As Chef de Cuisine of L’Espalier in Boston, MA, James Hackney brings a passion and precision of execution to the kitchen that is essential to the continuing development of the eclectic cuisine for which the restaurant is known. His creativity is vital to the crafting of the menu, which changes daily.
Originally from Leicestershire, England, Hackney has been ensconced in the service industry his entire life. He grew up working in his parents’ country inn, and although he became well-versed in all aspects of the business, from dishwasher to server to prep cook, it was clear that Hackney had an affinity for cooking and management of the kitchen. After graduating from culinary school, Hackney worked in the award-winning country-house hotel, Stapleford Park, a Bob Payton and Rick Tramonto collaboration just outside London.
Hackney eventually made the decision to travel to the United States, where he worked at yet another award-winning establishment, The Blantyre, a Relais & Châteaux property in Lenox, MA. During the off-season Hackney would travel to Florida to work in Boca Raton’s La Vieille Maison and Charlie Palmer’s Palm Beach Restaurant, Aquiterra. Craving the city life and intrigued by Chef Frank McClelland’s energy and style of cooking, as well as the opportunity to put into practice all of his acquired skills, Hackney joined the L’Espalier team in 2001.