Ashley Palmer-Watts is a Dorset Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur. His passion for cooking began at the age of 14.
Dorset born, Chef Director of Dinner by Heston, Ashley-Palmer Watts’ first job was washing up after-school in a local restaurant aged 13. This early insight into the buzz of the kitchen, together with his love of the countryside, convinced Palmer-Watts that his future lay in restaurants. After leaving school, he started to work at Le Petit Canard in Dorset where he learnt the fundamental disciplines of the kitchen, whilst spending most of his free time visiting producers and suppliers.
Ashley joined Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray in 1999 when it had just received its first star. After eating there with a friend, he was so convinced he had to work there that he took work at a farm nearby picking watercress until a chef de partie role came up. Within two years, he was promoted to Sous Chef and he became Head Chef in 2003. The following year, 2004, The Fat Duck gained their third Michelin Star. From 2008, Ashley became the Executive Head Chef for the Fat Duck Group overseeing development at The Fat Duck and The Hinds Head in Bray, The Crown Pub in Bray and The Perfectionists’ Café at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
More recently Ashley has taken on the role of Chef Director for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the historically inspired, produce driven restaurants. Heston Blumenthal said of his chief protégéf when opening Dinner : “I’m utterly confident of putting Ash out under my name. It was always going to be Ash. I simply wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for him.” Ash now heads up the team at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park which won its’ second Michelin star in 2013. Dinner has consistently featured in the top 10 of The San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant.
Crossing continents, Chef Palmer-Watts opened Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Melbourne Australia in October 2015. He is presently overseeing a third Dinner restaurant planned for Dubai. It is due to open in 2020.
Ashley’s creative eye for detail coupled with a great enthusiasm for historical research and commitment to seeking out the best British ingredients combine to stunningly creative and original effect on menus which despite their historical approach feel contemporary in their approach and outlook too.
- Meat fruit Salagamundy Frumenty TIpsy cake