Story

Originally born in Dorchester, Dorset, I spent my early years in Cambridge.  The intriguing world of gastronomy captured my imagination at the age of sixteen and has allowed me to travel and hone my skills in England, France, Japan and Turkey.

My early career was spent in pursuit of good training and I’ve been privileged to work for Hans Schweitzer, Gordon Ramsay, Stefano Cavallini, the Galvin brothers, Warren Geraghty and Richard Neat.  In addition, I’m honoured to have trained alongside Michel Bras, one of the industry’s most revered figures, and spent three years in his iconic ‘Restaurant Bras’ in Laguiole, France.  This led to a role as Head Chef of his operation within the Windsor Hotel, Toya, Japan.

In 2012 I returned to England in to establish my own venture, Wilks restaurant in Bristol. In 2013, after we were awarded a Michelin star which we retained until the restaurant closed in 2020.

The last 2 years have been spent continuing to explore and expand my love of gastronomy in roles as a private chef in London and France and on private yachts.

Wilks Bath is the new incarnation of my love of great gastronomy.  It’s designed to address an increasingly exciting yet demanding sector at a challenging time whilst still providing the essentials to our customers, allowing us to offer an experience you’ll want to return for.  We aim to offer quality, comfort, service, enjoyment and value.  Our goal -   to put the most of your pound on the plate and in the glass. 

I’ll be your chef and will be cooking with noble and interesting ingredients of exceptional freshness and quality, selected each morning.  Vegetables are sourced locally, wild fish from Brixham market, shellfish from Scotland, alongside a few special products from France and the rest of the world. 

The food is an authentic reflection of my culinary experience from across the globe and how I myself like to eat. Wilks Bath champions suppliers whose practices are positive to the food and hospitality industries and ultimately, our customers.

The dining room is run by Ben our restaurant manager and sommelier. Our cellar offers a selection of exceptional wines from small, independent vignerons who work with an empathetic hand to make wines that are expressive of their homeland. We passionately believe in showcasing the importance of terroir and want to share this with you by offering a wine list that represents the particularities and strengths of their respective regions. Each wine is made by hand with minimal intervention, allowing the winemaking to perfectly reflect its environment. The selection promotes indigenous grapes, diversity and organic viticulture. Above all, we offer wines of true character.

We look forward to welcoming you to Wilks Bath soon.

James Wilkins