Executive Chef, SPE Certified + Rouge Tomate
From developing an enduring respect for the bounty of each season in the organic gardens of Le Manoir in Oxford, England to collaborating with renowned chef Daniel Boulud in New York, British-born chef Andy Bennett has always stayed true to his roots.
After beginning his kitchen career as a teenager at local inns in his native Winchester, the young chef took a culinary sabbatical to explore the cuisines of France, Italy, Spain and Greece. Informed by his travels, Andy returned to England and took a position under chef Raymond Blanc at the esteemed Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxford. There, he gained an appreciation for fresh, local, quality ingredients that still informs his approach to dishes – a simple, but sophisticated method which allows the integrity of each component to stand out without being muddled. In 2002, Andy moved to New York to work for chef Daniel Boulud at his flagship restaurant, Daniel. During his years with Boulud, Andy learned much from the star chef’s unique culinary vision. He then joined Rouge Tomate for his first “tour of duty,” working through the development, opening and first year of the restaurant, which was awarded one Michelin star in 2009 -- a mere few months after opening.
In 2010, Andy moved to the DC area to begin work with Lyon Hall. His classic training and worldly experience perfectly complemented the kitchen’s attention to detail and vibrant, yet comforting take on classic French bistro fare. Andy was “lured” back to Rouge Tomate in 2013 as Chef De Cuisine to support Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman in further establishing the restaurant as the “go to” spot in New York for healthy, local, seasonal Michelin-starred dining. And in July 2014 following Jeremy’s departure, Andy was named Executive Chef of Rouge Tomate (at its yet-to-be determined new downtown location) and of SPE Certified, the restaurant’s certification and consulting arm.