Artisan at Newcastle in the Sky 2017 - find out more about the chef!

Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew Wilkinson

Head Chef 17th August 2017

Artisan at Newcastle in the Sky 2017 - find out more about the chef!

Artisan is a modern restaurant located in Newcastle’s cultural quarter that serves British inspired menus using the finest regional and seasonal ingredients.


• How long have you been in the restaurant business?

Since I was 16-years-old.

• How did you come to get involved with Newcastle in the Sky 2017?
Last year’s event generated quite a buzz within the city’s dining scene, so when organiser, Jacqui, approached us about 2017’s event, we couldn’t wait to get involved. It’s exciting to get out of the artisan kitchen and cook in such a quirky setting.

• What is at the top of your “bucket” list?
I would love to visit Alaska and explore its rugged mountainous terrain and forests, and of course, sample wild salmon, moose, oysters and other locally sourced produce.

• If you could dine with one person, dead or alive, famous or not, who would they be and why?
It would have to be my wife! Our work life balance is tricky at the best of times, so any opportunity we get to dine - just the two of us - is something extra special these days!

• What’s your speciality dish?
My game pithivier has become something of a signature dish at artisan. It’s one of my favourite recipes; a truly hearty dish packed with distinctive, seasonal flavours – it’s always a joy to cook.

• What were your first thoughts when you heard about Newcastle in the Sky?
As a chef, I was intrigued to find out more about the logistics of cooking and serving from such a great height. From the diner’s point of view, I imagine it’s one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences that you’ve just got to do if you’re a foodie from the city.

• Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about you?
I’m a keen gardener which I guess goes hand in hand with being a chef. There’s nothing more satisfying than preparing dishes with produce from your very own garden – at the moment, I’m trying to cultivate an assortment of beans, peas, radishes and blueberries.

• Do you have any phobias/fears?
So, I have to confess, I am afraid of heights, which means Newcastle in the Sky is certainly going to be an interesting one for me… I’m hoping I will finally be able to overcome my fear this August; otherwise it could spell the end of my sky-high career!

• Are you a theme park fan, if yes, what’s your favourite/most feared ride?
I love going to theme parks with my family – you can’t beat a caterpillar rollercoaster!

• What do you love most about Newcastle?
I love Newcastle’s location. We have the North East coastline, the Lakes and the most beautiful Northumberland countryside all within easy reach of the city. The drive up to Lindisfarne is one of my favourites - it’s so serene; like escaping into another world.

• Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
The Caribbean is one of my highlights – lots of sunshine and picture-perfect beaches, not to mention stunning dishes and exotic drinks; the ultimate destination for chilling out and de-stressing after spending most of the year inside a kitchen!

• Anywhere you’d love to visit?
Singapore is on my list of places to visit. We’re starting to see more authentic Asian influences in the local dining scene but I would love to experience the culture and cuisine first-hand, especially the street food that it’s famed for.

• The skytable is a unique place to cook. What’s the most ‘unusual’ place you’ve cooked in the past?
Most recently, I was guest chef at The Old Dairy in Northumberland. It’s a fascinating place, dubbed a country concept store that combines a coffee shop with a champagne bar, kitchen, parlour and the most incredible collection of antiques. The views over the surrounding landscape in Ford are pretty amazing, too.

• If you could cook up your speciality dish anywhere, where would it be?
A log cabin hidden in the woods on a crisp winter’s day – to dish up my hearty pithivier in this kind of setting would be perfect, especially if I could source my ingredients right there on the cabin’s doorstep!

• Favourite chef?
Thomas Keller is someone who I greatly admire in terms of his cooking style, reputation and accomplishments. Everything he plates up, down to the minutest of details, is there for a reason.

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