We were super excited to meet with William Drabble who told us about his life in London, experience thus far and what you should be ordering next time you are in Seven Park Place, the Michelin Starred gem of St James.
How did you start and what brought you to the Seven Park Place?
Like most young boys from Liverpool my first ambition in life was to play for Liverpool … but when I was 8 and my family moved to Norfolk, we were surrounded by farm land for miles and my passion for food and ingredients probably began there. I had the chance to appreciate where the food we eat comes from, how it’s grown and I was perfectly placed to see the seasons change. I was also influenced by my grandmother, she worked in the kitchens of the Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth not far from where she was born in Sheffield and the way she would describe it all to me was just so intriguing to me.
I had the opportunity to work in some of the UK’s most influential kitchens and to learn from great chefs and after 10 years as Head Chef at the Chelsea restaurant ‘Aubergine’, I wanted a new challenge. St James’s Hotel and Club was a great opportunity at the perfect time; the operations here are different comparing to a normal restaurant. I oversee all aspects of the dining concept at the St James’s Hotel and Club, which means: the Michelin starred restaurant Seven Park Place, our informal restaurant William’s Bar and Bistro, private dining, room service and afternoon tea. The kitchen never stops; in one moment you can have an order for a burger, at the same time you are preparing a poached lobster tail with cauliflower puree and lobster butter sauce… and you are plating a slow cooked blade of beef for 40 people in banqueting. It can be very challenging sometimes, but also very exciting.
5 words that describe Seven Park Place?
Intimate, relaxed, fantastic service, great seasonal food, Michelin starred
What is your recommendation to a first time visitor to London?
London is really a series of small villages, each with its own personality and attractions and all are best seen on foot. So I would give one simple piece of advice – wear comfortable shoes and go walking.
Your favourite hang out spots in London?
I spend most of the time in my kitchen and when I have some free time I like to spend it with my family; I like to be outdoor in the parks,and to cook with my daughter. Seven Park Place is closed on Sundays and roasts present the perfect opportunity to get all the family together and I normally hang out where there is a great Sunday Roast. I have recently been to the Anchor & Hope, a gastro pub near Waterloo… Sunday roast was excellent.
Your all time favourite dish and dessert at Seven Park Place?
Assiette of Lune Valley lamb, which is currently on the menu. My supplier delivers some of the best quality lambs and I am able to showcase 3 different ways of cooking this fantastic ingredient in one dish.
And my favourite dessert…Milk Chocolate and gingerbread spice mousse with salted caramelice-cream and confit clementine. It is a dessert I usually serve around Christmas time and when I cook it, it brings up the Christmas spirit in me.
We highly recommend that this festive season you visit Seven Park Place, in the heart of St James and steps from Mayfair and The Ritz London!