I’m sorry you’ve not heard from me in a while but I wanted to make sure that this post would be something special and believe me, it is! Not only will I be interviewing a successful entrepreneur but there will be, for the very first time, a deal which my lovely readers can take advantage of!
As I said in my last post Student Entrepreneurs, in order to fully cover the concept of entrepreneurship, what better way to do it than by interviewing people who had successfully started their own business. And so, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Andrew Smart, owner of Smart Cuisine. Put the kettle on, make yourself a cuppa and read about this culinary genius!
Andy, what inspired you to start cooking?
I’ve always been a keen cook at home and was always helping make dinner whilst growing up and just knew that I wanted to leave school as soon as possible and pursue a career in catering from a very young age.
When did you first start in the catering industry?
I started when I left school at 15 and was put onto a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) for catering before getting taken off it as I was apparently beyond it.
Where have you worked?
I started at Kippie Lodge then was offered a job at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews and I stayed there for 6 years. I’ve also worked at Gleneagles, The RNUC, All round Australia(most notably for Ferrari at the Melbourne Grand prix) and The Marcliffe at Pitfodels.
Who’s been your most distinguished diner?
God, there’s a few options but most probably cooking for Prince Charles and family at Birkhall. All the produce was either shot, fished or grown on the grounds. If not Prince Charles, probably Sean Connery. I cooked for him quite a few times at St Andrews and he is really down to earth.
What motivated you to start your own business?
Basically, I did a couple of events for my family’s company and people started asking who provide the catering, then I was approached by a private bank who wanted to use my services on a regular basis and I realised that there was a gap in the market for high quality bespoke cuisine and service in the corporate sector, which has now filtered down into private clients as well.
Sum up Smart Cuisine in 5 words
Innovative Cooking, Seasonality, Quality Service
What’s been your most challenging dish to cook?
Jerusalem Artichoke Ravioli, filled with a duck egg yolk, that has to remain soft and silken for the element of surprise when you cut into it. Or basically trying to replicate any dish in the conditions and facilities you end up in, for examples in castles and marquees, without compromising the quality!
Where do you see Smart Cuisine going?
Ideally, I would like to end up with a restaurant that should be successful as I have quite a large client base, but I would still continue with the outside catering , so that there wouldn’t be the challenge of having to fill the restaurant every day.
What’s your favourite meal to eat?
Anything done properly, but probably Thai/Vietnamese , although there is more than just the food to take into consideration as you can’t beat eating Lobster with your hands, cooked on the beach in the Summer isles-sometimes simplicity, surroundings and quality ingredients is all that matters!
I’m sure you’ll all agree that Andrew has had a very impressive career to date and I wish him all the best for future! Now, what you’ve all been waiting for…THE DEAL!
Visit the website at www.smart-cuisine.co.uk and quote THE STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR and you’ll get a massive 20% off a gourmet three course dinner in Aberdeen. Andrew is one of the best in the business, so if you want to take advantage of this fantastic offer and be catered for by a man who has cooked for Prince Charles then get in touch with Andy via his website!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the first of many successful entrepreneurs I intend to interview. Please share my facebook status or the blog link itself using different social media sites as even if you don’t want to take advantage of the deal, someone you know will!