THE ASHDOWN Park Hotel, Wych Cross is celebrating the return of a talented chef and a top accolade for its wine list. Andrew Wilson has been appointed executive chef - his third spell in the hotel’s kitchens.
He now brings skills honed in Michelin starred restaurants to the country house hotel where he first worked as a demi chef de partie in 2000. He reached the rank of junior sous chef before leaving and returning to the hotel for three years in 2003 as senior sous chef. During his time there he reached the regional finals of the country’s toughest culinary competition, the Roux Scholarship, and later became one of only six chefs selected each year to go through to the national finals. He also reached the semi-finals of the prestigious annual competition run by the Academy of Culinary Arts.
Andrew, 33, trained at Bournemouth College. Recent appointments include working at the Capital Restaurant in Knightsbridge while it had two Michelin stars and heading up the kitchen at the Michelin starred Drake’s Restaurant in Surrey.
Andrew is one of the regional judges in the Sussex heat of FutureChef, the initiative aimed at inspiring young people aged 12-16 to learn to cook and will also be a mentor in the finals of the competition which is headed by celebrity chef Brian Turner.
Andrew is married to Roberta, the hotel’s senior events co-ordinator and the couple have a three-year-old son Toby with their second child due in March. Outside work Andrew enjoys fishing, football and motorsports. And this year the hotel is one of just 231 establishments in the UK to be selected as a Notable Wine List Award winner by the AA for 2011-2012. The award recognises an outstanding contribution to promoting wine understanding and inspiring customers to try different wines.
General manager Ben Booker, said: “Good food and wine goes hand in hand and as much attention goes into our wine list as our menus.”