John Lawson was appointed Executive Chef of No.8 at Crown in September 2013, assuming the position after three and a half years spent working first as Head Chef of Gordon Ramsey's maze, and later as Executive Chef of Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar.
John was part of the team that saw maze receive one chef's hat in The Age Good Food Guide within a year of its opening, and has worked at two and three Michelin star restaurants in the United States and United Kingdom.
John brings with him 12 years' experience at some of the world's leading restaurants in the United Kingdom and New York, drawing on his French training and longstanding use of local, seasonal produce to create modern comfort food with an emphasis on clean flavours and seasonality.
Prior to working with Crown Hotels, John spent a brief period as a private chef in the UK, following a three year stint in New York under Gordon Ramsay, where he was part of Gordon Ramsay at The London's opening team. Before this, John worked at Aurora in London's five star Great Eastern Hotel. Earlier in his career, John held the role of Commis Chef at the two Michelin starred Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons in the Oxfordshire countryside, where he was introduced to modern French cuisine under the tutelage of Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones.
John first discovered his passion for food as a young man working at his father's local pub, where was inspired to go down the path of obtaining a Professional Chef's diploma, with his first stage at a family run restaurant in Toulouse.
No.8's prime riverside location attracted John to the restaurant, excited by the opportunity to showcase his locally sourced food offerings within Crown and elevate No.8's reputation with a refreshing change of pace. John's vision for No.8 is to see the restaurant evolve into one of Melbourne's best. John also endeavours to create a supportive work culture with a team that strives for success.