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Heston Blumenthal’s protégé discovered he wanted to be a chef when, as a teenager, he worked as a kitchen porter at a local Dorset restaurant. After short training stints at top UK restaurants, including Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine, Palmer-Watts joined The Fat Duck, where he spent 10 years working with his mentor, earning the position of head chef aged just 25. Palmer-Watts was made executive chef of Blumenthal’s first London venture, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, when the restaurant opened in January 2011 – in fact, the pair developed its historically themed menu together. The restaurant was an instant hit and was named number nine in Restaurant magazine’s ‘World’s 50 Best’ list in 2012.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA; 020 7201 3833
© photography by Eddie Judd.