Chef of the Week: Andrew Green, Executive Chef at Hotel Indigo & Mamucium Restaurant in Manchester

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I opened Mamucium in December 2018, but I was part of the project since June 2018. Within the first year we were awarded 2 AA rosettes for our food.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion for cooking really started at my first Job, I was working in a small authentic family ran Italian restaurant, we made fresh pasta and many original authentic dishes. Dishes I had never even seen before or imagined existed. I was taken to Italy whilst working there with the Head at the time, it was amazing. I ate beautiful meals all day every day and drunk homemade wine. I was really in heaven. From that point forward my application for food and the kitchen grew and grew.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I really enjoy developing my team, it fills me with so much pride to see them develop and move forward. My current team has so many examples of chefs that have developed and been promoted. My current Junior Sous Chef was originally my Kitchen Porter 6 years ago, he has move to 3 properties with me. This year he won a national young chef of the year competition. When I see things like this it stops being a job but becomes a pleasure.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Butter (I currently use a artisan hand made butter from Goosnargh, its amazing ), salt (I say it is like having a Ferrari but no polish to polish it, salt is you polish, it enhances flavours), garlic (what can I say – who doesn’t like garlic?).

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My most useful piece of kit is the Rational oven – we have 5 – I’m lucky, I know. Over the years I’ve use so many different brands of oven but what I like about the Rational is it’s versatility – baking, steaming, combination cooking, sous vide, fan adjusting, but best of all for cleaning…. We put all our metal trays with carbon marks in the Rational on a cleaning cycle and everything becomes brand new again.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
There is always some kind of trend popping up and catches the attention of the public, one thing that really catches the eye is sharing items. Over the festive period I launched a video promoting a 3kg baked Camembert with dunking accompaniments for a group of 12 to share – this attracted 3.5 million views on you tube and created over 1000 extra covers for the restaurant. Sharing is certainly on trend.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
A lot of chefs let themselves down by doing the bare minimum, the beauty about a chef’s career is that the end goal / result is endless, you can just keep progressing into any role. If some chefs realised this, they probably would be more likely to commit more and progress futher. The old common saying but very true is ‘What you put in you get out’

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Spring, I love the season. I love the smell of wild garlic near my house and the first sight of asparagus, I usually try and get it all over my menu.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
The Lancashire Hotpot that I do a Mamucium has become our signature dish and has been our best-selling dish since we opened. We get the most praise from this dish.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I always start with the season, then look for something that is a guest’s popular choice. I always try to do something a little different or quirky. I try to make dishes look appealing and taste great.

Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence was actually my family priest, when I was younger on a regular basis I would go to his house with a group of friends and do summer jobs for him, cutting the grass was my favourite. It really gave me the feeling of working hard and earning my own money. He was a massive influence on me in regard to respecting other people and generally caring about people. He also loved his food. Coming from a council estate as a child we did not have access to the wide variety of food and cuisines however he would always treat us to something special. My first ever Chinese was bought by him, my first fish and chips, my first pasta etc… I ll never forget his influence on my life and I’m very proud to have known him.

 Tell us three chefs you admire

What is your favourite cookbook?

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Mark Birchall at Moore Hall – he’s amazing (he will get 3 stars soon).

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Mana in Manchester – won its first star in its first year, amazing achievement.