Benjamin FordFord's Filling Station
Chef Ben Ford͛s cooking approach is based on the innate understanding of the ingredients in his dishes, which celebrate the cycle of life and freshness of the earth. His culinary pursuits began in 1987 when he left his hometown of LosAngeles to study at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, while simultaneously working under prolific Chef Alice Waters at famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley. There, he learned the ethos of utilizing local, seasonal ingredients and continues to remain an advocate for snout-to-tail and root-to-flower culinary methods. Afterward, Ford returned to Los Angeles to join renowned Chef Eberhard Mueller͛s Opus as sous chef, where he honed his skills in traditional French-cooking techniques. Following tenures at two seminal Los Angeles restaurants, Campanile and Eclipse, Ford created the concept for The Farm of Beverly Hills. There, he perfected his flavorful, earthy cuisine and learned and sharpened his skills in operating a restaurant while serving as executive chef. In 1999, Ford realized it was time to have a project to call his own, so he opened the restaurant, Chadwick. The local and seasonal high-end California-Mediterranean menu earned him rave reviews and national acclaim, including a coveted 3 ½ stars from former Restaurant Critic Irene Virbila of the Los Angeles Times and named one of the ͞Top 100 Restaurants in the World͟ by Condé Nast Traveler. Following 9/11, Ford desired to make his food style more accessible to the everyday consumer and launched one of the country͛s first ͚gastropubs͛, Ford͛s Filling Station in Culver City in 2004. Recognizing a lack of quality food in airports, a second location was born at the LAX Delta Terminal in 2013. The original Ford͛s Filling Station then moved to a new location at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles during the summer of 2014. That same year, Ford authored his first cookbook titled, ͞Taming the Feast: Ben Ford͛s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking,͟ a guide to cooking with fire, including grilling, smoking and roasting outdoors, and feeding crowds. Ford is proud to be a Culinary Ambassador for the American Chef Corps, a program of the U.S. Department of State, where he received the honor of cooking for President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the leaders of the ten countries that make up the ASEAN alliance in 2016.Today, Ford is partnering with The Branstetter Group, a flourishing hospitality management, to launch a chef-driven, fast-casual chicken concept. This modern day ͞roadside͟ chicken concept is inspired by those old-school all-American chicken shacks with outposts along the highway that have garnered a legion of loyal fans.