Interview with Chef Andy Trousdale

We first met Andy at the 10th anual Delray Beach Garlic Fest back in February of 09. He caught our attention as he was the reigning and current Garlic Chef champion. Andy Trousdale started his career in a High School Culinary program. Since then he has gained experience in some of the world’s finest restaurants including Michelin and Relais et Chateaux established in France, England, and Holland. Currently He and his wife, Elin, are part owner and operator of Le Bistro Restaurant located in Lighthouse Point, FL. Andy also finds time to give back to the culinary profession by teaching a variety of classes in the culinary arts college.

Chef_Andy

Why did you want to become a chef? Love of food, started when I was in high school.

What education would you recommend for aspiring chefs? Travel, research, experiment, go work with professionals

What do you recommend for on the job training? Look, listen, learn, work hard, make notes and take pictures.

Do you see any changes in food trends? Definitely, just good products cooked simply.

What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need? Price and availibility.

Has the price of energy affected your industry? Definitely

Do you see any dining trends within the US or abroad; including types of food today? Healthy, comfort and good value from around the world. Olde world foods in a new light.

Do you see any dining trends surfacing for the future? Yes. The more comfort food the better.

How much of the recipes you create is corporate and how much is your own? All- I operate independently

What fabric and style of uniform do you enjoy wearing most? A short sleeve, egyptian cotton coat.

What is your method of developing your sous chefs? Give them more to do than you know they can handle & keep both eyes on them at all times.

Do you try to create a team spirit and environment with the kitchen staff? If so how do you accomplish it? 100% concentration on the job. I keep them professional & interested with new products & ideas.

When preparing your menu do you consider health and try to prepare foods that are healthier? Yes, always. I promote healthy cooking, but moreso the understanding of eating .

Do you notice any resistance to unhealthy dishes? Some. Mostly people who don’t want to understand.

Do you enjoy dining out in your free time? Yes.

Do you try to experience the food at your competitors? Do you ever get ideas from competitors? Very rarely.

Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders? Definely.

How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu? Try it, eat it and critique it. I also have the staff try it & some times customers.

Do you pick the wines or is there a separate beverage manager? My wife and I pick all of the wine.

If so does he try to pick wines that work well with the type of food that you prepare? We try to pick wines that are food friendly, dollar friendly and that we think will sell well.

What is your advice for planning a menu for a new restaurant? Research, research, research.

We thank Andy for his time!

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