He spent just under eight years at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, sharpening his skills and learning the rigours and rewards of kitchen management from the master himself.
Having been Senior Sous at Le Manoir, Watts was more than ready for a Head Chef role when he was approached to take over the kitchen of Wales’ Hurst House in 2009. From there he went on to work at Cotswold House in 2011, before moving on to The Star Inn pub in late 2012 and then Coworth Park two years later.
Somewhat unsurprisingly given that Watts spent so long at Le Manoir, the chef’s food is technically exquisite and his menus parade some luxurious British and French ingredients – like foie gras, turbot and sirloin steak.
But identifying where the Le Manoir influences end and his own cuisine starts is a simple task, with his interest in Japanese cuisine reflected in the light, natural quality of dishes such as Smoked eel, roasted beetroot, horseradish and oat and Lemon sole with pearl barley and lemon. He describes his food as "rustic neat" – which wonderfully encapsulates a style that is influenced by both his time with Raymond Blanc and making jam with his Grandmother as a child.