William Drabble, one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs, is head chef of the Michelin-starred Seven Park Place at St James’s Hotel and Club, London.
Inspired at a young age by the Norfolk countryside and his grandmother’s stories of cooking in the big houses of Yorkshire during her days of service, Drabble embarked on his career as an unpaid kitchen porter at the tender age of 14. After catering school, he worked in the seaside town of Eastbourne, where the leisurely pace of life gave him the opportunity to fully immerse himself in all things gourmet.
Following tours of duty at some of the UK’s most influential Michelin-starred hotels and restaurants including The Capital Hotel and Chez Nico, Drabble took up the role of sous chef to Tom Aikens at his former restaurant, the two Michelin-starred Pied à Terre. From there, he went on to become head chef at Michael Nook’s Country House Hotel in Grasmere earning a Michelin star within four months, at the age of only 26.
Upon Gordon Ramsay’s departure, he settled in at London’s Aubergine, again winning a Michelin star in 1999, which he maintained for ten years until leaving in 2009.
Already working at St James’s Hotel and Club as Food and Beverage Manager was former colleague, Christophe Thuilot of The Capital Hotel, and together they created the formidable team that, in January 2011, just over a year after joining the Hotel, enabled Drabble and Seven Park Place to be awarded a much coveted Michelin star and four AA Rosettes.
Drabble oversees all aspects of dining at the Hotel, including afternoon tea, room service, private dining and the Hotel’s more informal dining space and sibling to Seven Park Place - William’s Bar & Bistro.
At Seven Park Place, Drabble has created his own unique menu, influenced by classic French cuisine but made using the best local, seasonal British ingredients, which are at the heart of his sublime cooking.
Like any great chef, Drabble has his signature favourites such as poached lobster tail with cauliflower purée and lobster butter sauce; best end of Lune Valley lamb with garlic puree and rosemary jus; marinated hand-dived scallops with Dorset crab and blood orange; braised stuffed oxtail, celeriac mash, wild mushrooms and bone marrow and assiette of wild Cumbrian rabbit with sweet pickled carrots.
Drabble, a confident yet humble chef, enjoys life in the kitchen with his talented team creating fresh new seasonal dishes and menus. Depending on the season, a personal favourite of his is either a rustic Cassoulet, Cote de Beouf on a BBQ or grilled langoustines.
During his spare time, Drabble enjoys spending quality time with his family, walking, reading, and is an unashamedly big Liverpool FC fan.