The role is Bennett’s first head chef position. He is working under the direction of Andrew Scott, executive head chef, who he has worked with for years, including at his two previous restaurants, Mallory Court in Warwickshire, and the Michelin-starred Curlew Restaurant in East Sussex.
Both chefs joined Restaurant 56 in early 2014, winning it three AA-Rosettes in October 2015.
During his 18 months at The Curlew, Bennett was instrumental in helping retain its star. He spent four years before that at Mallory Court, having originally trained at Stratford upon Avon College.
Commenting on Bennett’s appointment, Scott said: "This is natural progression for [Bennett, as] he’s been my sous chef for five years now. It’s time for him to step into the head chef role at 56, learning directly from me. I’m very proud of him and all his hard work, and I’m excited for the next chapter of 56.”
Bennett said: "I am extremely proud and excited to be promoted to head chef of Restaurant 56. Having worked with [Scott] for many years, I have learned so much and I am looking forward to taking on the new challenge. [Scott] and I will continue to cook together and develop new ideas for the menus. I am excited to run the kitchen and to be involved in all proceedings at the restaurant.”
Last year, Bennett reached the coveted finals of the BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals programme, judged by Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing and former Le Gavroche chef Monica Galetti. He joined the other two finalists, Mark Stinchcombe and Scott Barnard, in the final stages.
Stinchcombe, from Eckington Manor in Pershore, eventually went on to win.
Restaurant 56 is housed in the Grade II-listed Sudbury House Hotel in London Street, Faringdon, Oxfordshire.
The property was once owned by Sir William Glock, BBC controller of music, but was transformed into a hotel in 2013, after being bought by a businessman who refurbished the site and built it around the Restaurant 56, as well as opening the Magnolia Brasserie in 2015.