James Durrant, winner of the main course in the 2014 BBC's Great British Menu, has been appointed executive chef of the Stafford London hotel.
He has joined the five-red-AA-star, 105-bedroom hotel to oversee the re-launch of its restaurant, after spending a short stint as executive chef at Bluebird Chelsea, having joined the D&D restaurant in February this year. His predecessor, Carlos Martinez was at the Stafford for nearly three years.
Prior to joined Bluebird, the former Acorn Award winner ran the Plough Inn in Longparish, Hampshire, for three years, during which time the outlet was named The Good Food Guide UK Pub of the Year and won a Michelin bib gourmand and two AA rosettes.
Originally from Chester, Durrant began his London career at Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) at the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea as a junior sous chef. Following a brief spell back in Cheshire at Paul Kitching's Michelin-starred Juniper restaurant in Altricham, Durrant returned to London to Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's as a senior sous chef.
In 2005 he took on the role of head chef at Maze working alongside Jason Atherton, which was awarded a Michelin star within its first year of operation. Three years later he became executive chef of both Maze and Maze Grill, and spent some time in New York opening the first international branch of the brand.
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."
Durrant added: "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."
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