Executive Chef James Chapman is at the helm of Sopwell House's dining experience He was born in Southampton and raised in Warblington, Hampshire. While studying cooking, he picked up two awards, a diploma distinction in professional cookery and a gold medal at Hotelympia.
He then trained in the prestigious L'Ecole Lenotre in Paris and then worked with Roger Verge at Le Moulin de Mougins. Back in England, he established his career by working in well-known London hotels including the Hyde Park London, the Hilton Park Lane, the Grosvenor House Hotel, the Westbury and Brown's Hotel.
It was while he was at the Hilton Park Lane that he was able to experiment with cooking concepts and ideas and thus help set-up the Hilton for winning in the Cateys in 2007.
James' cooking style can be described as modern British with a touch of French. Over the last few years, James has been inspired by concepts and menu tasting ideas from the Hilton Park Lane's Antony Marshall and from Window's Jacques Rolancy.
Outside his role in Sopwell House, James works abroad for about 1-2 weeks a year in top restaurants to look for new ideas, concepts and trends. His other passions include sea and river fishing, and shooting. He is also very interested in cookery for schools and young children, as well as for sick and less fortunate people.