William was first exposed to cooking and baking by his grandmother. His formal schooling commenced at Glenrothes College and, as a young man, William apprenticed at Gleneagles Hotel. The patisserie truly began to shine, however, when the award of the William Heptinstall Scholarship opened the doors for Curley to train in extensively in France, beginning in 1996. During his time in France, William trained with renowned dessert and pastry chefs including Marc Meneau, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc. These opportunities opened up a long-term position in London at The Savoy, where Curley held the title of Chef Patisserie. He was only 27 when he gained this position and was the youngest Chef Patisserie The Savoy had ever hired.