Andrew Sheridan is Executive Head Chef at Sosban, Llanelli, and is one of the most innovative and ambitious young chefs in the country. What sets Andrew apart from the crowd, is his absolute passion not only for sourcing the best regional ingredients, but also for supporting food education in local schools and colleges.
Andrew joined Sosban, the 80-cover restaurant in South West Wales, in October 2017. He has already put his stamp on the menu with dishes that evoke memories inspired by his or his fellow chefs’ childhoods – such a barbecuing fresh caught mackerel on the beach, or his mother’s love of a coconut and pineapple cocktail when on holiday. The recently introduced six and nine course tasting menu showcases his signature style with dishes like Cod Five Ways and Hay Baked Celeriac with smoked celeriac tea.
Andrew meticulously sources produce from local suppliers where possible, as well as foraging, fermenting and preserving wild foods. He says: “Food to me, is one of the most beautiful things we can do to connect with nature in a variation of ways. Seasonality plays a massive part in the kitchen, we take the best ingredients when they’re in season and prepare them with respect to let its full potential shine.”
Andrew is passionate about food education for children and young adults. He believes that we need to inspire young people to care more about what they eat and also motivate catering students to pursue their dreams while facing the reality that it requires a long hours and hard work. Andrew is motivated by the wide-spread challenge the industry faces for recruiting talented young chefs, as well as the need to create employment in South Wales.
To tackle this Andrew is mentoring hospitality students at the Llanelli’s further education college Colleg Sir Gâr. In autumn 2018 The Sosban Academy in association with CollegSir Gâr will open at Sosban. Students who have successfully completed their Level 1 in Professional Cookery and Food Service will be invited to apply for apprenticeships at Sosban to complete their Level 2 and 3 qualifications working in a professional kitchen.
Andrew is also working with a local primary school where he has led a project to erect a poly-tunnel in the school grounds, where the children will learn about how to grow fruit and vegetables, about seasonality and flavour, as well as how to cook what they’ve grown. The aim is that the poly-tunnel will yield enough produce to supply some to the restaurant.
Aged just 30, Andrew has an impressive track record having worked alongside Michael Caines at ABode in Chester where is rose from a junior role in the brasserie kitchen to sous chef in the fine dining restaurant. Andrew believes that it was sheer hard work and determination to reach the top of the restaurant industry that got him from working part time in a pub kitchen as a teenager, to running his own restaurant. Along the way he has also been North West Chef of the Year (2011) and a semi-finalist in BBC Young Chef of the Year (2005).
Born in Liverpool, Andrew mainly grew up in Wales and has built his career here, hopping just over the border to ABode Chester for a few years, before returning to Wales as Head chef at the River Room at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in North Wales.
ANDREW SHERIDAN’S AWARDS
BBC Young Chef of the Year Semi-finalist 2005
North West Chef of the Year 2011