James Durrant

James Durrant

After a stellar career working in some of the UK's best kitchens, James Durrant is a dab hand at cooking classic British fare at the very highest level.

James spurned art college to become a chef at the age of eighteen, working in his native Cheshire before moving down to London. It was here that he experienced his first taste of working in a Michelin star kitchen, joining Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road shortly after it had won its third Michelin star and flat-sharing with a young Paul Ainsworth.

If Hospital Road was notoriously a ‘sink or swim’ environment, James' ten years under Ramsay puts him firmly into the latter category, impressing his mentor with his cooking talent and flair for management. He eventually moved on to work at Claridges and then furthered his reputation with a spell as head chef at Jason Atherton's Maze – a period which saw the restaurant win its first Michelin star and James credits as a ‘finishing school’.

But his dream had always been to open his own establishment, and The Plough Inn represented an ideal opportunity to get his name above the door.

Despite his background in high-end cuisine, James preferred to keep things a little simpler at The Plough Inn. But there were more than enough touches to keep things interesting; dishes like Surf and Turf (braised pork belly and cockles) and a Cod fish pie with grilled, burnt and puréed leeks, duck egg emulsion and cheddar and potato velouté demonstrated his special talent.

James made his Great British Menu debut in 2014, getting through to the final banquet with his veal main course. In January 2016, James made the difficult decision to close The Plough Inn, so he could begin working in London again. He moved to London's famous The Stafford Hotel, creating classic British dishes at The Game Bird restaurant. In January 2017, he left to pursue new opportunities.