The Royal Family - Bill Draves
Position: Lead Line Cook
Years of Service: 8 Years
After years as a bartender with a penchant for home-cooking, a friend suggested that Bill pursue his hobby professionally. He started with classes in Delgado’s culinary program, and soon found his way to the kitchen at Windsor Court through the school’s apprenticeship sequence. His enthusiasm and skill earned him a permanent position at the hotel in 2008, and he has never looked back.
Working his way up to lead line cook through various positions in the kitchen, Bill is known for his hard work, reliability, consistency and sincerity. He enjoys working for the hotel because the staff is close enough to be family, and he likes touting his position at a hotel with such a prestigious reputation.
As one of the most tenured members of the culinary staff, Bill is the go-to resource for new cooks with questions about the hotel’s extensive menus, and he enjoys teaching new team members how to perfect each plate. Menus in The Grill Room change frequently with the seasons, and Bill relishes these updates as a chance to learn new cooking techniques, flavors and styles.
Each summer, you’ll find Bill manning the pool-side bar at Windsor Court’s roof-top pool. He is the man behind all of the delicious treats that accompany a relaxing afternoon at the pool, and he can make everything listed on the pool menu — from daiquiris, to salads, to po’boys.
Outside of work, Bill continues his culinary habit, growing vegetables and herbs in his backyard garden and developing creative dishes from his home-grown ingredients. He is also a burgeoning photographer, and he combines this pastime with his love of the outdoors by capturing scenic landscapes and diverse architecture.
Favorite Windsor Court Moment
Bill was quick to recall his favorite memory from the hotel. He was working in the kitchen on the night the Saints played in the 2009 Super Bowl. The sophisticated Polo Club Lounge was turned into a posh sports club for the special night, with multiple TVs for guests to watch the epic event. The kitchen staff listened to the game on the radio throughout the night, but as the last seconds of the game wound down, Bill and other cooks crept out to the bar to watch the final plays. He will never forget the celebration that erupted from staff and guests alike. Moving to New Orleans from Michigan 14 years ago, Bill is certainly now a converted Saints fan.