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Cin Cin customers raise over £1600 for The Clock Tower Sanctuary

Cin Cin customers have shown their sweet side for the Brighton homelessness charity The Clock Tower Sanctuary.

Over £1600 has been raised since we offered to donate £1 every time a customer purchased an Affogato at our Vine Street restaurant. 

The charity provides support to homeless young people (aged 16-25) in Brighton & Hove. They offer outreach, crisis support, activities, life skills classes and one to one support.

Cin Cin founder David Toscano said: “I have always seen the role of our business to be beyond the four walls of our restaurant. We employ local people, pay The Living Wage, give work experience to college students interested in hospitality and have hosted charity dinners with other Brighton restaurants. 

“But I what I really want to do is help tackle homelessness in Brighton. It is such a visible issue in our city and when a number of people recommended The Clock Tower Sanctuary to me, it felt like the right partnership to help make a difference.”

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The charity receives £1 from Cin Cin, every time a customer orders the ice-cream coffee dessert. Clock Tower Sanctuary Fundraising Assistant, Alison Boyce said: “Gosh those £1 donations certainly add up  – that is one top dessert! 

“The £1,600 has made a huge difference and has gone towards the costs of keeping our centre and kitchen open six days a week. Volunteers are our lifeblood and the £1,600 enables us to train eight volunteers to provide one to one support to enable young people get their lives back on track. This includes DBS checks, induction, monthly training and supervision. Last year, our volunteers provided 8,500 hours of support and 14 volunteers moved into their first paid role in the homeless, mental health, addiction and counselling sector via their experience at the Clock Tower Sanctuary.

“Without contributions like this from Cin Cin, we would not have that growth in services and support.”


Following the huge success of the partnership, David Toscano is keen for Cin Cin to do even more for the charity, saying:  “This is just the start for us. The Clock Tower runs cooking classes for young homeless people to learn how to cook, a skill I was lucky enough to grow up with. We want our young chefs to help run these classes. 

“The charity also needs more kitchen equipment – cooking utensils, stainless steel benches, a pasta machine, roasting pans and much more. We can help with some of these but I’m reaching out to other Brighton restaurants to see if they can donate spare kit too. Any support, however big or small, can make a real difference.”

If you want to offer support to The Clock Tower Sanctuary get in touch by calling 01273 722 353 or emailing

To book your place at Cin Cin Vine Street and try one of our Affogatos visit

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Cin Cin Wines – Curating an all Italian Wine List

Cin Cin Western Road General Manager, James Thomson, was recently tasked with revamping our Italian wine list. In this blog, he explains how he spent the past few months creating a diverse list with something for everyone’s tastes and preferences.

Over the last few months I have travelled the length and breadth of Italy – tasting, comparing & studying the grapes, geography and production methods of Italian wines. At least it feels that way. Most of this has however been conducted in the slightly less-glamorous but decidedly more cost-effective comfort of the Cin Cin Western Road dining room.

I joined Cin Cin in January this year after 5 years at Gingerman Restaurants, where I was responsible for (among other things) the group’s wine list. Revamping the wine list was my first assigned project upon joining Cin Cin, and one I was very excited about. My work on this began as soon as I knew I was coming to work for Cin Cin through the form of self-education – my home drinking became a very regional affair, working my way from north to south and grape to grape. I knew the classics, I knew I leaned towards wines from the North; Nebbiolo & Pinot Bianco have long been go-to grapes for me. I knew that I enjoyed some of the indigenous varieties from Sicily, but there was this huge bit of land in between that I had never really explored.

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The task was a daunting one as for the first time I had the limitations of borders. The most difficult decisions previously would have been having to omit an incredible wine from a list because there were already 4 or 5 from a similar style or country already on there. Now though, the hardest challenge would be trying to provide enough range of flavour at different price ranges.

The goal from the start was to ensure that a guest should be able to find exactly the style they like to drink from within our list, despite it being all Italian. To achieve that, I was going to need some help.

Before I met with any potential supplier, I needed to decide on how I wanted to present the list. Wine lists can be a minefield at the best of times, but none more so than single origin lists. So many words and places no-one has ever really heard of. It would often go like “is that the grape or the town?” – “Oh, neither, that’s the producer.”

