June 18, 2018

Validation Dinner: David Watts

Congratulations to chef David Watts on his successful validation by the La Belle Assiette Jury!

Congratulations to chef David Watts on his successful validation dinner. His validation took place on the 8th of June in Exeter. The role of the jury members was to try the private chef dining experience and evaluate the menu prepared by the chef.

David spent just under eight years at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, sharpening his skills and learning the rigours and rewards of kitchen management from the master himself. Having been Senior Sous at Le Manoir, Watts was more than ready for a Head Chef role when he was approached to take over the kitchen of Wales’ Hurst House in 2009. From there he went on to work at Cotswold House in 2011, before moving on to The Star Inn pub in late 2012 and then Coworth Park two years later. Following that in January 2016 becoming Head Chef of 1 Michelin stared The Red Lion in East Chisenbury. Somewhat unsurprisingly given that Watts spent so long at Le Manoir, the chef’s food is technically exquisite and his menus parade some luxurious British and French ingredients – like foie gras, turbot, Hand dived Scallops and rare breed livestoke. But identifying where the Le Manoir influences end and his own cuisine starts is a simple task, with his interest in Japanese cuisine reflected in the light, natural quality of dishes such as Smoked eel, roasted beetroot, horseradish and oat and Lemon sole with pearl barley and lemon. He describes his food as “rustic neat” – which wonderfully encapsulates a style that is influenced by both his time with Raymond Blanc and making jam with his Grandmother as a child. Clean vibrant flavours, cooked with passion & respect for the ingredient.


Sea bream tartar, shellfish and citrus quinoa dressing


To follow

Wild sea bass Ceviche, shallots, chives and pickled cucumber

Main course

Pan fried guinea fowl, roasted gem lettuce and peas Parisienne


Chocolate torte, berries and cherries, raspberry Chantilly

  • “David was very helpful on email when offering up delicious menu options and took my requests and feedback on board, including cooking a fillet of fish separately for my son, rather then the cured option the adults enjoyed.
    David turned up, equipped with everything he needed, joined in the conversation at points during the evening, smiled the whole way through and left the kitchen cleaner than he found it!
    The evening was really enjoyable as David just adapted to his surroundings so that I could enjoy the evening with my guests. The food was delicious and presented beautifully.”

David created an exceptional meal for his Validation Dinner. Each dish was perfectly cooked, and the special touches he included made the meal even more special. His range of culinary experience shone through and he was an absolute pleasure to host.

We are happy to announce the validation of chef David and know you would be in the best hands for your next dinner party! To view David’s profile and menus head to:



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