Ashley Palmer-Watts announces departure from The Fat Duck Group

Published 3 January 2020

After 20 years, Ashley Palmer-Watts has announced he is to leave The Fat Duck Group. In a statement posted to Instagram and Twitter, Palmer-Watts writes “After 20 incredible years, it is time for me to move on from Bray for a new chapter and to take on fresh challenges. I will initially be spending some time with my family as I prepare for the new and exciting journey ahead.”

He continues “I am eternally grateful to all of you for the knowledge and memories I have gathered working with Heston and the group and would like to thank all the brilliant people past and present that have made the last 20 years nothing short of extraordinary. I wish everyone continued success for the future and I am very proud to be able to say I have been part of the magic of Heston’s world.”

Palmer-Watts first joined three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray in 1999, before becoming head chef at the age of 25 in 2003. Most recently, he assumed the role of executive head chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the Mandarin Oriental London Hyde Park, helping the team to achieve two Michelin stars within two years.

In a statement released by The Fat Duck Group, they say “After 20 incredible years with The Fat Duck group, Ashley Palmer Watts has decided that the time is right for him to move on to other challenges. Ashley has been an invaluable member of Heston’s team over the years; he has been and remains very proud to have been part of Heston’s world. He leaves with the very best wishes of everyone at the group. We hope he will go on to great success in his future career.”

It is not yet clear whether he will move elsewhere or embark on a solo project, with more details to be announced in due course.

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