I decided to list by geography, splitting the country into four sections: north, central, south and island. The styles of wines could be best grouped this way for the customer. Someone comes in and wants a big, fruity red, we can point to the Southern reds and say anything from here. For tight, fresh whites, stay in the north. What this also does is showcase something else you might like from a similar part of the region. For example, we list a Gavi that isn’t available by the glass, but the most similar alternative is probably in the same region.

Then it was time for trade tastings. One of the first potential suppliers to drop his head in was Joe Wadhams of Hallgarten Novum wines. He got VERY excited about this project and its regional direction and immediately showed interest in supplying us. An invite to a trade tasting and some detailed notes paired with a potential listing and the wheels were turning. Trade tastings are hard work. I’m serious. A huge room full of wine may sound incredible but believe me it’s hard work to get what you want out of it. Each producer wants you to try their full range and your palate can only take so much. These tend to kick off early, so after a few rounds you’re already a bit wobbly and the notes you made at the start become less articulate. You’re unlikely to remember a lot. But Joe was there to hold our hands and give it some focus. The outcome was a concise list of wines that really impressed, at various price points and the spine of our list was born.

For some Sicilian gold I had Toby at Enotria to thank for a full and thorough tasting of the Planeta range. Some interesting indigenous grapes with truly unique geography.

From there it was about adding flourishes and points of interest. Some old and rare wines came with the help of Rob ‘The Boozer’ Maynard at Butlers Wine Cellar (who works Wednesday evenings here as a rule should anyone wish to come down and pick his brains). This is the top shelf stuff – Barbarescos & Super-Tuscans.

James with wine

Then came the natural wines. Undefined but much talked about of late, (future blog about these to follow) orange/low sulphur/minimal intervention/skin contact was the area I knew least about but was interested to explore. In stepped Line from Caves de Pyrene to enlighten me and identify the gaps we had on the list and what I expected to be a real struggle of a tasting session turned out to be one of my most eye-opening to date. Some are more out there as expected, skin contact whites and heavily oxidised reds which can be more of a learn to love experience while others would slip straight into a more ‘traditional’ list without any introduction required.

So, this process began in January and by early-May I would say it reached the stage where I was happy to call it complete. For now. And that’s the best part of it really – it’s never complete. There is always the next tasting – and the difficult decision of having to remove something from a list that you like to fit one in you like even more.

But back to that goal – achieving an all-Italian wine list (sparkling, still & sweet) which covers a full flavour profile and tapped into all the wine-producing parts of the country.

We have a regularly changing by the glass and carafe list. We treat wines as seasonally as chef treats his dishes and will always look to have the perfect match for your dish available by the glass.

What we would love to see more of is customers asking us more about wine, not to be intimidated by it. Don’t just go for the one you’ve heard of, I bet we can find you something better and give you a new favourite.


Cin Cin makes Street Diner return

Last Friday Cin Cin returned to Street Diner for a special guest spot. In a throwback to our street food days, founder David Toscano and head chef Jamie Halsall served up handmade pasta dishes in the sun.

David said: “It was great to get back to our street food roots at Street Diner last week and hard to believe that the Cin Cin journey started right there 5 years ago with our first gig! I remember being terrified that first day and hiding in the toilet for about 20 minutes as I was too nervous about anyone liking our food. Shows just how far we’ve come!”

The dishes on offer were:

  • Pappardelle with short rib ragu and crack crumb
  • Spaghetti cacio e pepe
  • Farfalle with nduja, peas and mascarpone


Jamie said: “Getting out of the restaurant on a sunny Friday in May at Street Diner was awesome. The main reason for doing this is to give our chef team options for development so we will be doing more guest spots this summer to give our guys an opportunity to bring our pasta to the lunch time crowds.”

Cin Cin will be returning to Street Diner for one date a month in June, July and August. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on when our next guest spot will be.


Pasta Masterclasses at Vine Street and the Community Kitchen

Last week our Head Chef Jamie Halsall imparted his pasta-making wisdom on two groups who attended our pasta masterclasses.

