He’s worked with the best of the best, dealt with the fiery temper of notorious British chef Gordon Ramsey and now he’s heading to our favourite boutique hotel in London, The Stafford. We catch up with James Durrant where we find out all about his plans to re-invent the famed Lyttelton restaurant, the brand new dishes he plans to bring to the menu and exactly what is the British chef’s all-time favourite food.
Q. Hi James, what was your decision to take the position at The Stafford?
I thought it was an amazing opportunity to do something super special with the food at The Stafford, as it’s one of my favourite hotels.
Q. One of your earlier positions at a Michelin star restaurant was at Gordon Ramsey’s in Chelsea, what was that like?
Working for Gordon was an amazing experience. It was without a doubt one of the most demanding kitchens I’ve ever worked in but also the most rewarding.
Q. What do you intend to bring to the Stafford? Can we see any new dishes or new concepts?
I am looking to relaunch The Stafford with a really simple, classic British menu drawing inspiration from St James’ super seasonal ingredients. I’m not re-inventing the wheel, just great seafood, pies and stews and of course an amazing Scottish beef burger. The idea is simple, tasty, approachable food that people actually want to eat.
Q. Can we still expect to see some old classics on the menu?
The menu’s will have a complete overhaul from the bar, to the restaurant, to room service, all with the same style and flow. The classics will remain, such as proper beer battered fish and chips and a cracking Scottish beef burger. They will certainly stay in the bar!
Q. What are your top ingredients that make any dish better?
Love, care and attention….. and a bit of salt! Quality ingredients from quality farms and markets don’t need much – just a bit of tender loving care.
Q. Can you tell us a bit more about your style? For those who don’t know much about you.
I’d describe it as proper, British cooking. I’m a British man with a classic French culinary background. For me it’s about great ingredients and not a lot of ”fuss”!
Q. What’s your favourite food?
Fish and chips of course…. and mushy peas!
Q. Cheese or wine?
Both of course! And plenty of tea to get me through the day!
Expect to see Mr James Durrant fronting the kitchen right NOW at:
The Stafford Hotel, 16-18 St James Place, London, SW1A 1NJ