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. Since 2008, he has been the Executive Head Chef for the Fat Duck group. Ashley currently heads up the kitchen at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park.
His creative eye for detail coupled with a great enthusiasm for research and British ingredients have enabled him to create the unique menu of historically inspired British dishes with Heston Blumenthal for the new restaurant. He continues to oversee development at The Fat Duck, The Hinds Head and The Crown Pub in Bray.