We welcomed 34 eager learners to our Vine Street restaurant as they were shown how to create handmade pasta dishes.


Attendees received an aperitif and antipasti on arrival before Jamie taught them how to make Farfalle and Sopresini pasta shapes.

They then put this into practice to make their own dish, which they were then able to enjoy with a glass of Italian wine.


Pasta Masterclass at the Community Kitchen

The following week Jamie generously donated his time to the opening event of the Community Kitchen on Queens Road. He showed invited bloggers and press how to make Cavatelli and Tagliatelle pasta shapes.

Our founder David Toscano said: “Having a well stocked community kitchen for cooking classes is a great asset to have in the city and we wish them all the best.”

We hope to announce more pasta masterclasses soon, so if you want to learn how to make pasta like a pro then keep your eyes peeled.


Stress and Mental Health in Hospitality

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and one industry that struggles to deal with mental health issues is ours – the restaurant industry. Cin Cin founder David Toscano believes it’s time for everyone in this business to open up, so he’s written the following piece about his own experiences and how Cin Cin is trying to tackle this issue.

Restaurants are fun and exciting places to visit. It’s what customers expect. A jolly little place where you can put down your worries of the week and be looked after by someone else. Even the term itself – restaurant – refers to the restorative powers of great food and attentive service.

But restaurants are also stressful places to work. In the short time I have been in this business, I have seen some pretty obvious red flags of people struggling to deal with the pressure of working in hospitality. Those struggles have ranged right across the spectrum of stress from fatigue and exhaustion, to heated and sometimes explosive arguments, to walk outs from those who refuse to try to cope any longer and regular drinking from those who decide that is the only way they can get through.

There are many reasons why restaurants are stressful. No matter how calm we may look during your meal, this is a difficult industry to work in both physically and mentally, and a tough business to make money from. Don’t get me wrong, we love this industry and it is a privilege to be working on something everyday that people take joy from. But there are a few obvious issues that, to me, are feeding into people’s stress and anxiety, and the hospitality industry has been slow to talk about.

So I am hoping through this short piece I can start a conversation with the fantastic restaurateurs, chefs, waiters and kitchen porters of Brighton to shine a light on this issue during Mental Health Awareness Week and help anyone I can.


Firstly, we have tried to tackle long hours and exhaustion at Cin Cin.  We open five days a week, giving everyone a full two-day weekend over Sunday/Monday. We also rota staff on for no more than 8 services a week. This helps keep maximum hours to 45 per week and we can track that through an app that records hours in real time so we can see when they might be fatigued and can challenge that.

Overworking and exhaustion has a real impact on work-life balance. It often means partners of those in the industry bear the brunt of the long hours we all put in. It can lead to accidents in the workplace, which are a real risk to both staff and customers, and extended periods of stress and pressure can lead to anxiety and depression. The best way for us to combat this is by keeping a close eye on hours worked and to take a personal approach to management so that those who need an arm around the shoulder rather than a verbal kick up the bum, get that. TV has glamourised the shouting head chef that gets food out by pressuring his team and while those chefs still exist, they are definitely in decline, and rightly so.

We are also trying to make hospitality more of a career than a job. All restaurants are struggling with recruitment and retention of staff. We believe a big driver of that is the way people perceive the industry as being strictly hierarchical and getting results through fear rather than encouragement and development. It’s also clear that there are a lot of thwarted ambitions lying on the floors of restaurants where people are held back until they ‘earn their stripes’. To combat this, we are trying to set personal milestones for each of our staff so that they have input into the direction of their career and hopefully through that collaborative approach, they feel more included in our decisions and therefore stay in this industry longer.

Finally, we try to make it clear that our staff and how we each treat each other is the highest priority in the business. Before customers, before suppliers, before profit, before everything. It sounds silly but hospitality itself can be addictive and it is very easy in this job to give everything you have to make customers happy while not looking after yourself or looking out for your colleagues. That only leads back to stress, anxiety, exhaustion and depression. And we cannot have empathy for or be hospitable to our customers if we do not first care for the team of people who make it all happen day in day out. That goes from the managers and head chef to the kitchen brigade and waiters to the kitchen porters and those ever-valuable irregular staff who fill in a shift when you get caught short.

