TOM CENCI
EXECUTIVE CHEF

“It’s not the critic who counts, it’s the man in the arena.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Tom Cenci graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts at Bournemouth and Poole college whilst working at 5 star, and 1 Michelin, Cliveden Hotel in Taplow, Bucks. Shortly thereafter, he moved to 1 Michelin starred 1 Lombard Street Restaurant, where he worked for a few years before embarking on a stage in Paris at 2 Michelin star Restaurant Laurent. After 6 months at Laurent, he returned to the UK to work in Noble Rot in Mayfair, a trendy private member's club serving modern cuisine. Ready for his next challenge, he ran a small Gastro Pub in West London for 1 year, winning multiple awards for his memorable cuisine. In 2012, he joined the Duck & Waffle team as Senior Sous Chef, where he has since been promoted to Executive Chef.

RICH WOODS
HEAD OF SPIRIT & COCKTAIL DEVELOPMENT

“The foundations of any cocktail are to make something taste delicious. Once you have established the building blocks of flavour you can flirt with boundaries. I like to showcase how diverse and unusual flavours usually found in a kitchen can equally be delivered behind the bar. It is my experiential approach that enhances a multisensory experience allowing cocktails to live outside the glass.”

Under the creative leadership of award-winning Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development Rich Woods, Duck & Waffle's ever-changing cocktail lists feature a diverse selection of spirits and an avant-garde approach to mixology. Since joining Orange Brands Management (OBM) in 2012, Rich has spearheaded and overseen the direction of beverage program at Duck & Waffle as well as at SUSHISAMBA locations across the globe in New York, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Las Vegas and London.

Impressing critics, connoisseurs and media alike, in 2014 he earned first place in the UK and Ireland Bombay Sapphire’s “World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition” followed by second place in the world finals and he contributed to the Duck & Waffle’s cookbook: Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, sharing a selection of his iconoclastic recipes with the world. In 2015, he received the honor of being the first bartender to participate in the prestigious “Who’s Cooking Dinner?”, under his direction, Duck & Waffle was short-listed as a top 10 finalist in the “Best International Restaurant Bar” category for the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, and he was named one of Evening Standard’s “1,000 Most Influential People.” Rich has made numerous radio and TV appearances on such esteemed shows as the UK’s Channel 4 Sunday Brunch.

At OBM, Rich has the ability to work with a myriad of spirits, satisfying his passion for inventiveness and exploration. His creativity shines in D&W Serves such as the Roasted Cosmo 2.0 and the Chocolate & Blue Cheese Martini. In the spring of 2015, Richard introduced Culinary Cocktails to SUSHISAMBA London’s menu, collaborating with Executive Chef Claudio Cardoso to present libations that pair perfectly with the cuisine, including the Kobe Cocktail and the Coconut Seviche Cocktail.

Rich is a pioneer in the industry. He has raised the ‘bar’ for his contemporaries by distilling his own flavours and aromas, experimenting with intricate methodologies and incorporating diverse and unusual ingredients to transform the cocktailing experience.

 

KELLY NADJARIAN

HEAD PASTRY CHEF 

“I was first attracted to Duck & Waffle as a guest two years before I started working here. The atmosphere and nature of the staff was so welcoming. They really take the time to serve. I’ve learned that the same attention and care exists in the kitchen. It’s amazing.”

 

From attending Lycée des Métiers de l’Hôtellerie Jean Drouant at age 16, to an apprenticeship alongside Chef Jean George Vongerichten in Paris, to earning two silver medals in the Best Apprentice of France competition, Kelly Nadjarian’s passion for pastry sparked early-and has never dimmed..

After earning a diploma in both pastry and classic cooking from the luxury Majestic Hôtel-Spa in Paris under mentor Chef Paul L’Hommet, she was asked to design the entire pastry menu. Soon after, she worked at Le Royal Monceau alongside Chef Pierre Herme, one of the world’s most respected pastry chefs, where she developed a passion for macarons that continues to this day. “Pierre Herme is my idol,” says Kelly, “He will remain the master of pastry and the creator of the diversity of the macaron we can find today.”

 At 21, Kelly left Paris for London to both further her career and learn English. She landed at the Mandarin Oriental, developing the dessert menu for Bar Boulud. She moved on to create a culinary program centred on macarons for Selfridges’ Belle Époque patisserie. Other stints in London include creating the first cocktail bar and dessert menu at The Basement State as Head Pastry Chef, where she also developed lively pastry classes that served both professionals and the public alike. Most recently, she worked with Chef Jason Atherton at the London Edition & Berners Tavern Restaurant where she developed the pastry menu for Scandal Water’s afternoon tea.

 Kelly joined Duck & Waffle in July of 2017. She has put her expertise towards the restaurant’s homemade biscuit selection-her Peanut Butter Finger is a favourite-as well as its ice cream and sorbet offerings. Her creativity shines in her Chocolate Fondant--peanut butter panache, vanilla ice cream, praline crunch and her Warm Banoffee ‘Pie’--salted caramel, banana, rum & hazelnut. Other contributions include Rhubarb & Custard Pavlova-pink peppercorn and rhubarb sorbet, and her White Chocolate and Popcorn Birthday Cake with salted caramel.

“I am inspired by everything,” Kelly says, “from reading Vogue or going to the street market to see the fruits and the vegetables. I love museums like the National Gallery or Tate. I bring back all the color and art that inspires me, and mix them into my desserts at Duck & Waffle.”

See Kelly create her Warm Banoffee ‘Pie’, and read a Q & A with the pastry chef here.