meet the team




Tim began his career in the kitchen at St. John with renowned chef Fergus Henderson. He opened A Cena in Twickenham in 2001 with his wife Camilla, who ran the Blue Print Café, La Reserve and Café Emporio Armani. In 2009, they opened A Cena food stores, which comprises three shops: A Cena on the hill Deli, Richmond Hill Butchers and Richmond Hill Bakery.



Having graduated from Westminster Catering College in the early nineties, one of Lawrence’s first jobs was at Café Rouge, where he helped Karen Jones and Roger Myers open five of their first seven units. After working as maitre d’ at The Ivy under famed restaurateurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, he opened Brula in St. Margarets, Twickenham in 1998 to wide critical acclaim.




Armed with a degree in Hospitality Management from London Metropolitan University Deborah has held most of the jobs a restaurant requires: from kitchen porter to gastropub landlady.

Along the way, she helped open early branches of Livebait and The Real Greek. All this simply served as preparation for the labour of love that is Joe Allen, where she is Restaurant Manager.

A people pleaser at heart Deborah finds the ultimate job satisfaction is a busy, buzzy shift featuring happy customers and contented staff.



Stewart originally trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art. He eventually fell into the hospitality industry with which he found a natural affinity.

After stints in various restaurants around the Notting Hill area, he transferred to the West End at The Atlantic Bar and Grill.

Finally, he found his natural home at Joe Allen  where he has been a waiter, a bartender, then onto Head Waiter before taking on his current role as Restaurant Manager.

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Gary Lee career started in a steak house in Chingford before getting his first job as a Commis chef in a carvery. He left to go to Waltham Forest college to study catering, and on from there went to work at The Dorchester Hotel for work experience.

After clocking up experience at one Michelin starred Knights Farm in Reading, Lolas restaurant in Islington, Le Caprice, and many others, he became Head Chef at Pan Asian restaurant Bambou.

After 5 years he moved to The Ivy as Head Chef and was later promoted to Executive Chef overseeing the private rooms and Club at The Ivy.  His tenure there ranged from the opening of The Ivy in Dubai, cooking for her Majesty the Queen as well co writing/author the ‘Ivy Now’ Cookbook in London 

In 2021 Gary joined the team at Joe Allens to help drive forward a dream of what we all want… great ambience, cool drinks, live music, fantastic, no frills, honest well cooked food and a place that is home from home …


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Russell first started working at Joe Allen in 1989, progressing from waiter to bartender to maître d’ and then manager across a ten year period. 

In September 2009, after four years as Operations Director of Caprice Holdings, looking after The Ivy, Scott’s and J Sheekey, Russell founded his own restaurant, Polpo, on Beak Street. 16 further openings followed. 

In 2012, Russell released his first cookbook, Polpo - A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts) which was  awarded Waterstones’ Book of the Year. His 2016 book Spuntino - Comfort Food (New York Style) was awarded the prestigious Guild of Food Writers’ Award for best food and travel book. His most recent book, Venice – Four Seasons of Home Cooking, was published in 2018.  

In September 2021, Russell will open Trattoria Brutto, an all-day restaurant and bar  paying tribute to the dining rooms of urban Tuscany. (Brutto, 36-37 Greenhill Rents, London EC1M 6BN)