Restaurants are both enjoyable and stressful places to work. Sometimes those stresses get missed and they manifest in behaviour that can be a risk to a staff member and those around them. I don’t have all the answers but I am hoping that this little piece during Mental Health Awareness Week starts a conversation and brings us all closer to a calmer and happier hospitality industry.

Join the conversation on our Twitter or Facebook, if you work in a restaurant, let us know about your experiences and how you think our industry can tackle the issues of mental health.

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Q & A with Cin Cin Vine Street Assistant Manager Lisa

Lisa De Blauw will be a familiar face to any of our Vine Street regulars. She joined the Cin Cin family in July 2017 as front of house and is now Assistant Manager at our Brighton restaurant. In our latest ‘Staff Stories’ feature, we get to know our smiley, Dutch AM a little better.


Tell us a little bit about your background before you joined Cin Cin?

I’m originally from the Netherlands and moved to Brighton about a year ago. Before coming to England, I spent just over 8 months living in Spain after having lived for 4 years in Munich. I spent the bulk of my time in Germany working in sales, but after taking on an extra job as a waitress for a lovely Latin-American cocktail bar I realised how exciting working in the service industry can be. Two years later and I’ve finally found a restaurant that recaptures the buzz of working on a busy Saturday night in the bar.


What initially attracted you to Cin Cin?

The food first and foremost. I love Italian food, and after scrolling through bowl after bowl of stunning pasta on Cin Cin’s Instagram feed I jumped at the opportunity when I found out they were hiring. I think there’s something incredibly comforting about a bowl of pasta, especially when it’s made with beautiful, fresh produce. What really sold me however was the location itself. The minute I walked into CinCin Vine Street, I fell in love with it. That David has managed to squeeze a 20-seat restaurant into such a tiny space still baffles me, but it’s this intimacy that makes for such a wonderful atmosphere.

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How have you enjoyed your time at Cin Cin so far?

Yes, very much! I love that Cin Cin is all about counter dining; as a waitress it allows you to be so much more personal and really engage with your customers. What’s more, having someone as talented as Jaime or Donal in the kitchen makes my job a million times easier. I feel very lucky to be a part of what’s happening here. In the last 10 months I’ve worked with some wonderful people and some very gifted chefs. Both David and Fab have invested so much time in me and have taught me so much already. I’m just trying to soak up as much of their experience and knowledge as I can.


Obviously just like all of us here at Cin Cin you love Italian food, but what other cuisines do you enjoy?

I think the food culture in Spain is amazing, especially in the South where you can still get a free tapa with every drink you order. As much as I enjoy sitting down for a big meal, I love the idea of hopping from bar to bar and eating a plate or two in each place. I’m also very fond of Indonesian food; one of my favourite dishes is my dad’s nasi goreng with pork satay. But having spent so long living outside of the Netherlands, there is nothing I miss more than deep-fried Dutch snacks like kroketten en frikandellen!

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What do you look for when visiting other restaurants as a customer?

Nothing is more important to me than good atmosphere. The setting, the music, the lighting – you can serve amazing food, but if the ambiance isn’t right then you’ll never truly do yourself justice. Oh, and a good wine list is essential! Bincho Yakitori in Brighton and José in Bermondsey are my current favourite restaurants; both are intimate, full of character and serve delicious, simple food with no faff.


What does the future hold for both yourself and Cin Cin?

I hope I’ll be with Cin Cin for a good while longer! It’s so exciting that David has just opened the second site, and it’s keeping all of us at Vine Street on our toes too. I can’t wait to see where Cin Cin is heading in the future.


Sign up for a Cin Cin Pasta Masterclass

Ever wanted to learn how to cook handmade pasta just like a pro? Now you can by signing up to our Pasta Masterclass on Thursday 17th May at Cin Cin Brighton.

For £35 you will receive an aperitif and antipasti on arrival before being guided by our Head Chef Jamie Halsall in creating (and eating!) your very own delicious pasta dish.

We will talk you through how the best dough is made before giving you a demonstration on how to make two pasta shapes, one long and one short. You’ll then get to roll your own handmade pasta to create a dish which you can then enjoy with a glass of Italian wine.

