GETTING TO KNOW: ANDY WAUGH OF MAC&WILD FAME

Thu 11 2016  |  admin

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU START WORKING AS A CHEF?

So in 2010, I started doing street food. Originally I was selling raw meat and noticed that people weren’t so keen on buying raw meat from the street markets so I started doing demonstrations and pop up restaurants etc.

It was off the back of those pop ups that opened Mac&Wild as I actually met Adam at the first pop-up we did. He was mates with one of the chefs from The Bonnie and Wild.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY?

I just love seeing the look on peoples faces when they’ve really really enjoyed something! Or trying and enjoying something like game and venison. Giving something a go that they didn’t think they would like. When you get “that look” at a friend and they nod appreciatively. It’s a really good feeling!

Industry-wise the camaraderie between the restaurants is awesome. Bubbledogs for example have been really helpful. And just in general, the street food community is incredible; everyone knows each other and looks out for each other. Oh an of course looking after each other when it comes to tables and reservations 😉

WHAT ARE THE TOP TIPS FOR WORKING IN A KITCHEN?

Keep your section clean
Be on time
Keep up with the pace
Make suggestions! -Some chefs don’t like it at all but definitely make suggestions and always look to make things better. I like them to ask questions, to get involved, to have an opinion!
And care about the food, the produce, the ingredients! Really care about the actual food that goes out to the customer.
Make sure you’ve eaten in the restaurant and actually tried the food that you’re serving! I interviewed a chef who’d been in the industry for 15 years and refused to eat the food in the kitchens he’d worked in. I think its super important though!

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE VERY IMPORTANT TIP TO A BUDDING CHEF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Find a mentor! Dont need to have an end goal but have a reason why you’re doing it. Even if its vague – “I want to cook in a michelin star restaurant” for example, or “I want to change the eating patterns of the nation”. Whatever it may be, just make sure you have a goal!
And don’t just plod along in the same old place. Whilst consistency in a role is key, it’s also great to challenge yourself in different positions

WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU IN A CANDIDATE? TRAINING OR PASSION?

Passion for sure! I generally hire on personality, almost always.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GOOD CHEF?

Attitude
Management style
Experience
How many tattoos he’s got (laughs)
It all comes down to the person… people turning up on time and genuinely caring about what they’re doing

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 MOST IMPORTANT RECRUITMENT/INTERVIEW TIPS FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO WORK IN THE KITCHEN?

Turn up to every trial with your own chef knives and whites
When a restaurant is looking for someone they probably needed someone like, last week! So I’d even turn up to an informal chat with my whites and knives ready and offer to jump in for a trial then and there. Just offer that little bit extra! If someone did that to me, I’d say: You got the job!
Be true to yourself. Don’t come across as one thing if you’re not.. it will just make problems further down the line if your you’re not being honest

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DISH AT MAC&WILD?

The venison chateaubriand is exceptional! We’re now moving onto the hinds this season and they’re pretty epic right now. The Haggis pots too; they’re brilliant. And of course the burger, its a classic staple!

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT IN THE LONDON RESTAURANT SCENE AT THE MOMENT?

I’m really excited about sustainability and provenance of food. A lot of restaurants have totally changed from just doing fancy French food to doing great British food that now has the kudos to boot! And caring about where the food comes from, the people behind it, who they are etc

And the Middle Eastern food trend is great. That step away from meat meaning you can now go out for an epic vegetarian meal to so many places.

WHAT ARE YOUR 3 FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS IN LONDON? AND WHAT ARE THEIR SIGNATURE DISHES?

I love pizza! My favourite pizza spots are:

[Home Slice](http://www.homeslicepizza.co.uk/),
[Pizza Pilgrims](http://pizzapilgrims.co.uk/),
[Sapor Italia ](http://www.saporitalialondon.co.uk/),
[Santa Maria](http://www.santamariapizzeria.com/) and
[Franks](http://frankscafe.org.uk/) in Peckham

I also love [Silk Road](https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/06/chinese-restaurant-silk-road-london) Szechuan restaurant in Camberwell where I live and also [Mike and Ollie](http://www.mikeandollie.co.uk/) in Camberwell is great!