Watts, who has built a menu featuring seasonal, simple and sustainable food at Cotswold House which he labels 'rustic neat', was heralded by the guide for producing 'exquisitely balanced, often complex dishes that are beautiful to behold'.
The chef, who trained under Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and worked at Hurst House before joining Cotswold House as head chef in 2011, said he was honoured to be named the chef to watch by a publication he has respected for many years.
"Food should be an utter pleasure on every level and it’s a very important part of what we do here at Cotswold House Hotel. I look forward to welcoming guests to try my food in our relaxing, comfortable venues," he added.
The accolade was one of eight Editors' Awards given out by the guide to coincide with the release of its 2013 edition and to highlight chefs, restaurants and pubs who it feels deserve recognition.
Also picking up awards were Clare Smyth of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay who was named Chef of the Year and The Gunton Arms in Norfolk. The pub with eight bedrooms was named Best New Entry in the guide mainly for its efforts in 'reinventing the rural inn for the 21st Century'.
Former Maze executive chef James Durrant, who earlier this year open his own pub in Hampshire, received the Pub of the Year accolade. Speaking to BigHospitality last week for a video interview, consultant editor Elizabeth Carter said his accolade was a 'big surprise' considering the short amount of time The Plough Inn had been open for.
"We kind of knew he was going to be good, but we didn't think he'd nail it so quickly and open such a delightful place," she said.
The awards were announced following the news that l'Enclume had become the second restaurant to score a perfect 10 in the guide, which was officially released for publication yesterday.
The Good Food Guide 2013 Editors' Awards:
- Chef to Watch - Dave Watts
- Chef of the Year - Clare Smyth
- Best new Entry - The Gunton Arms, Norwich
- Pub of the Year - The Plough Inn, Longparish
- Wine List of the Year - Drakes, Ripley
- Best Seafood - The Seahorse, Dartmouth
- Best Value for Money - Create, Leeds
- Best Cafe - Food by Breda Murphy, Whalley