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Acorn Winner 2006: James Durrant

27 April 2006
Acorn Winner 2006: James Durrant

James Durrant
Age: 25
Position: Head chef, Maze, London

Career to date… Durrant spent two years working as junior sous chef at Gordon Ramsay's three-Michelin-starred restaurant before joining Paul Kitching at Juniper in Altrincham, Cheshire. In September 2003, he returned to Gordon Ramsay Holdings to take up the post of sous chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's. In May 2005, he moved to the group's newest restaurant, Maze in Grosvenor Square, which is run by chef-director Jason Atherton.

Why is he a winner? Durrant has consistently shown himself to have the ability to train chefs and ensure consistency in a highly pressurised and successful kitchen. Despite his youth, he is seen as an example among the younger employees and dedicates time and energy to training all new employees. He is flexible and adapts well to new styles of cuisine and environment.

According to the restaurant's chef-director, Durrant has been the necessary support to make Maze the successful restaurant that it is today - one of the most popular venues in London. In addition to mastering a style of cuisine that is extremely innovative (served to unusually large numbers for a fine-dining restaurant of this style), Durrant has shown discipline in controlling food costs, staff training and the maintaining of standards.

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