Ben is the Culinary director of the Stafford London in St James's. he oversees the food offering throughout the hotel including the Game Bird restaurant , the American bar and private dining.
In September 2019 Ben will open “Norma” a Sicilain-Moorish influenced restaurant on Londons Charlotte street in a beautiful five storey Georgian townhouse. The restaurant, which Ben is opening with the Stafford will feature a bespoke raw bar serving Sicilian style crudos, a first floor bar serving seasonal, understated cocktails and a selection of Marsala served by the glass.
Classically trained with over 20 years experience, Ben spent his formative career working with Michelin starred chefs such as Jason Atherton and Stephen Terry at various ground breaking London restaurants, learning classical techniques along with inspired culinary innovation. He went on to head up his own operations at the Italian restaurant Al Duca in St James, London, and the Crinan Hotel in the West Highlands. Under Ben’s culinary leadership, The Crinan were awarded Best Gastro pub in Scotland by The Independent newspaper and Best Newcomer in the Good Food Guide for its’ fine dining restaurant, being hailed a seafood Mecca by foodies and journalists alike.
Ben was most recently the Chef Director and Partner for the Salt Yard Group, including Salt Yard (Fitzrovia), Dehesa (Soho), Opera Tavern (Covent Garden), Ember Yard (Soho), and Veneta (St James) - a group of 5 modern Spanish / Italian restaurants in Central London serving award-winning food (all 2 AA rosettes and bib gourmands from michelin) in a relaxed environment. During his 11 years with the group, Ben drove the food offer, food operations, kitchen teams, and launches of 4 of the 5 restaurants in the group, where he established himself as cooking at the forefront of Spanish/Italian modern tapas scene.
Ben is a shareholder and was consultant chef for Blanchette Soho, a modern French bistro concept on d’ Arblay street Soho, and Brick Lane in Shoreditch. Ben helped this team of three talented brothers set a contempoaray French food concept, and recruit and train a kitchen team for launch and beyond. The restaurant is now successfully growing into a small group, to great critical acclaim. www.blanchettelondon.co.uk
Ben appears regularly on TV including Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, and Masterchef and writes for Delicious , The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, Noble Rot, Restaurant Magazine, Chef Magazine, and other publications.
In 2012 Ben authored his first book Salt Yard Food & Wine. His 2nd cookbook Grill, Smoke, BBQ was released Spring 2016 to great acclaim in the UK, and is now published in America, Australia, Canada, and Europe.
Bens 3rd cook book, will be published by Absolute in Spring 2019- as yet unnamed but will focus on the cuisine and food culture of the Southern Med.
A regular Cookery Teacher at some of the Uk’s leading schools, including Leith’s, Divertimenti, Cookhouse at Soho Farmhouse, Chewton Glen cooking school and Bertinet, teaching is one of Ben’s passions.
Well respected and networked within the restaurant industry, Ben brings valuable hands-on expertise and connections to his consultancy projects.
Ben works closely with Leiths, Westminster and West London Colleges on food education, nurturing students and educating them on the restaurant industry, as well as judging cooking competitions for their courses.
Ben is an active member of the Royal Academy of Culinary arts. His activities include the Adopt A School project, where Ben educates primary school students on the potential of becoming involved in the restaurant industry and the benefits of healthy eating.
Ben developed an apprenticeship program at Salt Yard Group with The Royal Academy, which gives people from all walks of life a chance in the industry. At the group, Ben also worked with the charity Switch Back to give work opportunities to ex-offenders, and set up a charitable partnership with the Phoenix High School in Shepherds Bush, to help under-privileged kids understand how to grow and cook nutritional fruit and vegetables. Ben created a partnership for the school to supply the Salt Yard Group with produce for the restaurants, which continues and grows along with the group.
Ben assists Stepney City Farm - a volunteer-run organisation to help children understand rural agriculture - with charity food events, PR and sponsorship, to help the farm to flourish as a social and education hub in the East End. The farm is close to Ben’s home.
Ben is a supporter of the David Ross Education trust (DRET-/ ) which promised to give very child at their academies a world class education. Ben has supported the schools on food offering and will head up a new book where the proceeds will go to the trust.
Ben went to Skegness Grammar school which is now one of the academies in the trust.