The Savoy Hotel first employed James while still just a student on the Specialised Chef course. This course is still run by The Academy of Culinary Arts, founded by Albert Roux and Richard Shepherd among others. He won his place at the Savoy on the back of his enthusiasm and excitement for cooking, as well as for this determination.
Within 3 years he had completed all sections at the Savoy and hand a firm grasp of Classical French cooking. It was at this time Chris Corbin and Jeremy King were beginning to attain legendary status for the sophisticated elegance of Caprice Holdings; Le Caprice (1981), The Ivy (1990) and J Sheekey (2000). In 1998 James was offered the position of Chef de Partie at Le Caprice working under Mark Hix and later Elliot Ketley.
James stayed at Le Caprice until 2001 when head chef Tim Hughes offered him a new position at the seafood restaurant J Sheekeys. James left J Sheekeys in 2005 on a high note. He had risen to Sous Chef, been a part of restoring the restaurant to its former glory and had learned how to motivate and train the junior members of staff.
It was these leadership qualities Elliot Ketley drew heavily upon when he placed James in charge of the 6th floor restaurant at Soho House New York. In this “city that never sleeps” James still managed to find the time to take 2 weeks to be involved with the exclusive members’ only Oscar party that Soho House Hollywood hosts annually in Los Angeles, California. It was his experiences in America that finely tempered his modern British style of cuisine.
In 2006 James returned to his home on the south coast as both a seasoned chef and new father. James’s work began to take on inspiration from the region and its unique produce from both forest and sea. James feels the responsibility to promote and protect the traditional foods of the United Kingdom. To James this means seeking out small producers and local butchers in the habit of working sustainably and with passion for their products. Provenance and seasonality are the key ingredients when Chef James Golding builds his menus.
Through his work as head chef at Harbour Heights in Sandbanks, he has worked to raise interest in where his food comes from and how it tastes. He has done this through working closely with his head Kitchen gardener Ollie Hutson, the New Forest Marque, Direct from Dorset and the AA. Through his position and relationship with The Pig and the Home Grown Hotels Ltd he achieves and delivers his vision with respect to the Environment, to taste and to animal welfare.