Andy McLeish takes the field to fork ethos seriously, hunting his own game to ensure his menus at Chapter One offer the finest ingredients treated with respect.

Growing up in Nottingham, Andy McLeish knew he wanted to become a chef right from the moment he cooked his family Christmas dinner while still in primary school. He was fascinated by Take Six Cooks, a popular cookery programme in the mid-1980s, and would experiment himself in the kitchen from an early age. His parents were supportive of his choice, but society slightly less so – back then it was still virtually unheard of for boys to take on a domestic science qualification at his school, and his mother and father had to fight for him to be included on the course.

After completing catering college in Nottingham Andy McLeish worked under Nico Ladenis – one of his former Take Six Cooks heroes – at bistro Simply Nico and Chez Nico, Ladenis’ three star fine dining restaurant. He worked at The Ritz as sous chef before moving to the Mandarin Oriental Baan Taling Ngam in Koh Samui, Thailand taking the role of senior sous chef. Andy McLeish later returned to London to head up the kitchen at The Landmark in Marylebone, gaining three AA rosettes within his first year of working there.

In 2001 Andy McLeish accepted the role of executive chef at Kent’s Chapter One restaurant. The chef rose to the challenge, and in his first year of working at the Orpington-based restaurant Chapter One was awarded a Michelin star, retaining the accolade for over ten years. In 2003 Chapter One was named the AA’s UK Restaurant of the Year, gaining four AA rosettes that same year.

Andy McLeish cooks with confidence and aplomb, creating innovative, often robust dishes that do not rely on overtly fancy touches or tricks to impress. His cooking could broadly be defined as modern European – his plates are sophisticated but uncluttered – and he believes that there should be no more than three flavours competing within a dish.