Irish chef Andy McFadden was London’s youngest Michelin star chef for three years, rising through the ranks from humble beginnings to unrivalled success, echoing the story of The Wild Geese® .
Innovation is a trait Wild Geese excel at. When they first left Ireland in 1691, bound for foreign shores and armed only with their wits, The Wild Geese® forged their own destinies and contributed greatly to their host communities.
Like so many threads in the story of The Wild Geese® , innovation has been displayed by The Wild Geese® throughout time. One example of this recipe for success is Irish chef Andy McFadden, who moved to London from Tallaght, Ireland, following his passion for creating exquisite food.
Andy started working in kitchens when he was 14, drawn to the fusion of creativity and hard graft. He quickly became disillusioned with the processes in front of him while working in a pub in Tallaght, shocked at the methods used to make sauces and the number of foods bought frozen, he sought an environment that suited his ambition to create high quality dishes.
This brought him to Nevan Maguire’s MacNean House, where he combined passion and enthusiasm with his creativity and hard work. “That’s when I knew I wanted to be a chef”, he remembers.
Like the journey of the original The Wild Geese® , it wasn’t always plain sailing. While earning his stripes in various restaurants, absorbing as much experience as he could, he found himself in situations that nearly broke him. The ruthless kitchen culture was hard to bear. “It scared the hell out of me,” Andy admitted, “it was boisterous. It was hard core. I thought maybe it was too much”.
On top of this, he was far from home and far from family, a familiar line in The Wild Geese® story. Battling a relentless industry with a shrinking network, would be easy to throw in the towel for some, but this is where The Wild Geese® have always shone, refusing to quit and continuing to chase their dreams with a unique hunger.
And so Andy treated this as a settling period, one where he was still finding his feet. Eventually Andy became head chef at London’s L’Autre Pied in 2007. It already held a Michelin star, and his first task was to hold on to that. Unbowed by the stress levels he kept the star, becoming the youngest Michelin star chef in London, a title he held for three years!
Today he’s been called a poet in the kitchen, continuing to innovate not only food on the plate, but also his approach to the role of head chef, empathising with up-and-coming young chef’s while remaining a firm leader.
Discover Andy’s star quality for yourself at L’Autre Pied: