He was asked what he would like to do instead of education. Davies, who had been working part-time in a kitchen, answered that he would like to do more cooking, prompting the headmaster to secure him a permanent work experience at the restaurant.
After earning his spurs in a host of Wales’ finest country house hotels, the Welsh-born chef moved to London to work for Gordon Ramsay at his three Michelin starred restaurant in Chelsea, where he rose from demi-chef to chef de partie.
Furthering his experience at the Vineyard at Stockcross and staging at legendary Californian restaurant The French Laundry, Davies was handed his first Head Chef role at Sawyards Restaurant in Storrington, winning a Michelin star five months into his tenure – at the age of 25 - and earning recognition from the Egon Ronay Guide before the restaurant was forced to close suddenly.
Since then he has been synonymous with Wiltshire’s Manor House, taking over in 2007 and holding a Michelin star since 2009. Frequent diners have commented on the steady progress of the restaurant year on year while Davies has gone on-record about his desire to keep improving the product.
Though Davies resists easy labels, his cuisine is probably most accurately described as Modern British; applying contemporary technique to primarily British ingredients. Dishes often feature a prime meat or fish component – sometimes both - manipulated into a couple of guises and served with some unexpected and often worldly accompaniments - think Old spot pork with braised cheek, pickled white cabbage, carrot purée and five spice.
His success has allowed him to compete on BBC’s Great British Menu, getting through to the final banquet in 2013 for his strawberries and cream dessert.