Ben Tish has been appointed new culinary director at St James’s hotel The Stafford London. Tish will be responsible for overseeing the brand’s entire food offering, which currently includes The Game Bird, The American Bar, and Wine Cellars, as well as the hotel’s private and in-room dining programs.
His new role comes after 11 years’ service as chef director at Salt Yard Group, where he drove the group’s development and the opening of renowned London venues including Dehesa, Ember Yard, and Opera Tavern.
Tish explained to Eater that his role is not strictly kitchen-focussed; The Stafford already has an established kitchen leadership team — former head chef Jozef Rogulski is set to take over the reigns as executive chef at The Game Bird following James Durrant’s resignation — and the culinary director role is one that will be more “directional” than operational, with a focus on “strategy and creativity.”
According to Tish, one major focus of the role will be the opening of The Stafford’s first external restaurant later this year, said to focus on Ben’s “signature style and love of European cuisine,” and reportedly slated for either a Mayfair or Soho address. Another key focus will be the refurbishment and regeneration of The American Bar, which Tish told The Caterer is set to become “more of a food destination” with a revamped menu expected to be in keeping with the modern British “comfort cooking” for which The Game Bird is known.
While Tish will retain his position as shareholder in Salt Yard Group along with other advisory roles, he clarified to Eater that his new position at The Stafford is to be his sole operational focus moving forward, and one he expects to keep him busy.