We are running 2 classes on the night, starting at 6pm or 8pm. Each class lasts 90 minutes so we can give you the time and attention needed to help you perfect your pasta.

To sign up, please call our Vine Street restaurant on 01273 698 813 or email

Places are limited so get in touch fast!


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Cin Cin & Bison Beer collaboration menu

Join us at Cin Cin Hove on Western Road on Tuesday 8th May for a very special collaboration menu with Bison Beer.

We’ve teamed up with the Hove based independent crafthouse to bring you an exclusive 5 course menu which will be accompanied by specially selected beer pairings.

Courses include Brighton Bier cured mackerel, spaghetti carbonara and Sussex beef tagliata. Take a look at this one-off menu in full here.

Spaces are limited so book your place for £45 by calling 01273 726 047.


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Meet Cin Cin Vine Street’s new Lead Chef

It’s been an exciting few months at Cin Cin! After a hugely successful first year we have expanded by opening a second, larger restaurant in Western Road, Hove. With our Head Chef Jamie Halsall overseeing both sites, we are delighted to announce that Cin Cin Vine Street now has a new and fantastically talented chef heading up the menu in the North Laine – introducing Donal Hughes.


So Donal, as a new member of the Cin Cin team, tell us a bit about your life as a chef so far. How did you get into cooking?

I have been cooking for just over 10 years now. Food wasn’t really a big part of my life growing up as I didn’t exactly come from a family of great cooks. The ritual of sitting down together was not as strong in our household as most. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I was a very picky eater until my early teens. It was only having to eat what was on offer in school that forced me to try new things. So, maybe it’s that I’ve only enjoyed the delights of food and cooking in the last 15 years that makes it still so exciting for me! I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself and being creative. As a kid, it was drawing and guitar, whereas in my teens and now, my outlet is food and cooking.

I had a slow start to my career. I never really committed to being a chef until I moved to Brighton 2 years ago. It was more a fanciful dream of having my own restaurant, but I wasn’t aware of the best steps to take, and the work you need to put in. I just knew I really loved the buzz of the kitchen! I had worked in a couple of hotels, cafes and restaurants through my teens and early twenties, but It was more of a ‘summer job’ then. It was only after I lived in San Francisco for a year that I realised I was way behind other chefs with similar ambitions who were the same age. When moving to Brighton, I said I was going to work in the best restaurant there, and that’s exactly what I did. I pestered the guys at 64° for a job and after 3 attempts, I finally got in. I’m so lucky I got a chance to work there because I learned so much over only a year and a half and could actually see the improvement in myself. In the future, I believe I’ll tell people that it was there that a truly started my training as a chef.


And what attracted you to Cin Cin as the next step in your chef journey?

I ate at Cin Cin after a couple of months of working on recommendation for some of the chefs at work. It was a truly delightful experience. Genuine service, charming personality and purely delicious food. I never even rated pasta in my top 10 favourite foods, yet Cin Cin was still probably my favourite place to eat in town. Jamie just understands what people, especially chefs, want to eat. Amazing food showcasing beautiful ingredients with no faff. His food is still insanely precise through coming from such a fine pedigree such as Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. What he was able to do out of such a small kitchen inspired me. He’s so young as well! Seeing what he could do really pushed me to work harder and learn as much as I could.

David, Fab and Lisa are also so genuine and kind. The would always remember my name and what we had talked about on our previous encounters. Which, in my opinion, is pure class. David was also more than willing to help me out when I was doing my first pop-up – he lent me equipment, drove me around the city, and all in his free time. When I was making the move from 64°, Cin Cin were planning on opening up their second site. It was one of those rare occasions when the stars align in your favour. One of my favourite restaurants, some of the best people in Brighton, a chance to be part of the opening of a new restaurant, and a chance to learn new skills. Perfect!

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What advice would you give a young aspiring chef?

If there is any bit of advice I can give, it’s to go work in the places that you love to eat. Don’t chase accolades or techniques. Learn to cook the food you want to eat. It will be far easier to motivate yourself and everything you learn is so exciting and gratifying. When you feel like it’s no longer exciting or that you’re not learning as much as before, go out and eat! Once you find that inspirational meal, do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door. It will be worth it!

