Alyn Williams

Alyn Williams

Alyn Williams

In 2001 Alyn moved to Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (a return to the site of his college placement) working for head chef Mark Sargeant during the opening, before taking up a place at Ramsay’s (now three-star) Royal Hospital Road. He says of his year there: ‘Gordon was an excellent boss to work for, exceptionally demanding, as you would expect in a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, but also a very caring person – something not always said about him. He looked after his loyal staff very well and taught us a lot about working in a top-level establishment. I thrived on the pressure and discipline. As a youngster I was a bit of a tearaway and, as I developed as a chef, found that a military-style organisation in the kitchen was what I personally needed.’

After a spell running the kitchen at the Groucho Club, Alyn returned to work with Marcus Wareing at Pétrus (now moved to the Berkeley Hotel), working as head chef when it won its second Michelin star in 2007. He describes this as the most fundamental part of his career, where he realised the level of attention needed for both the business and culinary sides of such an operation. He also took on his lessons in dedication, commitment and consistency, saying he now bases his own style of management on this education, although adjusted to his own temperament and goals.

The food he was cooking at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley – a mix of classic French and British influences – was some of the best being produced in Britain at the time. A typical meal could feature a starter of Scallops with mustard pickle, lime mayonnaise, cucumber and baby leaf, followed by Best end of pork with fennel purée, buttered turnips, apple and mustard-sage crumbs and an Apple tarte Tatin,

In 2011 he opened his own restaurant, Alyn Williams at the Westbury, keen to build his own reputation and cook food that was truly his own. 2012 was a year of career highlights for Alyn Williams, winning a Michelin star after less than a year and scooping National Chef of the Year. He remained there until the end of 2019, when he and the business parted ways.

He says his food has evolved considerably over the past few years, moving away from the dishes he created with Marcus in mind, to those of his own palate and personality. French classical technique is still at the heart of his cuisine, but his myriad influences and inspirations are also evident, such as his use of Asian flavours in his Tandoori scallops with chickpeas and yoghurt and Pork ‘noodles’, piggy tea, mustards, kombu and shony.

His food is characterised by beautiful concentrations of flavour – from big and bold to just a suggestion – with his treatment of diverse textures showing real flair. The food is very much his own, with his nuanced, individual stamp on every dish. He says he is cooking much more gently now than before, innovating, but without creating for creation’s sake.

In May 2018, Alyn was announced as the new chef-patron of The Wild Rabbit, where he worked alongside head chef Nathan Eades, using the incredible produce of the Daylesford Estate to create food in his inimitable style. He parted ways with the restaurant in 2019, and later that same year announced he was no longer involved with Alyn Williams at The Westbury.

Three things you need to know

Alyn was in the kitchen at Pétrus when the seminal Gordon Ramsay series Boiling Point was filmed in 1999.

Alyn says that winning his first Michelin star is his proudest moment, closely followed by his National Chef of the Year victory.

Aside from cooking, Alyn's other passions include travel, skiing, snowboarding and supporting his beloved West Ham football club.