1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Lowe, head chef, Lyle's

The  Staff Canteen

James Lowe is head chef of one Michelin-starred Lyle's in Shoreditch, London.

James started his kitchen career at 23, after working as a waiter in Wapping, East London. 

Lyle's

Lyle’s, Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ (Entrance on Bethnal Green Road)

Opening hours: Tuesday - Staurday: 12pm-3pm; 6:00pm-11pm

Closed Sunday & Monday

Telephone: 02030115911

Website: https://www.lyleslondon.com/

Email: [email protected]

Head chef: James Lowe

Restaurant manager: Jonty Hylands

Sommelier: Nominöe Guillebot 

Twitter: @LylesLondon

Facebook: Lyle's

Biography

The chef originally wanted to be a pilot, but working in a restaurant allowed James to see the talented chefs in action, and he fell in love with their respect and adoration for the produce they were handling.

That converted James, and his heart was then set on becoming a chef. He was determined to have his own restaurant by 30.

James worked hard at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, Rob Weston’s La Trompette and Fergus Henderson’s St John. He needed to learn as much as he could, and was able to work at well known, high-achieving restaurants. He was finally prepared to work alongside his friend Isaac McHale in a pop up restaurant, The Ten Bells, Spitalfields.

Food Style

It was only after this that James was able to live out his dream of opening his own restaurant in April 2014. Lyle's would be located in Shoreditch’s Tea Building and run in partnership with John Ogier, who James met while working at St John Bread and Wine and the backing of JKS - also behind celebrated restaurants Gymkana, Trishna and Sabor.

Just 18 months after opening, Lyle's was awarded its first Michelin star. James was devoted to fresh and seasonal produce, and ensured that it was central to the Lyle’s menu.

 

 

 

 

Eager to continue his learning journey as a chef, James regularly invites the world's best international chefs to cook with him and teach him about their local produce, returning the favour and exchanging his knowledge.

Describing James' food, The Michelin Guide says the chef's dishes "may appear to be as unadorned as the room but don’t be fooled – they are technically accomplished, thoughtfully composed and deliver far more depth and sophistication than their terse menu descriptions suggest.

"The superb seasonal British ingredients provide flavours that are clean and unadulterated and a joy to experience."

A regular on the World's 50 Best list, Lyle's ranked 33rd in the international guide for 2021 and 84th in the National Restaurant Awards' Top 100. It also has two AA Rosettes.

Flor

In 2019, James Lowe and John Ogier opened Flor, a bakery, restaurant and wine bar at Borough Market in South London.

Taking its name from the thin layer of yeast that naturally forms atop some wines, the food offering at Flor consists of a mix of accessibly-priced small and large plates, and while Lyle’s tends to source mostly British ingredients, you'll find produce from Europe and even Asia on the menu at Flor, resulting in dishes such as Violino pumpkin tart, harissa, dandelion; Smoked eel rice, bergamot, scarvita and oysters with dongchimi.

Changes with Covid:

During lockdown, the chef and his business partner, John Ogier, pivotted to doing take away orders, rebranding sister restaurant Flor for a new sourdough pizza offering: ASAP Pizza.

Located inside Borough Market, the gourmet pizza offering restaurant was a resounding success which continued past the end of lockdown until October 31st 2021.

In the Spring of 2021, John Ogier stepped away from both Lyle's and Flor, calling the move an "incredibly tough decision," and adding that he intended to pursue new ventures and business opportunities.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th November 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: James Lowe, head chef, Lyle's