Jason Atherton describes his cooking as having “one foot in the 21st century and the other firmly planted in tradition.” This intriguing philosophy stems from his strong English roots and his worldly experiences. Having trained in some of the most respected kitchens around the globe, Jason’s menus showcase various cultural influences, and his modern interpretations of classic cuisine have won him international acclaim. Originally from the modest town of Skegness, Jason began his career at age 16 as a commis chef at the local County Hotel. He immediately discovered that he had an innate talent for cooking and a life long passion began. A year later, while his parents were on holiday, Jason bought a one-way ticket to London. In London, Jason worked along side a number of high profile chefs including Pierre Koffman, Nico Ladenis, Stephen Terry, and Marco Pierre White. His successes then took him north to Mancester where he became opening head chef at Oliver Peyton’s Mash & Air. Yearning to expand his repertoire, Jason left for Spain in 1998 to seek out a stage at elBulli. He arrived one late summer night in the coastal town of Roses with only a small rucksack and a map of where the legendary three-star restaurant was located. Not having enough money for a hotel, Jason slept on the beach. The next morning, he borrowed a bicycle to make the arduous journey through the mountains to elBulli. He turned up at the restaurant, exhausted from the strenuous ride and dripping with sweat. The staff couldn’t believe he had actually biked the winding tumultuous road, and gave him the job. He was the first British chef to complete a stage there and is included in Ferran Adria’s memoirs in his autobiography. Jason returned to London in 1998 to work at Claudio Pulze’s Frith Street with Stephen Terry. In 2000, he won the prestigious Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award for Young Achievers. In 2002, Jason joined Gordon Ramsay as the executive chef for the Verre and Glasshouse restaurant in Dubai. In 2005, Jason moved back to London to head up Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant in Mayfair. Under Jason’s reigns, Maze grew into an international brand with locations in Cape Town, New York, Doha, Melbourne, and Prague. His flagship restaurant in London won numerous awards including a Michelin star and 4 AA Rosettes, 8 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide, and was voted “Number 1 Restaurant in the UK” by Restaurant Magazine.
Now is time for Jason to open his first independent restaurant!
Due to open in mid April 2011 Pollen Street Social will be the first independent restaurant from Jason Atherton, who left Maze restaurant this May to fulfill his long held ambition.
“I have been dreaming about opening my own restaurant for nearly 20 years and am thrilled to have found this great site in the heart of Mayfair, a place that I love being part of”, commented Jason.
Pollen Street Social, as the name suggests, is located on Pollen Street, close to Hanover Square, London. The restaurant will represent a new, more informal restaurant style for Jason, where his much acclaimed cuisine will be served in a stylish and unstuffy environment.
The menu will offer dishes that Jason describes as “having one foot in the past and the other in the future”, where classical techniques underpin his creativity and influences picked up during his time working in some of the most innovative kitchens of the world. The à la carte menu will be divided into four sections: hot, cold, meat and fish. There will also be a daily meat and fish option which will be prepared simply on a Josper grill. There will be a three course lunch menu priced at £26, a five course tasting menu which will be available for dinner and a special vegetarian menu. On top of that, the new restaurant will present London’s first ever dessert bar!
Press Report/ Press images @Jason Atherton
Luciana Bianchiis chef de cuisine and food writer, works as International Editor correspondent for the Brazilian gourmet magazine,Prazeres da Mesa, and contributes to several publications in Brazil and Europe.
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