Jason Atherton started out working alongside great chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis and Ferran Adria at el Bulli, before joining the Gordon Ramsay Group in 2001. After launching ‘Maze’ in London and overseeing the opening of five more ‘Maze’ restaurants globally, Jason left Gordon Ramsay Holdings to launch his own restaurant company, Jason Atherton restaurants.
His flagship restaurant, ‘Pollen Street Social’, opened in April 2011 in Mayfair and was awarded a coveted Michelin star within just six months of opening. It was awarded 4 A4 Rosettes by the AA Guide, named The Good Food Guide’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ and hailed the sixth best restaurant in the UK. Jason was awarded ‘Chef Of The Year’ by ‘Caterer and Hotelkeeper’, which for a chef, Jason has likened to winning an Oscar.
At the end of 2011 Jason opened tapas bar ‘Esquina’ in Chinatown, Singapore to great acclaim. Jason went on to launch his second restaurant in Singapore, ‘Pollen’ in June 2012 and also ‘The Library’ bar. ‘22 Ships’ was launched in Hong Kong in late 2012, which took the Asian dining scene by storm. Following on from the huge success of his first Hong Kong restaurant, Jason opened a second named ‘Ham and Sherry’. Next came the launch of ‘Social Commune’ in Shanghai, which Jason launched in the trendy district of Shanghai French Concession. It has already been voted best new restaurant in Shanghai by Time Out.
In 2013 Jason launched three new restaurants in London. His second Mayfair restaurant ‘Little Social’ opened in March to great critical acclaim. Shortly after, Jason opened ‘Social Eating House’ in Soho on Poland Street, with head chef Paul Hood. ‘Social Eating House’ became Jason’s second Michelin starred restaurant.
In the autumn of 2013, at the height of Fashion week, Jason launched Berners Tavern that is located in The London EDITION Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia, the all day dining affair seats up to 140 covers with a contemporary British menu set within a grand dining room.
2014 has been a big year with early back to back openings in May, firstly of the grand Gatsby-esque ‘City Social’ atop the 24th floor of Tower 42, with its 360 degree views across the City of London, and followed closely by ‘Aberdeen Street Social’ in Hong Kong – a third collaboration with Yenn Wong’s JIA Group – bringing modern British cuisine to Hong Kong.
2014 also saw the release of a new cookbook, Social Suppers, commissioned by Absolute Press and published by Bloomsbury, with a second book Social Sweets released in June 2015.
In May 2015 Jason opened his first stateside restaurant The Clocktower, an all-day dining space set within the New York EDITION Hotel on Madison Avenue. This was followed swiftly by Social Wine & Tapas in London’s Marylebone – a casual tapas bar and wine shop overseen by Jason’s long-term executive sommelier Laure Patry. In September, Jason opened hisfirst ‘Social’ restaurant in Dubai,Marina Social, a stunning waterside restaurant within the new Intercontinental Dubai Marina.
Projects in 2016 include the recently launched Kensington Street Social within The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney; Sosharu, a Japanese restaurant in Clerkenwell opening in March; and an Italian restaurant in Victoria’s new Nova complex.
Jason is married to Irha Atherton who works alongside him as co-director at The Social Company. Irha also runs the head office in Soho, London. Jason and Irha have two daughters and the family live in South West London.