What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Being around my mother as a child as she cooked and eating at the table as a family.
What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
The biggest influence on my cooking has been travel and life experience, particularly France, Italy, Japan and the US.
Describe your culinary style…
Evolved classical French.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu atAndre Garrett at Cliveden?
The surroundings at Cliveden House are extremely grand and we try to balance this grandness with a relaxed but classy approach to service, the food is very seasonally led and must be unique.
Will you be doing something similar for the Eat Jersey festival?
Yes, I am doing a course for the Friday night gala dinner, along with other great chefs.
Can you give us any hints at what you might be serving?
I am doing a dish with quail, chestnuts, walnuts and a truffle custard
What do you think makes a restaurant or menu so successful?
I think what makes a restaurant successful is what personality you create within and how you deliver, people want to feel at home and welcome, the food, service, everything must work really well.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Salt and butter, you must always season, even if only lightly and butter is a must in the French kitchen.
What changes have you witnessed in the fine dining scene in recent years?
The biggest change we are seeing is the relaxed, informal style appearing more and more, the food is still high quality and polished but the service and restaurants are becoming more open and relaxed in style. Choice for the guests is also big, guests don’t want to be told that you only do a tasting menu, they want the choice and feel they are in control.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
Food has given me a great life and a career. I have so many memories and have met so many interesting people, but one moment stands out – having tea with Prince Charles after I was awarded the MCA in 2005, such a special time with someone many would not get the chance to meet so closely.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out acareer in theworld of food?
To travel more when young and take more chances.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
Saison in San Francisco.
Find out more about and Eat Jersey!here…