William Drabble Biography

William Drabble Biography

Although from Merseyside by birth, William Drabble’s love of food actually began in 1979 when he was 8 and his family moved to Norfolk: there his passion for food and ingredients began, influenced by his beloved grandmother, herself a cook at Yorkshire’s great estates in the 1930’s, and the quality of ingredients he saw from local farms and suppliers. 

William worked in some of England’s most influential Michelin starred hotels and restaurants before joining St. James’s Hotel and Club, a luxury five-star 60-room London townhouse hotel, as Executive Chef to launch the hotels newly named ‘Seven Park Place’ restaurant on 1st September 2009.  Already working at the St. James’s as Food and Beverage Manager was a former colleague, Christophe Thuilot of The Capital Hotel, and together they formed the formidable team that, in January 2011 just over a year after joining the hotel, enabled William and ‘Seven Park Place’ to be awarded a coveted Michelin star.

Prior to his role at St. James’s Hotel and Club, Drabble spent over ten years at Aubergine in London’s fashionable Chelsea, gaining a Michelin star in 1999 and maintaining it each year since then. William’s career also includes roles as Head Chef at Michael’s Nook Country House Hotel in Grasmere (where he first gained the Michelin star for the venue at the tender age of 26) and Sous Chef to Tom Aikens at Pied a Terre in London (two Michelin stars).

William’s dishes at St James’s Hotel and Club are modern-French in style with primarily British local and seasonal ingredients. Drabble is a great supporter of small scale producers and local suppliers which include Cornvale Foods for game and Lune Valley Lamb; Keltic Sea Fare for scallops, langoustine and Scottish girolles; Channel Fisheries for Fish; and South West Fisheries for shellfish.

William oversees all aspects of dining at the hotel, including private dining, room service and the hotel’s more informal dining space, William’s Bar & Bistro. William comments: “My style of food changes with the seasons so in the summer, I like to cook lighter, Mediterranean dishes and then in winter they take on more rustic influences.”

Drabble, a family man, enjoys life in the kitchen with his incredible team creating fresh new seasonal dishes and menus. During his spare time William enjoys spending quality time with his family, walking and reading, the theatre and following Liverpool football team!

Drabble’s signature dishes include: Ravioli of langoustine, cabbage and truffle butter sauce; Best end of Lune valley lamb with confit potatoes, caramelised onion and thyme jus; Marinated hand dived scallops with Dorset crab and blood orange; Braised stuffed oxtail, celeriac mash, wild mushrooms and bone marrow; Assiette of wild Cumbrian rabbit with pickled carrots.

Drabble’s Favourite Foods include: “Depending on the season…a rustic Cassoulet, Cote de Boef on a BBQ or grilled langoustines!”

What made Drabble become a chef: “ Two areas really… – firstly my understanding of seasonality akin to all farmers and secondly the zeal and fascination of my grandmother, herself a cook at a large country house in the North in the 1930’s.”

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