Two minutes with Ben Murphy, Launceston Place

Published 11 March 2020

We catch up with Ben Murphy, Head Chef of Launceston Place, for our latest careers Q&A. From finding his feet to where he is now, he chats to us about life in the industry and his advice for those looking to start out.

When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?

To be honest, it wasn’t the fact of realising I wanted to work in hospitality – I wasn’t good at anything else at school. Food technology was a subject I really enjoyed and at the time it was a good excuse to eat and do something practical.

Where and how did you get your start?

I’d say it all started when I got accepted into Westminster Kingsway College three-year diploma course. It gave me a different type of focus. I never really knew what I was getting myself into… but holding a knife for the first time and learning the basics of cookery was when I really found my interest.

Sum up your current work life in one sentence.

Going into work and cooking every day is my hobby, and the bonus is being paid for what I love doing!

Who has been really influential on your career and why?

Pierre Koffmann has been, and still is, a huge part of my career. We are more like family now. In the kitchen or everyday life, he is always there to listen and advise. I started working for him at Koffmann’s at The Berkeley as soon as I left college. He’s guided me and pointed me in the right direction and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What’s next for you?

I’ve always wanted to have my own restaurant, while at the same time inspiring the younger generation that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. I take every day as it comes, but right now I’m happy where I am and have a great team around me.

What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out?

Listen, stay focused, commit, and never give up.

Where did you last have a great meal?

The Ledbury. It’s one of my favourites – always consistent and never disappoints.

Are there any openings you are looking forward to?

Wonderland Restaurants. Big names are involved and it’s an incredible concept – something that hasn’t been done in London.

Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (aside from London)?

From what I see on social media, Birmingham is very exciting. Of course it’s smaller but the food scene looks pretty cool.

Who would you identify as a rising star?

That’s hard to answer. Possibly my senior sous chef Mark. I’ve never met anyone so focused and ambitious and when I’m not at work, the service runs just as it would if I were there.

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