Here’s cooking with you...Andy Jenkins at The Dog & Gun in Little Waltham
PUBLISHED: 11:40 25 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:40 25 November 2014
Head chef Andy Jenkins is no stranger to The Dog & Gun in Little Waltham, although these days he’s the other side of the bar. Here he talks about his desire to cook for critics and his guilty pleasure — fast food TV!
Where do you work?
I am the head chef at The Dog & Gun in Little Waltham
What is your earliest food memory?
Helping myself to raw peas out of my mum and dad’s freezer!
What was your first ever job and where was it?
I was a delicatessen assistant at Somerfield’s.
What was it about food which excited you enough to make a career out of it?
I was always watching food and cooking programmes on TV, plus I enjoyed helping my mum in the kitchen at home.
If you weren’t on the stoves where would you be now?
Who would you love to cook for and why?
Anyone that can offer me advice and constructive criticism, as I believe cooking is always a learning process and my skills are constantly evolving.
How would your team describe you?
Hardworking and efficient, I would hope.
Which is your favourite dish to prepare?
Any fish dish. I just love working with it.
Who was your inspiration to take up cooking and how do they affect what you do now?
I used to watch Keith Floyd and, although I hate to admit it, Ready Steady Cook too. However, it was Keith’s love of fish (and wine) which struck a chord with me.
Which are your three favourite ingredients to work with?
Garlic, chilli and peppers.
Any celebrity moments you can share with us?
I took part in an event where we cooked for the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday in London, plus I can say a few famous people have eaten in places I have worked, although I couldn’t possibly say who.
Tell us a bit about you at home, where do you originally come from and how did you end up here?
I was born in Chelmsford, at St John’s Hospital, and I’ve lived most of my life in Great Leighs, so I have been to The Dog and Gun many times before I worked here. As a result I have seen the changes to the place over the years and I was excited by its ultimate transformation.
At home, who lives there and who cooks most of the time?
My lovely wife, Alex, and our two children, Hollie and Jake, are at home. I cook when I’m there and I love my family time with them all.
When I’m not in the kitchen, I love nothing better than...
Being with my family. Either for days out or just being at home together, you can’t beat it.
When I was little I wanted to be…
A forensic scientist.
Are there any kitchen disasters you can tell us about that you’d rather forget?
Thankfully, nothing yet, but I still have time.
If you could change one thing about you, what would it be?
My self criticism.
What is still on life’s to do list?
I’d like to do a freefall parachute jump.
Can you give us three top tips for the kitchen?
It is all about timing, temperature control and being able to multi-task.
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The Dog and Gun