After catering school, he worked in the seaside town of Eastbourne, where he says the leisurely pace of life allowed him to absorb his mentor's habits. Following tours of duty at The Capital Hotel, Chez Nico and Tom Aikens’ former restaurant Pied à Terre, he became Head Chef at Michael’s Nook in Grasmere, earning it a Michelin star within four months.
Upon Gordon Ramsay’s departure, he settled in at London’s Aubergine, winning a Michelin star in 1999 and maintaining it until leaving in 2009.
Today, William Drabble’s Michelin-starred Seven Park Place at St James’s Hotel and its sibling - William’s Bar and Bistro - are recognised among the most exciting restaurants on the London dining scene.
Giles Coren calls Seven Park Place "a grown-up, serious restaurant for people who eat out a lot and want a treat"; the Tatler Restaurant Guide calls his cooking "quite sublime".
Local English ingredients are at the forefront of Drabble’s cooking - a legacy of his Norfolk youth - though his kitchen inflects his staples with modern French technique. That’s not to say his food is fussy or compromised by hewing to inspector-pleasing formulas, though. As Quintessentially notes, "By and large he eschews the usual Michelin fripperies of foams and reductions in favour of gutsier, heartier cooking."