Ben Tish


Ben Tish

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After thirteen years helping to grow Salt Yard into one of London’s most acclaimed restaurant groups, Ben took a year out to plan his next move. He wanted to strike out on his own and open a restaurant with his wife, focusing on the Italian and Mediterranean food he’d fallen in love with. After a site in Soho Square fell through – despite Ben putting a lot of money into the concept and design – he and his wife knew they couldn’t go through the process again on their own, so when Stuart Procter, the CEO of The Stafford Hotel, approached Ben and asked if he’d consider working with him on the hotel’s restaurant The Game Bird, Ben accepted.

‘They asked me to be the culinary director of the hotel, overseeing the already great executive chef there, and then they’d help me open my own restaurant, as the concept and design had already been done,’ says Ben. ‘We decided to go for it, and a year after starting at The Stafford, we opened Norma.’

Norma is the result of Ben’s years of experience in kitchens and extensive travels throughout Italy and the Mediterranean. It’s his style of cooking through and through – and since opening in 2019 it’s had heaps of critical acclaim. ‘Mediterranean and Italian food has been a massive part of my career, and I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, particularly in the south and on Sicily,’ says Ben. ‘There are a lot of Italian restaurants in London but I think Norma has a different angle. It’s got a high-end feel to it, which I like, but everything is toned down and made more relaxed with a Mediterranean feel. The food is rustic, but there’s a refinement to it.'

In 2021 Ben moved on from both The Stafford and Norma to become chef director at Cubitt House, which owns a range of different pubs and restaurants across London. His job is to ensure every one of these sites has its own distinct and exciting menu – looking at his career so far, we know he's the perfect man for the job.

Three things you should know

Ben has written four cookbooks (Salt Yard Food & Wine; Grill, Smoke, BBQ; Moorish and Sicilia).

Ben teaches classes at the likes of Leith's, Divertimenti and Soho Farmhouse, sharing his skills and knowledge with both keen home cooks and professional chefs.

Ben is an active member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and is involved with the Adopt A School project, where he educates primary school students on the potential of becoming involved in the restaurant industry and the benefits of healthy eating.