He replaces outgoing head chef Joe Fox, who leaves to take a senior chef role with the Firmdale Hotel Group.
Shaw, who has also cooked at Roux at Parliament Square and Emile, makes his mark as head chef at Townsend with a £30, four-course summer set dinner menu that'll run until the end of August.
The menu includes radishes with nasturtium pesto; Paddock farm pork terrine with house pickles; fillets of gurnard with summer tomatoes and olives; and plum, fig leaf, meringue and whipped yogurt.
Townsend was founded by restaurateur and sommelier Nick Gilkinson, opened its doors in February last year, just before the pandemic hit.
Named after Charles Harrison Townsend, the architect responsible for the Whitechapel Gallery building, the 32-cover restaurant serves an 'evolving menu' of seasonal dishes.
Gilkinson, previously of Anglo and The Garden Museum Café, has created a concise wine list to pair with the food that focuses on old world vineyards and a mix of natural and traditional methods.
The dining room is overseen by recently appointed general manager Hannah Robson, previously of Emile, Smokestak and Petersham Nurseries.