Chef Jason Atherton of Pollen Street Social - Biography

London, UK

March 2012

From humble beginnings as the son of a hotelier (with a brief stint as a runaway during high school) and later as a culinary student in the Army Catering Service, Chef Jason Atherton has risen to one of the top chefs in the United Kingdom.

Atherton has worked for some of the best of the classic English chefs, including Nico Ladenis, Marco Pierre White, and Pierre Koffmann. He also spent three years in Dubai as executive chef of two restaurants at the Hilton Dubai Creek. He was the first British chef to stage at Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, where he quickly rose from shucking scallops to working the line.

It was when Atherton took over as chef de cuisine at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze that he gained international acclaim. Atherton worked at the restaurant for nearly nine years, producing Maze, the Cookbook. In 2010, when Atherton turned 39, he decided he wanted to open his own restaurant. Soon after, Atherton opened Table No. 1 in Shanghai and then Pollen Street Social in London. Financing the latter project on his own, Atherton quickly gained even more fame for the modernist-meets-traditional restaurant, snagging second in the 2011 British National Restaurant Awards and a Michelin star.

In 2011, Atherton opened Esquina, a tapas bar in Singapore, and in 2012 he added several more restaurants to his group, including 22 Ships, a tapas bar in Hong Kong, and Pollen and Keong Saik Snacks in Singapore. In 2013 he opened two additional restaurants in London, Little Social and Social Eating House. Continuing to expand his restaurant empire, Atherton is in the process of opening restaurants in Dubai, Hong Kong, London, and Sydney.