Chef James Lowe of Lyle's - Biography

Hackney, London

September 2019

Soon after university graduation and in the aftermath of 9/11, James Lowe put his piloting dreams aside due to the cancellation of the British Airways scholarship program. At age 23, looking to make some quick cash, Lowe took a job as a waiter at The Wapping Project in east London. He soon took an interest in cooking, intrigued by the kitchen staff’s passion for their work, and became inspired by the creative menu from Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-starred The Fat Duck. He booked a table at The Fat Duck and then at Michelin-starred St John within the same week. After those two formative meals, Lowe set a goal to work his way up at each restaurant and open his own restaurant by the age of 30.

Although it took a little longer than expected, Lowe has followed through on his plan. After working at renowned London restaurants La Trompette, The Fat Duck, The River CafĂ©, and St. John Bread and Wine, as well as starting a chef collective called The Young Turks, Lowe opened Lyle’s in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood in 2014. Using only UK products, Lyle earned a Michelin star and was ranked 33 on the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list in 2019. Lowe recently opened his second project Flor, an all-day cafe, bakery, and wine bar in London’s Borough Market.