The first thing that struck me when I came work for Four Gables is that you have to be able to cook your butt off to be a chef.  It takes commitment to become a good chef but it takes a whole lot more to become a great chef.  The hours are long – often with split shifts over lunch and dinner service – and a big event needs days to get everything ready.

Great food takes a lot of preparation.  The raw ingredients need to be treated with care, kindness and most of all respect to get the best out of them.  Cookery is a craft, one that comes with many hours of practice, with luck under the supervision of the great and good who are willing to impart knowledge and experience.  Cooking is also an art – a visual as well as olfactory and gustatory experience.

But running a kitchen is not just about food.  The ability to manage, lead and create a successful kitchen and its component parts is so much more than turning a raw chicken leg into a delicious ballotine.

We’re really proud of the food we serve at Four Gables.  A significant part of that is down to the work of our head chef, Andy Hendry.

Andy has done his time.  He started out washing dishes at weekends at the local pub.  It was there he realised he loved the atmosphere and banter of the kitchen and decided to take a course in professional cookery at Carshalton College.

Post college he secured an apprenticeship with Matt Burns at the Don Restaurant & Bistro in Cannon Street, London under the guidance of legendary Pierre Koffman who came out of retirement for six months to consult on menus and cooking techniques.

Andy then moved to the West End and the iconic One Aldwych under Tony Fleming.   There he fine tuned his cooking before moving to the RAC club in Epsom for the opportunity to head up his own kitchen.  The RAC offered the opportunity to work on a variety of projects including a new restaurant launch, large scale banqueting and kitchen management.  Skills that are vital to the various Four Gables projects.

Andy has worked under chefs of many styles and has settled on classical with a modern twist.  Taste is key – as is letting the food speak for itself.  Creativity is a vital element to his work and he thrives on the challenge of working with a variety of menus from afternoon tea to a 10 course tasting menu.

The circle is almost complete.  Andy is now developing up and coming chefs through the business to add strength and depth to the services offered.  Exciting times.