10 Minutes With: Andrew Wandless, head chef at Michelin-starred Texture

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th July 2018

Andrew Wandless, head chef at Michelin-starred Texture, is celebrating Australian produce this month at Selfridges London when he cooks a bespoke dinner embracing his Aussie roots!

His parents may be British but Andrew grew up in Australia and he can’t shout about his homeland enough when it comes ingredients. And what better place to showcase some of his favourite native produce than at an Australian-themed dinner at Selfridges London on Monday, July 16, as part of their latest food and wine campaign ‘All eyes on Australia’.

Dessert I low res

70% Dark Chocolate Mousse

Shortbread, hazelnuts, eucalyptus

Stepping away from Texture (with their blessing of course!) for one evening only, he is embracing the opportunity to cook his food, in his style, using food he loves and which he doesn’t always have the chance to use on his day to day menu.

“You get amazing produce from Australia,” explained Andrew. “The Kingfish is second to none and that’s a ceviche on the first course, it comes out of the water and is here within 36 hours. I obviously think the prawns from Australia are the best and the wagyu beef is really up there.

"On the evening I will be using Aussie supplier's Jacob's Creek who’s Wagyu is currently stocked by Selfridges butcher as part of the campaign. I’ll be adding Australian truffles from Western Australia to the wagyu dish – winter truffles are amazing they are such good quality and I think they are unbelievable.”

He added: “I wanted to get involved with the dinner because it’s so good to have an opportunity to promote Australian produce. We have so much space to grow what we want and you get every climate over there to do that – it’s an amazing country.”

all eyes on oz

Menu

Canapés
Sweet potato, saffron, passion fruit
Taramasalata, squid ink, dill
Picked crab, mango, crisp shallot

Kingfish Ceviche

Yuzu, finger lime, red mustard 

Spencer Gulf King Prawn

Avocado, bisque, chorizo

Jacob’s Creek Wagyu Sirloin

Smoked onion, wasabi, sorrel

70% Dark Chocolate Mousse

Shortbread, hazelnuts, eucalyptus

Petit fours
Chocolate aero, vegemite caramel

Lamington

Andrew started his career at the age of 19, apprenticing at restaurants within the Bayfields Hotels Group, including the historic Newport Arms Hotel in Sydney. He moved to London in 2009, where he began working as a commis chef under Gary Rhodes at his City-based modern-British venue, Rhodes 24.

He said: “I have a British passport so I wanted to come and experience something different. It was a massive shock to the system – it was my first time living away from home and it was a struggle. London is amazing but it can be a lonely place when you don’t know anyone.”

He went on to work at Claude Bosi’s former restaurant, two Michelin-starred Hibiscus and then two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, The Dairy, Fera at Claridges and finally joining Texture in 2014 where he works closely with Chef Patron Aggi Sverrisson.

The Corner   Interior 02 393 low res
The Corner restaurant

“I don’t like simple food,” said Andrew. “Where Texture is now people say it’s simple food but it’s not. It takes a lot to get it on the plate.”

The menu for the Australian-themed dinner is all Andrew, not only showcasing the ingredients but himself as a chef in his own right.

“The food is a little different to what I would normally do, obviously Texture has made an impression on me and I feel like it’s the restaurant I grew up in. I know it will probably take ten years for me to find my own style and I think as a chef if you say you have your own style before you have your own restaurant then you are full of it!

Main II low res

Jacob’s Creek Wagyu Sirloin

Smoked onion, wasabi, sorrel

“Agnar has been really supportive and he gives me a lot of freedom - a lot of the dishes on the menu at Texture are a collaboration between us both.”

Andrew will be cooking at Selfridge’s The Corner Restaurant and is positive guests will be blown away by the dishes but equally interested in finding out more about the Australian food scene. As a young country it’s yet to have a defined cuisine which Andrew says has led to the launch of a lot of very good restaurants.

He said: “We’re just waiting for Michelin to get over. We already have some big names – Quay, Brae and my favourite Sepia. It's a very exciting time for Australian chefs.”

He added: “This dinner is not only a great opportunity to showcase Australian produce but it’s also a great way to hero the small artisan producers. There's already a very engaged audience for Australian food and it's exciting to be bringing people those new ingredients and suppliers - I feel like I’m giving something back.”

The Australian Dinner is on Monday, July 16th at 6:30 -9pm £60*

* The price of the ticket includes a glass of champagne, canapés, a four course tasting menu, tea , coffees and petits fours.

Click to book

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th July 2018

10 Minutes With: Andrew Wandless, head chef at Michelin-starred Texture