It was only after about a month with the company that the opportunity came to cover a couple shifts at Vine Street. I fell in love with it, and instantly started pestering David and Jamie to let me go there full-time (they probably let me come to Vine Street just so I would leave them alone). There’s a certain magic about it. It’s so tiny, the equipment is odd bits and pieces that all have their own character, and everything is on you because there’s nowhere to hide! It’s also such a pleasure getting to see people having a great time and sharing in that moment rather than slogging away as part of a brigade in a closed kitchen. I love working in open kitchens, it makes it so much more worth all the effort we put in.


What are you hoping to bring to the Cin Cin dining experience at Vine Street?

I just want to try to maintain the standard that Jamie has set over his year here. Of course, I will bring my own “flavour”, but that’s purely because we have very different backgrounds. I’m so lucky that I’ve been given an opportunity to work at Vine Street, and my main goal is to keep delivering that inimitable Cin Cin experience. I want to keep the focus on seasonality and showcase some great Italian products and dishes, while also adapting them to the beautiful East Sussex surroundings. In my opinion, you cannot do authentic regional cuisine outside of that region, it just doesn’t make sense. To me Cin Cin’s authenticity comes from using local produce in season, elevating humble ingredients, and using the medium of handmade pasta and Italian traditions to showcase the best of what we have on offer here in Brighton.

Personally, I feel my role in that is much smaller that some may think. So much thought and work goes into a restaurant and I feel chefs get too much praise. Yes, primarily, we go out to restaurants to eat, but I feel service is far more important. It’s what makes you feel special. David, Fabrizio and Lisa give such a genuine service, you can tell they all love what they do and just want to do their best for the customers.

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Do you have a favourite chef? Someone who has inspired you to push your food to the next level?

Honestly, the chefs who have inspired me the most are the ones I’ve had the pleasure to work with. There are a couple of chefs whose work I really admire; Sat Bains, Bo Beach, René Redzepi, Matt Orlando and JP McMahon, just to name a few. Although, a chef is far more than the sum of their dishes – they are people who are trying to express themselves through food. How could I not be most inspired by those who I’ve encountered over the years? The ones I have gotten to know as people, not just those whose food I dream of eating after a late-night scroll down Instagram.

Honestly the chefs who have inspired me most and to whom I owe the most gratitude are the Brighton ‘Greats’. I have such fond memories and owe so much to each and every chef I had the pleasure of working with at 64°. Michael Bremner gave me a chance after an awful trial shift (I thought I was going to get the classic, “We’ll call you”.) Every chef there from top to bottom just wanted to learn and teach. It was a truly special place where I feel like I grew a lot as a person, not just a cook.

Duncan Ray and Jamie Halsall both amazed me as to what one person can do by themselves in a kitchen. Honestly, it still wows me. Duncan cooks the most beautiful food in town out of one of the least equipped kitchens in town and had three rosettes! It’s insane! Jamie as well, he helped create what is one of Brighton chefs’ favourite places to eat. Again, out of such a tiny space and all by himself. More importantly, they are both genuine, lovely guys who both have given me so much of their time and encouragement. True gentlemen.

I also really like what the guys at Silo do. They are trying to start a dialogue around one of the biggest issues in the world, food waste. It’s a risk, and they constrain themselves so much, but it’s for a great cause. The world produces enough food to feed the entire planet four times over. So issues of starvation, malnutrition and agriculture are not technological, but rather failures of distribution and education. I have so much respect for what they do, and they have a new head chef, Dan Gibeon, who I feel has really elevated the food there since he has started.


We hear a lot about Brexit and the challenges for the hospitality trade. What do you think are the big challenges facing chefs in the coming 2-3 years?

Honestly, I think the issues for chefs are diminishing every day now, it’s the business owners who are feeling the struggle. There’s a shortage of chefs in the industry, you can see that even in Brighton. Skilled labour is leaving the marketplace and no young teens what to become chefs. Can you blame them?

