Ben Murphy will leave The Woodford at the end of the year

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th October 2016

Ben Murphy, the Chef to Watch in the Good Food Guide 2017 and Pierre Koffman protégé, is set to leave The Woodford on December 31 2016 less than a year after taking over as head chef.

The 25-year-old, who recently won Food and Travel Magazine's Breakthrough Chef of the Year award, transformed the former four-story Georgian residence into a 100 cover restaurant. It opened in March this year and was backed by Essex-based restaurateur, Steve Andrews, founder of Essex-based The Blue Group - a collection of hotels, restaurants and bars.

Ben Murphy with mentor Pierre Koffman

(credit: Ben Murphy twitter)

“The Woodford is looking for a new direction,” explained Ben. “It wants to offer simpler food and to do more covers. Obviously I’ve never trained to do that many covers and currently The Woodford is not a brasserie so I think they want to change the concept.”

The former Young National chef of the Year winner is now focused on his next venture and said: “I’m looking and I have a few options but nothing has been confirmed yet. I’ve spoken to Pierre Koffman as my mentor and he’s guiding me in the right direction so we’ll see.”

>>> Related - 10 Minutes With: Pierre Koffman, 50 Years a Chef

After three years working for Pierre Koffmann Ben moved to France to work at Michelin-starred restaurants: Michel Guerard’s Les Pres d’Eugenie and Epicure at Le Bristol, working under Eric Fréchon.

He won the Young National Chef of the Year title in 2013 and was headhunted for BBC2 culinary programme, Chefs on Trial. He returned to London to work at two Michelin-starred restaurant, The Greenhouse in Mayfair.

Talking about the direction he is looking to move his food style in, Ben said: “The food I do next will be nothing like The Woodford, it’ll be more exciting and complex plus more interactive at the table. Not exactly like The Fat Duck but that’s an example of the direction I want to go in next.”

He added: “A Michelin star is still the dream, I said I wanted one by the time I was 30 so I still have time!”

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th October 2016

Ben Murphy will leave The Woodford at the end of the year