Having worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, Alyn Williams has led a successful culinary career – with stints at Claridge’s, Les Alouettes, Le Champignon Sauvage and Petrus, to name but a few.
After taking a sabbatical from the culinary world and embarking up on a backpacking trip through India, he ventured on to spend six years teaching skiing and snowboarding in France and the USA. Now firmly back behind the pass, he’s the Head Chef of Alyn Williams at The Westbury, a one Michelin star and 4 AA rated restaurant that prides itself on plating up seasonal dishes that showcase the flair of British cuisine with a playful edge.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I grew up in a very foodie family, so food and cooking was a big part of growing up. It was an easy choice when I had to decide a career.
Tell us more about your culinary background – where did you train?
I went to college in London, and had some good formative training in Les Allouettes, a Michelin starred restaurant in Surrey (1 of only 24 starred restaurants at the time) and then a short stint at the newly opened Le Champignon Sauvage with David Everitt-Matthias.
My most influential period was working for Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing where I was Sous chef and head chef in several restaurants in the GRH group for 10 years.
Describe your cooking style in three words.
Meticulous, playful, serious & tasty (sorry, four words!)
What can guests expect from a meal at Alyn Williams at The Westbury?
You can expect a complete experience; from a warm welcome, knowledgeable and friendly service through to fantastic wine and food. We aim to always exceed our guest’s expectations on all fronts.
Name three of your top restaurants.
1 Midsummer House (Cambridge)
2 The Five Fields (Chelsea)
3 Kontrast (Oslo)
What does it take to achieve a Michelin star?
You really need to ask Michelin that question! I think it’s mostly down to consistency of quality, well-judged cooking.
Do you have a favourite spring ingredient?
Though not strictly a spring herb, wild garlic and its family come into their own in March and April.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
Head down, work hard, listen and taste!
What do you predict will be 2019’s hottest food trend?
I’m not very good at predictions and don’t pay a lot of attention to trends, but I do think the vegetable slant on menus will continue to gain momentum. I think we’ll also see a resurgence of gueridon service in fine dining restaurants.
Do you have any role models?
Philias Fogg and Jason Atherton.
What’s next on the cards?
Keeping on keeping on!
Finally… what’s your go-to midnight snack?
Heinz tomato soup with buttered crumpets.
Find out more and try Alyn’s dishes for yourself by clicking here.