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Acorns 2018: Ben Murphy, head chef, Launceston Place

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Acorns 2018: Ben Murphy, head chef, Launceston Place

Head chef, Launceston Place, London

Nominator Sofia Botta, PA

Proudest moment “Competing at WorldSkills 2011 and winning a gold medal for the UK.”

Biggest inspiration “Pierre Koffmann, who has been my mentor since college”

Ambition “To get a Michelin star for Launceston Place – but the dream is to have my own restaurant.”

As a young chef, Ben Murphy was never far away from a Michelin star. Having graduated from Westminster Kingsway College, his culinary career began at 19 when he joined Michelin-starred Koffmann’s at the Berkeley. Under the guidance of the celebrated chef, Murphy developed his creative flair, going on to work in three-Michelin-starred restaurants Les Prés d’Eugénie in France and Épicure at Le Bristol in Paris before returning to London to the two-Michelin-starred Greenhouse, Mayfair.

During these formative years, Murphy was named WorldSkills Gold Medallist 2011, Young Spanish Chef of the Year 2012, Young National Chef of the Year 2013 and was a runner-up on the BBC’s Chefs on Trial 2015.

However, the spotlight truly shone on him in 2016, with his first head chef role and solo venture at the 100-cover Woodford restaurant in London E18. Aged just 25, he earned several industry awards within the first 10 months, including the Evening Standard London Restaurant of the Year 2016, Chef to Watch in The Good Food Guide 2017 and Breakthrough Chef of The Year in the Food & Travel Awards 2016. He also took on a student in the last year of an apprenticeship at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant.

In 2017, Murphy joined D&D London as head chef at the 50-seat Launceston Place. Here, he focuses on presenting new dishes and pushing his 12-strong team. As well as menu development, his achievements include generating a revenue increase of 3% year-on-year, a margin increase of 1%, lifting OpenTable food scores from 4.5 to 4.7 and service scores from 4.5 to 4.8.

As well as mentoring Westminster Kingsway College students he takes part in Q&A sessions with students at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.

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