Durrant, who was also the winner of the main course for the BBC’s Great British Menu banquet in 2014, will now oversee the re-launch of the St James hotel’s Lyttleton restaurant, and create a new British-inspired menu.
Durrant brings over 20 years’ industry experience to the role, having begun his early career in Cheshire before joining Gordon Ramsay Holdings as a junior sous chef at the group’s flagship three Michelin-starred restaurant at Royal Hospital Road.
He then worked at the erstwhile Michelin-starred Juniper restaurant with Paul Kitching in Cheshire, before becoming senior sous chef at the then-Gordon Ramsay Restaurant at luxury London hotel Claridge’s.
Durrant first began working for Atherton in 2005 as sous chef of Maze, becoming executive chef in 2009, and then helping to launch Maze in New York, and the Maze Grill in London.
In 2012, he opened The Plough Inn in Longparish, Hampshire, which won a Michelin Big Gourmand recommendation and The Good Food Guide’s Pub of the Year accolade in the same year.
Originally built as three private residences at number 16-18 St James’s Place, the boutique Stafford Hotel’s main house was once the home of Lord and Lady Lyttelton, daughter of then-then Earl Spencer, who was a nanny to Queen Victoria’s children.
Today, the Lyttleton restaurant ‒ previously the drawing room of Lord and Lady Lyttleton ‒ forms part of the hotel’s dining and bar options, which also include the historic private dining room The Wine Cellar, and the cocktail-focused American Bar.
Stuart Procter, general manager of The Stafford London, said: “I am delighted to welcome James to the team. His wealth of experience will help take The Stafford to the next level, and he will be an inspirational driving force behind the food and beverage operation as we embark on a new era for the hotel.”