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 group, The Social Company.
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 has been awarded 4 AA Rosettes by the AA Guide, named The Good Food Guide’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ and hailed the third 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.
‘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 ‘The Commune Social’ 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 London Fashion Week, Jason launched Berners Tavern in the London EDITION Hotel to great furore.
2014 was another big year for Jason and his team, with three restaurant launches – firstly, the grand Gatsby-esque City Social atop the 24th floor of Tower 42, which won a Michelin star within 6 months of opening, followed closely by Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong – a third collaboration with Yenn Wong’s JIA Group. .
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 his first ‘Social’ restaurant in Dubai, Marina Social, a stunning waterside restaurant within the new Intercontinental Dubai Marina.
Projects in 2016 so far have included Kensington Street Social within The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney and Sosharu, a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar in Clerkenwell. Later this year will see the launch of a restaurant in Cebu, The Philippines, and an Italian restaurant in Victoria’s new Nova complex. He was recently awarded Best Restaurateur in the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2016.
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.