André Garrett, MCA
André Garrett, MCA (now Galvin at Windows, London) Trained with Guy Savoy in Paris
I really enjoyed doing competitions. I liked the solitude of it and being on my own and I just seemed to flourish at it. I was working at The Orerry at the time I entered and Chris Galvin, who was my head chef then, asked if any of us were going to enter and I said I was. It was a little late and I felt a bit rushed but I managed to get into the final and then what happened was extraordinary. I just felt I was in this bubble and somehow I just knew I was going to win. Everything just went right. It was very surreal.
I wanted to go to Paris. I wanted that whole Paris thing and eat out as much as I could but also I wanted to be close to London. Guy Savoy was the perfect choice for me. He had had two stars for a long time and had just gone to three in 2002.
He’s an interesting chef in many ways: deeply classical and there are dishes like his artichoke veloute with truffle butter that have been on his menu since day one and that people keep going back for. Another is his terrine of chicken, foie gras and artichoke. They are dishes that people keep going back for and that intrigued me.
But equally there was a lot of forward thinking and my time in his kitchen was fantastic and I saw and tasted new things every day. The whole experience taught me about respect for ingredients and those things you buy from suppliers are the key to everything you do.
Since winning I can honestly say that it is true that you do enter a family and I have really enjoyed meeting up with my fellow scholars, going on trips and catching up with what they have been doing. Its a fantastic opportunity for any young chef to give themselves a chance to open another door in their career.
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