What is your name and job title?

Mark Andrews, Development Chef, bartlett mitchell

I start my day early; I have been in contract catering for most of my career. 99% of the time I commute into London and I generally arrive at Waterloo. Most recently I have been walking from Waterloo Station to Charing Cross, over the Jubilee Bridge with a coffee in my hand. I use this time to think about the day’s events and add my final thoughts to my plan of the day ahead.

Do you have a fairly structured, 9-5 day or can anything happen? (Do you prefer to have a routine or to mix it up?)

No two days are the same, the variety can be anything from a canape reception at one of our diplomatic embassies, to a fine dining event or supporting chefs in other sites.

My role includes chef training which involves hosting the Adam Byatt masterclasses. This gives me an opportunity to experience how chefs of Adam’s calibre can inspire our team. I also take part in presentations and organise food photoshoots for the company’s website.

Recently I have been incredibly fortunate to compete in the Garland International Chef competition at the Shellfish Festival on Prince Edward Island. This has been the highlight of my career and I achieved great success getting to the final and being placed runner up.

What are your main duties?

My main duties are to oversee and manage events at an Embassy. In the past I have managed events for the event company owned by bartlett mitchell. I have a passion for fine dining, so I particularly enjoy this.

Training junior chefs is an extremely rewarding aspect to my role. I get a kick out of coaching and developing them to the next stage of their career.

I especially appreciate the “chef’s table” element of my work, where Pete Redman, Chef Director and the development chefs and I design a seasonal menu to cook and present to our client. We rotate the cooking and plating in front of the client and talk about the dishes, it inspiring to hear what lies behind other chef’s ideas.

Do you have supportive/fun colleagues?

I am lucky to a have whole spectrum of support and fun colleagues at bartlett mitchell. Whether it’s a few drinks after service, or eating dinner together or just being able to say I work with some of my best friends. Some of my oldest friends have been colleagues for over 20 years. This was evident in the number of friends and colleagues who were rooting for me watching the final of the Garland International Chef competition being streamed live over the internet.

Do you get three square meals or is it more of a case of grab and go?

Show me a chef that eats 3 square meals a day! I have coffee for breakfast and a pasty on the train home. But I do have lunch with the team as much as possible.

What is your favourite part of your working day?

My favourite part of the day is service time, after all the preparation is complete, and all the pieces finally come together to deliver a great service

What is your biggest frustration?

Chefs cutting corners or just ticking boxes, luckily at bartlett mitchell this doesn’t happen. Pete Redman and I have ‘hardwired’ the word “why” into our culture so that we constantly challenge our chefs to deliver beyond their expectations.

How do you like to unwind after a hard day?

I often have a post-service drink with the Brigade. And I always listen to music on my journey home. Most of the time though I am planning the next day!

Read more about Mark’s food inspiration

This article appears in b&i catering magazine and the full article can be read here

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