The Face Behind the Food Part Three

We are featuring a special series of Head Chef blog posts. As there are so many to mention, this is part three where Private Dining London get up close to the faces behind the private rooms we all enjoy. We hope you enjoy this third and final installment. See the first and second installment earlier in our blog.


Jamie Robertson began his career in food and beverage in 2003 working part time at The Living Room restaurant and bar in Edinburgh, Scotland where he found his vocation. It was here that Jamie fell in love with food and after finishing his studies, he began his culinary journey

Working his way through the kitchen ranks, Jamie was promoted to Sous Chef at the age of twenty and quickly learnt how to manage a kitchen. In 2007, Jamie assumed the role of Head Chef at Alma De Cuba, an independent restaurant in Liverpool. He took on the challenge of re-building this dwindling business and secured the Liverpool Best Restaurant Award consecutively for the three years he was there. The recognition Jamie attracted from successfully transforming Alma De Cuba, caught the attention of Jamie Oliver. Working alongside Jamie Oliver and Jamie’s mentor Genarro Contaldo, he helped to develop the menu for their Dubai restaurant where he was later to work as Head Chef.

Their Private Dining Room in Chancery Line [multiple sites]…

Perfect for both corporate and social events, Gaucho Chancery is located in the famous legal district of London. Located at the top of the spiral stair case clad in Gaucho’s signature cowhide is a boutique mezzanine lounge bar and dining area that can seat 20 guests or hold a standing party for 60. Gaucho Chancery is an ideal combination of city buzz and West End sophistication, perfect for breakfast meetings, cocktail parties, or any social occasions.

JEAN-PHILIPPE BLONDET, EXECUTIVE CHEF Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester, 53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA

Born in Nice, in the South of France, Jean- Philippe Blondet, has been working alongside Alain Ducasse for several years. His first role with Alain Ducasse was interestingly at Spoon at Sanderson in London from 2004 to 2006, where he progressed to become a Chef de Partie. Following this experience, he joined the 3-Michelin star Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, Alain Ducasse’s iconic restaurant by the Riviera. Before returning to London and joining Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Jean-Philippe held the position of Sous-Chef at Spoon in Hong Kong, a 2-Michelin star Alain Ducasse restaurant, further adding to his international experience and satisfying his curiosity and interest in cuisines of the world.In September 2013, he joined the team of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester as Sous-Chef with Jocelyn Herland to quickly progress to Head Chef within 2 years. Jean-Philippe

Blondet became Executive Chef at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in January 2016. Jean-Philippe interprets Alain Ducasse’s cuisine in London in a contemporary and refined way. In keeping with Alain Ducasse’s philosophy, the ingredients are the key elements. Jean-Philippe only uses the freshest and most seasonal produce, strictly sourced for their quality and provenance.

Their semi-private area [they also offer two private dining rooms]…

The Table Lumière is the unique centrepiece of the restaurant and is surrounded by a curtain of 4,500 fibre-optic lights. It has a room hire fee of £200 and guests are able to select their preferred chinaware from four vintage Hermes Collections.


TIM HARRINGTON, EXECUTIVE CHEF Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John's Wood Rd, London NW8 8QN

Lord’s Cricket Ground Executive Chef Tim Harrington has over 30 years’ experience in catering, having previously worked for a number of prestigious venues including the Royal Opera House. Tim works relentlessly to create an unforgettable dining experience for guests. His experience includes creating seasonal cricket menus which feature top quality produce of the season, redesigning the venue’s public catering outlets and pushing the boundaries in public catering. He also opened an a la carte restaurant for the venue’s debenture holders.

Their Venue… Lord’s offers guests a memorable dining experience in a prestigious venue steeped in history. The venue boasts a variety of events spaces to provide an intimate private dining setting for guests, such as the elegantly furnished Writing Room in the North end of the Grade II* Listed Pavilion. Hung with famous paintings of cricketing scenes, the Writing Room provides an excellent fine dining experience with excellent views of the Ground. This versatile event space can cater for up to 70 guests and provides a luxurious setting for lunches, dinners and receptions.


Haberdasher’s Hall, 18 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9HQ

Karen Poynter is executive chef of seven Livery Halls in The City; Haberdashers’ Hall, Founders’ Hall, Brewers’ Hall, Clothworkers’ Hall, Coopers’ Hall, Stationers’ Hall and Goldsmiths’ Hall. Haberdashers’ Hall alongside Karen’s profile is the first venue of her appointment.

Karen Poynter joined Chester Boyd in 2000 where her talent and dedication were rewarded with her appointment to Head Chef of Haberdashers’ Hall and then her current role of Home Venues’ Executive Chef. Prior to joining Chester Boyd, Karen spent seven years aboard the QE2, where she cooked for a host of eminent guests including, most memorably, Nelson Mandela. After sailing around the world seven times and working up from Commis to Chef de Cuisine, Karen felt it was time to return to solid ground.

Highlights of Karen’s career at Chester Boyd include the many state banquets she has worked, the garden parties she has never missed and the three times she has met the Queen. Since its opening in 2002, Haberdashers’ Hall has held a special place in Karen’s heart and her food reflects this: echoing the tradition and history of the Livery Hall but balanced by exciting modern twists and touches.

Their Venue…

Haberdashers’ Hall is in such a great location, situated right in the heart of the City next to the renowned and historic Smithfield Market, a bustling place in the mornings when you can even see the butchers in action. Chester Boyd, the onsite team, led by Karen Poynter, Executive Chef sources some of their meat at the market. But despite Haberdashers' Hall being located in such a busy part of the Square Mile, you get such a sense of peace and quiet in the secluded and tranquil Courtyard. Nestled in a secluded spot in West Smithfield, one of London's newest Livery Halls houses one of its oldest Companies. Haberdashers' Hall is a true one-of-a-kind venue which seamlessly fuses the avant-garde with stately tradition. Karen wants to see the kitchens of Chester Boyd push forward with dishes which reinvent old classics. She believes that the time is ripe to revive lost culinary arts and ensure that taste and flavour re-establish themselves as the top priority in the kitchen.


Caroline Gardiner & Alan Lucas bring with them over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry. Their success stems from the belief that at the heart of any great event there should be creative catering, delivered with a professional service. Lucas Gardiner present exceptional food in both taste and presentation. The ethos is to always provide clients with restaurant quality food in an event setting.

Their Venue...

Banking Hall accommodates up to 800 guests, spanning across two beautifully renovated floors. Whether you are looking for a conference, bar/bat mitzvah, corporate dinner or wedding reception - Lucas Gardiner work closely with our clients producing bespoke dishes where necessary, that both compliment the Grade II listed venue and the style of event.


We hope you enjoyed this latest feature about the Head Chefs that are behind the food that you enjoy in some of London's private dining spaces. We've loved putting faces to the names and thank them for bringing incredible food experiences to their restaurants and venues.

Interested in booking one of these private dining rooms and to try the chefs' food for yourself?


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