Andrew MacKenzie

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Early Influences and Inspiration

Andrew MacKenzie’s journey into the culinary world was deeply rooted in his family’s culinary heritage. With both his uncles being professional chefs, Andrew was exposed to the magic of restaurant kitchens from a young age. Inspired by their craft, he began his culinary journey by working at a local restaurant at the age of sixteen.

Foraging and Appreciation for British Produce

Growing up in the Exmoor countryside, Andrew developed a profound appreciation for the abundance of British produce. Foraging in the picturesque landscapes of Bampton, he learned to recognize the changing seasons through the food found in hedgerows. This early connection to nature and food laid the foundation for his culinary philosophy centered around using the best of British ingredients.

Training and Mentorship

Completing his culinary training at Birmingham College of Food, Andrew embarked on a journey of learning and growth. Working under mentors such as Allan Hill at Gleneagles and Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico, he honed his skills and refined his elegant cooking style. These experiences were instrumental in shaping his culinary identity and prepared him for future success.

Embracing Sussex Produce

Andrew’s culinary journey led him to become an authority on the produce of Sussex. At Gingerman restaurant, later The Restaurant at Drakes, he showcased his expertise in creating dishes that celebrated the amazing meat and fish of the area. His commitment to using locally sourced ingredients became a hallmark of his culinary approach.

Continued Success and Leadership

In subsequent years, Andrew continued to make an impact in the culinary scene, moving to prestigious establishments such as The Half Moon in Kirdford and The East Sussex National Hotel. His role as group development chef for Countrywide Hotels further solidified his reputation as a leader in the industry.

Current Endeavors

In October 2022, Andrew MacKenzie took on the role of head chef at the Brighton-based Soho House members’ club, where he continues to showcase his culinary expertise and passion for British produce. With each dish he creates, Andrew pays homage to his roots and the rich culinary heritage of Sussex, leaving a lasting impression on diners and fellow chefs alike.

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