Originally from Dorset, Ashley Palmer-Watts’s love of food began with his love of the countryside and his familiarity with the seasons and exceptional produce of the British Isles. An after-school washing up job in a local restaurant at thirteen ignited a passion for cooking that has resulted in a career spanning almost twenty years. 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. Within two years, he was promoted to Sous Chef and he became Head Chef in 2003. The restaurant gained it’s third Michelin Star in 2004. From 2008, he was 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.
In 2010, along with Heston, the pair immersed themselves in British food history researching the lost culinary heritage of Britain.
They created the unique menu of historically inspired British dishes for the restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London.
The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 2012, followed by its second star in 2013. Dinner by Heston ranked in the top 10 of the worlds 50 best restaurant list for 8 consecutive years and received an array of Global awards.
More recently Ashley has left his role of the last 20 years as Chef Director for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and the Fat Duck group to work on exciting new ventures, including his first Restaurant with his wife Emma.