James Lowe grew up in the English county of Sussex and moved to London aged 22. After changing an early aspiration to become a pilot, he began working at The Wapping Project and quickly found himself in the kitchen, inspired and excited by a regularly changing menu that made the most of British produce.
In 2002 Lowe moved to Michelin-starred French restaurant La Trompette as junior sous chef and relished his first taste of French-style cooking. Two years later he went on to work at Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-starred Fat Duck, followed by a period at The River Café.
In the summer of 2006 Lowe started at St John Bread & Wine as sous chef, quickly progressing through the ranks to become head chef in 2007. He spent four years in the role. In 2011 – together with Isaac McHale and Ben Greeno – he launched London-based chef collective Young Turks. It aims to create a platform for chefs to work together and to promote a new approach to British cooking with a focus on small producers and collaboration.
In April 2014 Lowe and John Ogier opened Lyle’s in Shoreditch, seeking to demonstrate the possibilities of cooking with British ingredients. Lyle’s won a Michelin star 18 months after opening and was placed among The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018.
Other personal accolades include Lowe winning breakthrough chef of the year at the Food & Travel Awards in 2015, followed by best chef at the GQ Food & Drink Awards in 2016.