Why would you want to work 60-70 hours a week, for a relatively small salary compared to amount of training required, with a such a high risk that if you were to someday open your own business it would have a 90% chance of failure? I feel there is a big paradigm shift on the horizon. Something has got to give. Businesses need to structure themselves with more organisational sustainability in mind. This means better wages for hours worked and better work life balance for all involved.

You can see this happening in the top echelon of restaurants, Sat Bains, Faviken and Maemo are a few restaurants that only require 40-50 hours of their staff, and try to pay the best wages and offer tangible progression to all junior staff. These are two and three Michelin star restaurants though. They can charge an extra 30% to their customers. The average restaurant can’t because they will just be undercut by their competitors. The only solution is to reassess the labour law exemptions in the hospitality industry. It will create huge disruption, most restaurants will suffer, but the early adopters, like the restaurants I mentioned, will already be set-up to deal with the change. It will mean higher prices, but we need to realise the value of food. It costs a lot to produce, especially a restaurant experience. We place so much value on our image, technology, goods and services, yet food is the one of the only things we actually need to live. It’s such an important part of life yet we want it cheaper, faster and bigger.

I hope someday to see western societies taking more responsibility in recognising the true value of food and our food systems, educating children on food and the natural world from a young age, and making a greater effort to create a more efficient food system. It may be too much to ask but, “A man’s reach should always exceed his grasp.”


To sample some of Donal’s delights, book your place at Cin Cin Vine Street today by calling 01273 698 813 or emailing


More success for Cin Cin at Brighton’s Best Restaurant Awards

Last week we headed to The Komedia for the 3rd annual Brighton’s Best Restaurants Awards and once again Cin Cin enjoyed a hugely successful evening!

Last year we finished 6th overall, picking up the Highest New Entry, whilst our founder David Toscano won the Best Welcome award.

After getting our heads down and working our socks off to get our new Hove restaurant open during the past year we did not expect a repeat of last year’s success, but we would be pleasantly surprised!

Not only did David retain his Best Welcome award, we jumped up two places to finish 4th overall!

The awards, organised by food experts Euan MacDonald, Patrick McGuigan, Suzanne Lindfors and Andy Lynes, are voted for by over 200 local experts including food writers, chefs, restaurateurs, business leaders, critics and gourmands, all of whom boast an intimate knowledge of the Brighton and Hove food scene.

Our founder David said: “We are over the moon and extremely proud of our Brighton’s Best Restaurant awards! While the Best Welcome award was given to me personally, it’s something we all work on at both Cin Cin restaurants so I feel it’s shared across the team. We love hosting people for a meal so it’s fantastic to see that recognised.”


On jumping up two places to 4th he said: “It’s an amazing surprise given the number of great restaurants that have opened in Brighton & Hove in the last 12 months but again, it’s testament to the hard work that everyone in the team puts in to give our customers the best experience we can every time they come in.”

On a night when the crème de la crème of the Brighton restaurant industry came together to not only support one another and cheer on each other’s successes but also to enjoy a well-earned night off and share a drink or two (or ten!) while catching up with our peers.

Our head chef Jamie Halsall said: “Absolutely chuffed to have finished in 4th place in the Brighton BEST Top 20! And what a party! I may have over celebrated a little but we really did not expect such a great result given the quality of restaurants now available and always growing in Brighton.

“But this stuff really gives me and the team the nudge to keep going and keep pushing. We’ll keep at it. We are building something special here in Brighton and we can’t wait to show our customers how far we can go!”


As well as naming the Best 20 Restaurants, the evening also included a series of awards for Best Chef, Best Barkeep, Best Sunday Lunch, Best Wine List, as well as the Highest New Entry award we took home last year.

David summed up the night, saying: “A massive thank you goes out to Euan, Suz, Andy and Pat for putting on such an enjoyable and successful evening. It was a real pleasure to see everyone from the industry in the one place, relaxed and away from the hard work we all put in to run our restaurants. We’ll treasure these awards this year and work even harder to keep our place there in 2019… or maybe break into the top 3?!”

To book a place at our Vine Street restaurant in Brighton, call 01273 698 813, or to reserve a seat at our Western Road restaurant in Hove, call 01273 726 047.