained Justin Kett was a gastronomic kick start for his career as a chef. Classically french trained Sam then moved to Nottingham to work under Alex Bond at Alchemila. Sam loves simple, packed full of flavour food. Inspirations from Marcus Wareing, Paul Foster and Paul Cooke. Having a young family of his own with a 6 month old daughter and girlfriend He has to start his day with a coffee! Death row meal: Chicken wings to start, followed by steak with onion rings and hollandaise and chips. Finished with a sticky toffee pudding. Sam is a massive Tottenham fan! His goal at the Crabtree is to create great food and keep customers happy using local produce to make simple yet refined dishes.

Helen Totton

General Manager

The GM

Helen first started out her hospitality career in Cape Town then moved to London at the age of 19. She gained experience from nights clubs in Camden to Gastro Pubs in Soho, moving onto discover her passion of fine dining running 1 & 2 rosette restaurants in West Sussex. She brings with her a wealth of experience & an eye for detail.