Dorset-born Ashley-Palmer-Watts joined Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck in Bray in 1999. He became head chef of the Michelin-starred establishment in 2003. He worked alongside Blumenthal to create Dinner in London, which opened to acclaim in 2011, and won its first Michelin star the same year.
He now runs Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Melbourne, which just celebrated its first anniversary. See dinnerbyheston.com.au.
A table overlooking the kitchen in Hedone. Chef Mikael Jonsson offers a tasting menu, it's a small restaurant and he personally comes to the table to discuss how hungry you are and how many courses you would like. Just don't dine with anyone with dietary restrictions as the menu doesn't cover all of today's myriad of dietary dilemmas. Also, if it's on when you are there, make sure you have the crab claw with hazelnut mayonnaise – sublime. See hedonerestaurant.com.
LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY
Neighbourhood restaurants are really challenging the grand destination establishments of central London. For example, A Wong in Pimlico is taking Chinese food to a completely different level, but in a local restaurant environment. See awong.co.uk.
BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET
Well, funnily enough, it is actually just outside London. We Londoners like to jump on a train to Kent to a restaurant called The Sportsman on the Kent coast. Stephen Harris delivers some of the finest ingredient-led cooking, in which simplicity, boldness and full flavour are key. Kent is called "the garden of England" for its incredible produce and Stephen makes great use of all at his disposal in a wonderful seasonal menu. It's on the coast so seafood is also a must. See thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk.
Kani No Kamameshi, which is a rice hot pot with king crab and wasabi tobiko – it's an incredible dish at Roka in Charlotte Street. Rainer Becker has Zuma and Roka; two modern Japanese restaurants I love. But this dish is one of my favourite, most delicious comfort foods for flavour and texture. If you are there just after Rhubarb season you're in for a treat: downstairs in their bar they have a rhubarb shochu that is exceptional. See rokarestaurant.com
In the summer months, if you want to really feel like a Londoner head to the pub. Join in for a post-work beer out on the bustling streets, people-watching. After work on hot London day they all head to those gorgeous old historic London pubs and they literally spill out onto the streets for after work drinks.
A BIG NIGHT OUT
Everyone hits the theatres and the shows on Shaftsbury Avenue. There are so many places to enjoy pre-theatre around Soho and Covent Garden. But afterwards hit Bar Termini, barman Tony C's latest creation for expert cocktails and drinks. We work with Tony creating the historically inspired drinks for Dinner by Heston bar in Melbourne and I know just how good his drinks are. See bar-termini.com.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Autumn, which is the beginning of the chef larder – an exciting time of just a bounty of ingredients across the board. From September onwards everyone's menu lifts full of new season excitement.