James ‘Jocky’ Petrie, the former head of creative development at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, has joined Brett Graham’s the Ledbury in the newly created head of development role.
Petrie’s post at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill is to last a year, during which time he will work on all areas of development at the restaurant, with an initial focus on development of a new dessert menu.
Petrie worked for Blumenthal for 11 years, rising to head of pastry within six months, and then working his way up to head of creative development in the Fat Duck’s experimental kitchen and three-Michelin-starred restaurant, until his resignation in June 2013.
Graham said: “We are delighted to have Jocky on board at the Ledbury. We have known each other for many years and have always shared ideas, but we never found the right time or circumstance to work together properly. I initially approached Jocky to discuss him coming in for a few weeks to work on dishes for the new dessert menu, but once we sat down to talk, there was such an explosion of ideas between us that we decided to give ourselves a year to explore them all.”
Petrie added: “I’ve always been a big fan of the Ledbury. I’ve eaten there regularly since it opened and have been impressed watching it progress over the years. It is already one of the best and most successful restaurants in the the world, so coming in at this level and finding somewhere new to take it to will be a unique, difficult and exciting challenge.”
Petrie will take up his new position on 1 April 2014.
The Ledbury opened in 2005, gained its first Michelin star the following year and was awarded two Michelin stars in 2010. It has also picked up awards including 29/30 in Zagat in 2011, Number 1 in the Sunday Times, and also joined the San Pellegrino list of Top 50 Restaurants in the World as the highest new entry at number 34.