Chef - The Curlew restaurant - East Sussex restaurantMeet Andrew Scott, Head Chef from The Curlew Restaurant in Bodiam, East Sussex

The Curlew’s Head Chef is 30-year old Andrew Scott.

Andrew has spent his entire career in Michelin-starred kitchens, training at Lords of the Manor and L’Enclume before joining Mallory Court. In 2010 he became Mallory Court Head Chef.

Since joining The Curlew in October 2012 Andrew has developed clean and precise dishes, which showcase the very best local, seasonal produce.

Which is your favourite ingredient to cook with?

The Curlew restaurant - East Sussex restaurant 3There’s not one particular ingredient that I like to cook with, it’s all of them!

Cooking through the seasons is very rewarding because we are using the best produce at the right time of year.

Writing my menus with the best of what is available is very easy because each season has its own little gems…

Spring has to be my personal favourite as we have new season’s lamb, wild garlic and outdoor rhubarb delivered to our doorstep by our very committed band of local producers.

Moving into summer there are gorgeous red fruits, peaches and cherries. Autumn brings us game, root vegetables, figs and quince. Lastly, winter with all things Christmassy, turkey, cranberries and chestnuts, and those lovely spices too!

What was it that got you into cooking: cook books, TV, your parents?

My parents are from a hospitality background so growing up I was always encouraged to cook at home.  I would help make dinner at the weekends so I could get out of the washing up!The Curlew restaurant - East Sussex restaurant 2

Then at 13 I entered a cooking competition, and won! The chef that judged the competition offered me a position in the kitchen washing up and that’s how it started.

I soon became relied upon to help out in the kitchen on the garnish section and that was it for me, I got the bug! At 16 I left school and enrolled on a three-year catering and hospitality course at North Oxfordshire College and kept working at the hotel part-time.

At the end of the course I took my first full time job as an apprentice at the Michelin Starred Mallory court hotel in Warwickshire.

Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

The Curlew restaurant - East Sussex restaurantThe best piece of advice for the home enthusiast would be to source ingredients that are produced locally and in season, because I promise you’ll get the best final product out of them.

Keeping an eye out at your local greengrocers, butchers and fishmonger will help point you in the right direction with what’s in season. Eating out (at The Curlew!) and reading cookbooks keeps you up-to-date with trends and new ideas.

Preparation is also key and if cooking for a large party it’s best to start the preparing a couple of days ahead so that it takes a bit of the strain out of the actual day, leaving you to enjoy yourself!

And my last tip; put a wet cloth/kitchen paper under your chopping board, it stops it moving about!