Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Revelations: William Hemming, head chef, Simpson’s in the Strand, London

Written by:
Written by:
Revelations: William Hemming, head chef, Simpson’s  in the Strand, London

What were your best subjects at school?
Food technology, biology, chemistry and geography

What was your first job in catering?
Kitchen porter in the Harp Inn in Letterston, Wales

What do you normally have for breakfast?
Greek yogurt with muesli and berries or avocado on toast

What do you do to relax?
I like to relax at home with my two cats. I also love a coffee in the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Which is your favourite restaurant?
I had an amazing experience at Marcus in the Berkeley

What’s your favourite hotel?
The Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort in Thailand – it was totally cut off

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
I am not a huge fan of pheasant, grouse or Jerusalem artichokes

What flavour combinations do you detest?
I struggle with things without much texture, such as porridge

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Oliver Lange from Zuma in the US, Jeremy Brown from Hotel Café Royal and Guido Fuhrmann from Werkstatt der Süße in Berlin

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Guido Fuhrmann taught me to cook from your heart

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
A sashimi knife to prep the fish I would spear, and to break open the coconuts I would pick from the palm trees

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
My cat

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Being a DJ would have been cool, I suppose

Who would play “you” in a film about your life?
Christian Bale, as we’re from the same place and we were born in the same hospital

What irritates you most about the industry?
It can seem unattractive to a younger generation due to some hot-headed chefs giving it a bad reputation. No names!

What’s your favourite film?
I have many… American Gangster, Trainspotting, Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, all Marvel films and James Bond

Tell us a secret…
I’ll eat Sriracha chilli sauce on anything

Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free