The Weekender Interview: André Garrett

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

André Garrett Cliveden House
André Garrett is executive chef at Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire. Born in Bath, he has a star-studded CV that includes spells with Nico Landenis, Guy Savoy and the Galvin Brothers.

What image do you currently have on your phone's wallpaper?
A picture I took in Bruges on a recent trip with my partner.

What was your first job?
Part time waiter at the Lansdown Grove Hotel in Bath. 

Gordon or Marco? 
Always Marco, the stories were amazing. 

What was the last film you saw in the cinema? 
Alien Covenant.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?  
Pimped up frozen pizza.

Where are you going on your next holiday? 
France. I haven’t been for years so it's about time. 

What industry figure do you most admire (and why)? 
There are many, but Thomas Keller is right up there. His attention to detail, drive and sheer excellence is inspiring.  

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do? 
I'd be in a lot of trouble.

Biggest regret?
No regrets. I don’t like to look back.

Pet hate?
Dirty chefs and the phone constantly ringing in the kitchen. 

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
"Do you live upstairs at Cliveden House?"

Marmite: love it or hate it?
I really love it.

Describe your cooking style in three words
Classic. Proper. Light.

What country do you next want to visit?

Most overrated food?
Tweezer food.

Restaurant czar for a day – what would you implement?
A ban on shared dishes.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
I had a review at the Orrery that totally broke my heart and soul, I won’t mention names, but it woke me up and taught me what to believe in and focus on. it was a very tough learning experience. 

What made you want to become a chef?
I hated school and found that I fitted in in kitchens. 

What do you cook at home on your days off?
Anything really but my favourite is roast chicken with all the trimmings.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Choose the right chef as a mentor, the right place to work that suits your ambitions and your goals and always work hard. 

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A great non-stick pan.

iPhone or Android?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
Chris Galvin once said to me “you’ve got to get your profile built, do competitions”. So I did. 

What’s your earliest memory? 
Holidays with my parents in Cornwall when I was a kid. 

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?

Twitter or Instagram?

Tipple of choice?
Monkey 47 and tonic.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
24 Porthilly oysters, lemon, Tabasco, and some vodka.

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