The Wordrobe gets the dish on Andrew Sheridan, Executive Head Chef of Sosban in Wales and recent Great British Menu star
At the ripe age of 30, chef Andrew Sheridan has accomplished a lot in the kitchen. Executive Head Chef at Sosban, Llanelli, Sheridan took the helm of the 80-cover restaurant in South West Wales in October 2017.
Whilst Andrew’s first ventures into chef life were entirely self-taught, his talent and drive shone from a young age, reaching the semi-finals of BBC Young Chef of the Year aged just 17.
He went on to work alongside Michael Caines at ABode in Chester, where he rose from a junior role in the brasserie kitchen to sous chef in the ﬁne dining restaurant. Here, he learnt the rules of classical French cooking – which he now reinvents through creative use of unusual flavour combinations.
There’s also numerous awards to his name – including North West Chef of the Year (2011). Undeniably driven, this September, Andrew represented Wales on BBC Two’s Great British Menu – paying tribute to his grandmother for the NHS-themed menu, who provided inspiration for his dishes as a former midwife.
The Wordrobe caught up with Andrew to find out more about his culinary journey so far, and why he believes perseverance and a good attitude is key to success.
What inspired you to become a chef?
When I was a kid I was obsessed with watching all the food shows on TV and my brother and I used to get competitive in the kitchen trying to impress our Mum. When I left school, my Dad encouraged me to take a job in a pub near home in North Wales. At first it was just a job but I soon rediscovered by love of cooking.
Where did you train? Tell us more about your culinary background…
I trained in a mix of places from pubs to fine dining restaurants. My first chef job was in a local pub in North Wales. It was busy, and the food was good pub grub, nothing fancy just good food and it gave me a good grounding as a chef.
Later I was lucky enough to get a job at Michael Caines’ ABode when it first opened in Chester. I worked my way up from a junior role to Soux Chef in the fine dining restaurant. I left ABode to become Head Chef at River Room at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in North Wales before moving to Sosban in October 2017.
It’s through sheer hard work and determination that I got from working in a pub kitchen as a teenager to running my own restaurant and appearing on Great British Menu. Along the way I have also been North West Chef of the Year (2011) and a semi-finalist in BBC Young Chef of the Year (2005), but one of the highlights of my career has been taking part in Great British Menu this year.
What’s your favourite autumn dish?
Hay Smoked Venison Loin.
Do you have any role models?
Gordon Ramsey – because he’s made a huge contribution to elevating the British food scene to where it is today. He’s one of the most successful chefs in the country and so many hugely talented and successful chefs have come through his ranks.
he’s also a great all rounder – a good businessman as well as a great chef.
Also a chef called Andrew Williams who I worked with when I first started cooking professionally in a pub in North Wales. He’d had a tough life but he was obsessed with cooking and he inspired me to learn and develop my interest and skills in professional cooking.
What does hospitality mean to you?
It’s my life!
Name three of your top restaurants.
1 The Man Behind The Curtain: A Restaurant By Michael O’Hare
2 Restaurant Story – Tom Sellers
3 Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Royal Hospital Road, London
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
Work hard, work in the best kitchens with the best chefs you can and never complain!
What’s next on the cards?
I’ve been at Sosban for a year in October and we’ve really developed the menus in that time and seeing more and more people enjoy the tasting menus. My plan for the next year is to build on that, develop and perfect the tasting menus and become a destination restaurant in South Wales.
I’m also really committed to developing young talent. At the moment we have five apprentices working in the kitchen who are hungry for the opportunity to learn – I want to see them succeed!
PLUS: To make Andrew’s Apple Rice Pudding at home, click here for the recipe.
Try Andrews dishes for yourself at Sosban in Wales: visit sosban.wales or phone 01554 270020 to make a reservation.