– follow Andrew –www.salthospitality.com
WHAT DO YOU DO AND HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
I started my hospitality career in the Swiss Alps 15 years ago as I needed a night time job to cover my skiing/competitions in the daytime. The European food and restaurant culture scene hit home for me and I quickly moved into the back of the house where I cooked for ten years. I left the culinary world for cocktails and wine in 2010 and spent the last five years working with brands like Bombay Sapphire and Absolut on partnerships and brand development. I joined my business partner, Chef Soa Davies, at Salt last year.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
A professional skier and world traveller.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD?
La Mamounia-Marrakech, Morocco; a timeless and elegant oasis in the western Sahara Desert, away from the craze of the city. The Churchill Bar is one of the best hotel bars in the world to have a martini, listen to live jazz and feel like a British prime minister.
HOW DO YOU FEEL SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE TRAVEL, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO THEIR DINING CHOICES?
There is the old saying, "you eat with your eyes first.” Apps like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine have allowed chefs to get their dishes and recipes out in the visual form whereas it was restricted to just the verbage of a menu before. Taking a step further back to before the internet, one had to rely on suggestions from food critics/guidebooks and friends alone on where to choose to dine. A leap of faith was more common then, which I think is missing in modern day dining.
A CULINARY EXPERIENCE CAN MAKE OR BREAK A TRIP - ANY MEMORABLE MEALS FROM YOUR TRAVELS?
When it comes to travels abroad, I am all about the home-cooked meal. I have had some fantastic Michelin-star meals in my time, but they will never compare to a home-made pomodoro in Campania or a grandmother’s garam masala blend in Bombay.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
The control of fate of a hotel/restaurant's success due to public opinion and comments (i.e. yelpers) over the somewhat trained/established industry critics.
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION IN THE INDUSTRY TODAY?
My business partner was one of my culinary mentors many years ago, she taught me to always move with a purpose in the kitchen, and I have carried that mantra through all aspects of my life since then.
CAREER ANECDOTE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
I traveled in the private chef circuit for a while and it brought me to a job over in China/Mongolia in the Gobi Desert. They were building me a new kitchen and when I arrived for site inspection there was an entire horse layed out on a tarp cut into large segments but still whole. I had been there for a few months already, so I just glanced over it and asked them to "remove Mr. Ed, please."
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
Traveling, working and building my escape from it all in the mountains.