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Welcome to Skof

Tom is as ambitious as he is down-to-earth. After almost 20 years working as a chef at some of the world’s best restaurants, Tom finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition: opening his own restaurant, Skof.

At Skof, we celebrate skill, excellence, and simplicity — something we look for when eating out. We love to share the joy that comes from eating delicious, skilfully cooked food. We prioritise quality over seriousness, enjoyment over fanciness. 

We’re located in the iconic Hanover building (a former drapery warehouse built by the Co-operative Wholesale Society in 1904), situated bang in the middle of Manchester’s NOMA neighbourhood. 

At Skof, there are no conventions, no dress codes — just great food and great vibes, in a casual and beautifully designed space, much like the city we’ve chosen as our home.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

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Tom Barnes

Tom was born in Cumbria and is a proud Northerner. He’s fallen in love with Manchester, and with a little help from his Mancunian other half! He’s worked in many Michelin-starred kitchens throughout his career, but it all started for him as an apprentice at The Lakeside Hotel under Duncan Collinge, from there he headed towards the capital working at Vineyards, followed by some time at Phil Howard’s The Square.

From there, the obvious choice was to move down the road to work at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, where he quickly climbed the ranks from chef de partie to head chef in 2013, the year the restaurant won its second Michelin star. In 2014, at the age of 25, Tom was awarded the Roux Scholarship and did his prize stage with Hof Van Cleve in Kruishoutem, Belgium which still remains one of the highlights of his career, making memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

To gain more experience abroad, he left L’Enclume to work at three Michelin-starred Restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen, under chef Rasmus Kofoed, but in 2018, he returned to his home in The Lakes, to take up the role of head chef at Simon Rogan's neighbourhood restaurant Rogan & Co in Cartmel, which was awarded its first Michelin star less than six months later. Tom then became Simon’s executive chef in the North, helping him oversee his three Michelin-starred L'Enclume, one Michelin-starred Rogan & Co, Henrock and Home by Simon Rogan, a role that has now been taken over by his good friend Paul Burgalières.

Aside from restaurants, Tom also enjoyed a bit of banter on the telly on BBC2’s Great British Menu, where he won the main course at the final banquet. That Herdwick lamb dish was epic!

Although we’d classify Tom as homebody, he has travelled extensively, creating events and experiences at restaurants and events worldwide, including Hong Kong, Malta as well as a fixture at Royal Ascot. Aside from that, he loves running pop-ups at festivals such as The Big Feastival and Wilderness and collaborating with chef friends of his.


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Sean Oakford - Restaurant manager

Sean and Tom go way back. In 2015, Sean joined L’Enclume as head waiter when Tom was head chef. From there, they worked together at Rogan & Co, and a host of events like Royal Ascot. With a hankering to live abroad, Sean went on to open Simon’s first overseas restaurant, Roganic Hong Kong, where he quickly became a favourite of the guests with his warm and genuine service style and sense of humour. Outside the restaurant, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and his pets, Shredder and Guppy, the cats and Snickers, the dog.

Max Lawrence - Assistant Restaurant Manager

Another L'Enclume veteran (don't worry, there's still a tip-top team up in Cartmel!) Max, not to be mistaken with Harry Styles, brings charm, style, and a whole lot of passion to our team. On his days off, you will usually find Max in funky attire with a pint of Guinness or golf clubs in hand. The proud Yorkshireman, originally trained as a sommelier, brings kindness, warmth, and a damn great smile to the Skof team. Just don't ask him to see the Yorkshire rose tattoo on his leg - he doesn't need any more excuses to talk about Yorkshire.

Tate Johnston - Head Waiter

Growing up in The Lake District, where he trained at Kendal College, Tate has kept it local until now, working at Rogan & Co for the past five years. He lives and breathes hospitality and was keen to join Tom in Manchester to broaden his horizons and see something outside of the fells and lakes. We already know that his future is extremely bright, as he shines as a young talent. In his spare time, Tate enjoys paddle boarding on the lakes and drinking Chianti—sometimes at the same time!

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Conor Dalton - Head Chef/ Flavour Inspector

Our head chef, Conor, is truly one of a kind. He has been cooking since his teenage years, twelve of which he spent in Michelin-starred kitchens—and he isn’t that old yet! Tom first hired Conor back in 2020, where they initially collaborated at Henrock and subsequently at L’Enclume. He is not only a superb chef but also an excellent teacher, committed to achieving the highest standards, a quality Tom really values most (no pressure there 🙂).

Conor is a sports enthusiast and is pretty addicted to refreshing the BBC Sports homepage. Never too far from a kitchen, he’s known for a banging midnight snack— leftovers are never safe.

Megan Montibert - Sous Chef

Half French and half Irish, Megan's love for hospitality is deeply rooted in her heritage. She’s passionate about good local produce and sustainable farming. Megan always enjoyed working with Tom (yes, back at L’Enclume) and seized the opportunity to join him in launching Skof.

In her spare time, Megan is an avid reader and enjoys cooking for her friends and family. Perhaps it's the Irish in her, but Megan was introduced to alcohol at the tender age of three. Legend has it that she and her twin sister once woke up early after their parents had hosted a party and finished all the leftover drinks! Our bar team had better be on their toes…

Edwin Kuk - Senior Chef de Partie

Originally from Hong Kong, Edwin discovered his passion for cooking in his family's chippy. After college, he worked in several kitchens in Liverpool before joining the team at L’Enclume (another one!). He’s a natural talent, was awarded Young National Chef of the Year in 2021, and we really love his charming Scouse accent.

Beth Disley Jones - Pastry Chef de Partie

Meet the wonderful Beth, born in Wirral and another L'Enclume veteran. Starting out at The Art School Restaurant in Liverpool while completing a Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Apprenticeship, she then ventured to Cumbria to work with Simon and Tom. A globe-trotter at heart, Beth spent three months working in Aulis Phuket and has backpacked across Asia, eagerly awaiting Tom's announcement of his opening. During her travels, she explored local Asian cuisines and even earned her scuba diving qualification.

Shay Leahay - Chef de Partie

Shay has fond memories of cooking with his dad as a child, and always knew he wanted to cook for a living. His first job was working in his Nana’s chippy, where he watched and learned from her from a young age. A proud Blackpool boy, Shay loves nothing more than returning home on weekends to watch the Tangerines play at Bloomfield Road. We're so glad you left the chippy behind to be with us.

Ben Meir - Commis Chef

Our youngest team member, former Academy by Simon Rogan apprentice and fellow Lake District lad, Ben, is a lover of food and music. The multi-talented Ben and f won the achievement of both Musician and Chef of the Year in high school, having played the guitar for over eight years! Keep an ear out for his playlists - they’re top-notch.

Oliver Guttridge - Commis Chef

Oliver is passionate about all things food and cooking. He loves nothing more than trying new restaurants, watching UFC, playing drums, and watching Top Gear—which, in Oliver's opinion, is the best TV show ever made! Controversial, mate…