A self-taught chef, Andy learnt most of his skills from the many amazing chefs he has had the pleasure of working with throughout his career, while his passion for food was fuelled by travelling the world, particularly in Italy. Most recently, Andy was the Head Chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, a position he held for 9 years. Along with overseeing the award-winning restaurant, he also managed the apprentice chef training programme that has, to date, graduated 101 young chefs. Andy left Fifteen in February 2016 to start Appleton’s at the Vineyard, a huge leap of faith and his first venture on his own!
We sat down with Andy to discuss all things salt…
How long have you been using Cornish Sea Salt?
I started using Cornish Sea Salt at Fifteen when it first came out, so 10 years.
Why use our salt in your kitchen over other salts?
It’s a local product and I like to support local businesses. It’s been great since the flaky salt has come out too, as it is more versatile.
How would you describe the flavour of Cornish Sea Salt?
I think I’d say the best word would be punchy.
What’s new on your menu this season?
At this time of year, we’ve got all the game and squash coming out, so that’s featuring quite heavily on the menu at the moment.
If we could create a bespoke salt for your kitchen, what would it be and why?
We do a lot of our own flavoured salt. At the moment we are doing a chicken skin salt and we might try that with other game. It’s been difficult to develop new flavours thanks to the busy summer, but now it’s slowing down we can start to experiment again. We always have the rosemary salt that we make as standard, but we like things to be different, so we might try a duck skin salt next.
What is your favourite recipe that uses salt as one of the key ingredients?
We do our own curing, so we do our own barrelled rump that we buy from Warrens, then cure in sea salt and sugar for a few days before air drying it. We slice it to order; it looks like fillet steak but it’s cheaper. We have that on at the moment and it’s always popular.
Do you have any advice for young chefs on how to nail the seasoning in their food?
Taste it. You have got to taste everything you make, it’s the most important thing.
Is there any news from Appleton’s this season that you’d like to share?
We are going to have some lunch promotions – including Pasta & Prosecco for £10.
It’s fantastic to speak to a local food hero – follow the link here to the Appleton’s website, or have a look at their Instagram here.