Andrew Clarke – Executive Chef
Andrew Clarke is a renowned chef in the Waikato and has made his name in some of the city’s most prominent restaurants such as Gails of Tamahere and Tables on the River. To broaden his abilities, Andrew spent a number of years in Melbourne working under celebrity British chef Justin Derrick in the Marque Hotel and as Chef de Partie in Treasury Restaurant at the Sebel. Andrew returned to Hamilton to a position at Balcony Restaurant where he took on his first Head Chef role. In 2007 Andrew went out on his own, opening OneZB restaurant and during the following three years was awarded the 2008 regional title in the Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge and national runner up in the Corban’s Perfect Wine and Food Match. Since opening Victoria Street Bistro, Andrew has won the 2011 Mercedez Benz Great Waikato Food Challenge and has also taken out the title of Supreme Winner in the 2015 Matariki challenge. Andrew has made the national finals of the Monteith's Beer and Wild Food Challenge a total of five times, winning the national title for the last time in 2014. Cuisine Magazine has awarded Andrew and Victoria Street Bistro a Chef’s Hat in both 2013 and 2015, whilst also naming Victoria Street Bistro as New Zealand’s best regional restaurant in 2013. Andrew’s culinary directions are inspired by a number of nationalities. He describes himself as unbiased in his ethnic influences with the old world style of Italy and France sitting happily alongside the exciting flavours of Asia and the Middle East. Much of his passion is derived from the joy experienced in creating these flavours from quality New Zealand produce which he rates as the equal of that available anywhere in the world. Andrew continues to develop his menu to embrace sustainability and is always investigating new and innovative techniques to keep his food at the cutting edge.