Introducing our new chef, Andy Cunningham

If you’ve ever eaten at Baltzersen’s, it’s likely that you’ll have already met some of our kitchen team. More often than not, they’re the ones who will bring you your food when it’s ready, allowing them to present it to you and answer any questions you might have at the table.

It’s something we made a conscious effort to do when we first opened the cafe; having the chefs predominantly serve food from the kitchen while Front of House staff serve drinks and cakes.

We think it’s nice for our guests to see who prepares their food and be able to meet more of our wonderful team, but it also ensures our chefs are proud of every single dish they serve. That’s something that’s really important to us.

One new face you might have seen coming in and out of the kitchen recently is our brand new chef Andy.

And between getting to grips with a new kitchen and preparing a whole new set of dishes, we managed to grab him for a quick chat about what brought him to Harrogate from the Highlands of Scotland, his favourite things to cook at home, and what he’s most looking forward to about joining the team at Baltzersen’s.

Hi Andy. We’re going to get straight into because we know you’re busy! Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into being a chef? 

I’ve been cooking for 12 years, having learnt the basics whilst working in my local bingo hall in the Highlands of Scotland! I then moved to North Yorkshire where I continued working as a chef.

When I was growing up my parents and grandparents were always cooking fresh homemade food, be it pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, homemade soup with smoked ham hock, or steak pie from scratch. I think that’s what got me into food originally, and went onto inspire me to become a chef.

What brought you to Harrogate in the first place?

I met my wife in Scotland and when she moved back to North Yorkshire I followed. I saw it as an opportunity not to be missed, and I’ve learnt more about myself and been able to further my career by doing so.  

What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?

I love making soup, and I recently perfected making my own bread. I also enjoy making omlelettes stuffed with smoked bacon and smoked cheese.

What do you think about the dining scene in Yorkshire?

I find it similar to The Highlands of Scotland, where there is a lot of pride about produce being locally sourced and food being freshly made.

Do you have any favourite places in Yorkshire (activities/towns/cities/things to see)?

As a runner I love being able to run through the likes of Nidd Gorge and Fountains Abbey. I really enjoy being outdoors and I’m interested in history too. Plus, photography is a hobby of mine so it’s great to get out and see new places.

What are you most looking forward to about working at Baltzersen’s?

I’m looking forward to learning new ways to cook and creating new dishes. It’s also really exciting to have joined and great team and be meeting new people.

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