Andrew Clarke

Acme Fire Cult mental health charity Restauranteur chef Shaman

Andrew was a reluctant Chef in the early days of his career. He stepped in his first kitchen just to earn enough money to support his music, but his dreams of touring the world as a rock guitarist eventually made way to a new career direction in food. 

Andrew is always keen to challenge perceptions and although he has the look and reputation for cooking with meat and BBQ he became known for creating daintier dishes championing vegetables at Brunswick House, where he was Chef Director for several yearsAndrew also became Chef Director of London restaurant St Leonards, which opened in 2018 with great anticipation and support from the London restaurant critics. His menu had a fire and ice theme with an ice bar for raw fish, and open-hearth fire and spit for cooking meat and vegetables. 

In 2021, Andrew founded Acme Fire Cult with Daniel Watkins after a hugely successful residency at ‘London Fields Courtyard’ in Hackney. Acme Fire Cult is a live-fire concept with a focus on vegetables, with rare & native breed meat from regenerative farms, and day-boat fish taking a supporting role. Their inspiration is pulled from around the globe, evident in their grilling and fermentation techniques as well as their heavy use of chili and spices. Acme Fire Cult is truly unique and revolutionary within the London restaurant landscape. 

In 2019, Andrew was honoured to receive the Innovation Award at the Craft Guild of Chef’s Awards. He was particularly humbled as it was the only award of the night which was voted for at the event by other attending professional chefs that Andrew greatly admires. 

Andrew is also the founded Pilot Light, an incredible campaign he created to support people in the catering industry struggling with mental health issues.  He particularly wants to encourage young men to feel comfortable to communicate their mental health concerns in a safe and supportive way. Andrew continues to support his community as a trained Shaman, running weekly session of mediation and music as a form of connecting to spiritual wisdom and healing. 

Andrew began his career as a chef working in a few local restaurants, but his real culinary journey started at The Swan in West Malling, Kent, where his eyes were opened to local produce, farming and foraging, hunting and butchery. There he rose through the ranks to become Head Chef before moving on to London.

Playing catch-up on the few wasted years before the Swan, he staged with Marco Pierre White, St John, Wild Honey, Arbutus and The Square, until he settled at the Anchor & Hope,all the while heading up bespoke catering events on the side. 

His next post was Head Chef of Salt Yard, the Italian-Spanish tapas restaurant in Goodge Street. Whilst working there, he set a Louisiana style food pop-up called Fleur de Lys. Although short lived, its reputation stood out to the team behind Rita’s Bar & Dining who approached him about helping them set up their first restaurant. Rita’s opened in Hackney in 2013 and received much praise from Giles Coren (The Times) Faye Maschler (Evening Standard) and John Walsh (Independent).

His arrival at Brunswick House at the beginning of 2016 brought the attention once again of Fay Maschler as well as A.A Gill and Jay Rayner – who loved the place so much, he asked to celebrate his 50th birthday there.

Andrew is a prominent face at Meatopia and curates Glandstonbury – London’s annual offal festival. He  continues to play guitar in a metal band whenever the opportunity arises.

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Author, Blogger, Chef, Chef Patron, Cook, cookery demonstrations, cooking demos, Entrepreneur, Executive Development Chef, festival host, festivals, Restaurant, Restaurant Chefs & Caterers, restauranteur, Sharman, TV, TV Chefs & Cooks

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