As the son of a Tyneside fisherman, John Williams developed a passion for food at an early age. After finishing his studies at South Shields College and later at Westminster College, John took his first position as a Commis Chef at the Percy Arms Hotel in Otterburn in 1974. Later, he then moved to the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, working his way through the kitchen operation until becoming Chef de Cuisine in 1982.

In 1984 John accepted his first position of Chef Director at the Restaurant Le Crocodile in Kensington before joining the distinguished Savoy Group of Hotels and Restaurants in 1986. During his 18 year tenure with the Savoy Group, John served as Premier Sous Chef at Claridge’s and Maitre Chef des Cuisines at The Berkeley before moving to head up Claridge’s kitchens as Maitre Chef des Cuisines in 1995. After nine years in this position he joined the Ritz London as the Executive Chef. He now oversees 54 chefs in The Ritz Restaurant, The Palm Court, The Rivoli Bar and the private dining rooms at William Kent House at The Ritz.  

Chef Williams has also been a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts for the past 20 years and was appointed as Executive Chairman in 2004, helping to promote the education and training of young chefs. Most recently he was one of several chefs to prepare food at the Coronation Festival held in Buckingham Palace, marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.


  • MBE for services to the hospitality industry 2008
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013 |Tatler Restaurant Awards
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, 2008 | Hotel Catey Awards


The Ritz London

150 Piccadilly




+44 (0)20 7493 8181