Meet Andy Chan, Head Chef, Thornbury Castle

Monday’s masterclass is on pasta, led by Andy Chan, Head Chef at Thornbury Castle. Apprentices will learn how to make fresh pasta (shapes and ribbons), add natural colourants, make appropriate sauces plus look at stuffing pasta (veggie and meat options).

Andy gained his first 2 rosettes back in 2015 at Cornwall’s Polurrian Bay hotel, which he retained the following year. Since then Andy has moved to another hotel for the company (Thornbury Castle) and has retained the 2 rosettes there for three years in a row.

Andy won the prestigious South West Chef of the Year in 2013 and appeared on the current series of Masterchef.

“My parents had a restaurant, I helped out during my teenage years, this is where I grew a passion for cooking.

“I studied at King Alfred School and then went on to Weston College where I studied NVQ level 2’s in both food production and cooking, as well as level 2 food and drink service, full time 2000-2002. I have worked my way up from a chef de partie, sous chef and then Head Chef.”

Why should more people join the industry?

“The people I meet. I have made so many friends throughout the years, some are as close as family to me nowadays.

“I also enjoy the accomplishment. Working under tight deadlines and achieving great results while being able to show my creative flair. There is a lot of satisfaction in that.

“At the moment, there are so many skilled chefs out there understanding the current ethical and social trends, I think it’s a great time to get in to catering. More and more cafes and gastro pubs are upping their games, so there are more opportunities’ nationwide now, especially in Bristol.”

Any advice to future apprentices?

“Set goals in terms of what you want to achieve and keep to them. Some days will be hard, but I think in any trade, days like that will happen.

“Respect your team mates/chefs and they will turn in to mentors for your learning and may possibly introduce you to other great members of the catering trade.

“Chefs can go anywhere in the world and being determined, and a team player will get you there.”

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