A former Jason Atherton protégé with more than 10 years experience spent in Michelin-starred venues has joined the brigade at The Stafford to head up the kitchen as executive chef.
James Durrant, winner of the 2014 Great British Menu main course, has been working in the industry for more than 20 years, most notably as executive chef of Jason Atherton’s Maze and Maze Grill.
Originally from Chester, Durrant spent his early career working around Cheshire before moving to London to join Gordon Ramsay Holidings as a junior sous chef at the group’s flagship three-Michelin-starred restaurant on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea.
After three years, Durrant moved back North to spend a short period at Paul Kitching’s Michelin-starred Juniper in Altricham, Cheshire. He then returned to London and GRH to work as senior sous chef at Claridge’s.
In 2005 Durrant became sous chef of Maze working alongside Jason Atherton, which was awarded a Michelin star within its first year of operation.
In 2008 he became executive chef and helped launch the first international branch of Maze in New York, as well as Maze Grill in London.
In 2012 Durrant opened The Plough Inn in Longparish Hampshire, which in its first year of operation, won The Good Food Guide ‘UK Pub of the Year’ along with a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Stuart Procter, general manager of The Stafford London, said: “I am delighted to welcome James to the team. His wealth of experience will help take The Stafford to the next level, and he will be an inspirational driving force behind the food and beverage operation as we embark on a new era for the hotel.”
The luxury boutique hotel, which is located in prestigious St James’s in London, has brought Durrant on board to oversee the re-launch of its restaurant and create a new-look menu to complement the British heritage of this iconic London property.
Durrant said: “I’m thrilled and excited to be joining The Stafford and being involved in the redevelopment of the restaurant. Over the coming months, I’ll be working closely with Stuart and the team putting together a new concept that will deliver classic British dishes with a modern twist.”