Alyn Williams leaves Marcus Wareing for own venture

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marcus wareing, Chef

Alyn Williams will create his own venture in London's Westbury hotel
Alyn Williams will create his own venture in London's Westbury hotel
Alyn Williams, who has made his name holding top chef positions with Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay, will now be branching off on his own in a new restaurant in London’s Westbury Hotel.

Alyn Williams at The Westbury is due to open in September 2011 in the site previously occupied by Artisan.

This will be the first independent venture for Williams, who has spent the last eight years working with Marcus Wareing, with four years as head chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, in London’s Knightsbridge.

Before that, Williams was at the Groucho Club, Gordon Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, and the original Petrus in St James’s Street.

At the age of 43, Williams says he’s now keen to take on the challenge of his own venue.

Branching out

"It’s a challenge I’ve been thinking about for some time now. I’ve worked for Marcus for eight years and it was great, and I probably could have carried on for another eight," he told BigHospitality.

"But there comes a time when you need to branch out and give yourself the chance to develop your own ideas. I want to develop my own cuisine in a way that flows more naturally, develop a restaurant that I can run with my own vision."

The new venue will have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere but with service modeled around top end attention to detail, he said.

"Marcus’ template for success is a good and solid one, and his attention to detail is something I’ll be taking along with me. The London scene is going in a rustic direction these days, but there’s also a lot of very good fine dining restaurants. I’d like to put that more friendly style of service into a fine dining concept, so I’ll marry the two. It used to be top end or nothing, but now there’s a great middle ground with exceptional food.

"I want everybody to be happy and welcome and feel looked after, both staff and guests. The restaurant manager is a big cuddly Italian man who’s a fantastic restaurant manager with great attention to detail. He’ll look after everybody but in a very informal sort of way."

The Restaurant Manager will be Giancarlo Princigalli, who previously worked with Williams at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and Petrus.

There will be 12 kitchen staff. Williams' sous chef will be Richard McLellan, who previously worked with Tom Aikens and Shane Osborn.

Menu

Williams, who has French cuisine at the root of his cooking style, will be using both modern and classic techniques in his kitchen, although the menu will be modern British. Ingredients will also be largely British.

The menu will include dishes such as scallops, cucumber, Aquitaine caviar and Granny Smith apple; sweet onion agnolotti with laver bread and onion velouté; Rhug Estate suckling pig with candied endive, potato croquette and girolles; fillet of ruby red Cornish beef with oxtail, parsley and truffle; walnut whip with vanilla and walnut ice cream; and Mead jelly with ginger biscuit and milk.

Prices have not yet been fixed but will be lower than traditional high-end dining.

Design

Alex Kravetz Design will take on the refurbishment of the venue. The new restaurant will have 60 covers, a 20-seat private dining room and a wine room for 10 guests, surrounded by walls of wine bottles.

Williams has been preparing the concept of his new restaurant since the start of January this year, having left Marcus Wareing after New Year's Eve. He is also working in a "supportive role" to create a brasserie adjacent to The Westbury, which is set to open this summer and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Alyn Williams at the Westbury, located on Conduit Street in London, will be open from September 2011 for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and for dinner only on Saturdays.

Related topics: Restaurants, Hotels, Venues

Related news

Show more

Spotlight

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers

Free Email Newsletter

Subscribe to BigHospitality

The trusted industry reference point

Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox!