James Hackney had an early, enviable introduction to the culinary world. A native of Leicestershire, England, Hackney first encountered cuisine through the lens of his parents’ Garden Hotel, a charming English countryside inn where farm-to-table was a way of life long before it was a catchphrase within the culinary profession. Reasonably enamored by a life in cuisine, and having worked his way from dishwasher to prep cook with his parents, Hackney completed his culinary education at Southfields College in Leicester.
Hackney then moved on to award-winning country-house hotel Stapleford Park before hopping the pond to work at Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts, also traveling down to Florida to work at La Vieille Maison and Charlie Palmer’s Aquaterra, in the off-season. Hackney next became chef de cuisine at Boston’s renowned L’Espalier. Now at the helm of Twenty-Eight Atlantic at Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, where he earned a 2014 StarChefs.com Coastal New England Risign Stars Award, Hackney is firmly ensconced on American shores, fusing his British sensibility with the seasons of coastal New England.