Andrew Sheridan

Andrew Sheridan

Whilst trying to figure out what kind of chef he wanted to be, Andrew would regularly switch up menus and experiment with techniques and flavours. After being invited to compete in Great British Menu in 2018 but losing out to Chris Harrod, he realised he was trying to put too many elements on his plates; after stripping back his cooking style to become more confident and concise, he won the Welsh heat when he returned to the show the following year.

By this point Andrew had made a name for himself as a ‘maverick chef’, but one who had now grown into his own style and produced food that was inventive but assured and focused on the plate. So when Sosban suddenly closed, it threw a huge spanner in the works for Andrew’s trajectory. Wanting a fresh start, Andrew took his entire team with him down to Cornwall to work at The Stargazy Inn in Port Isaac, but soon felt things weren’t working out. Luckily, he was introduced to Sam and Emma Morgan, who had opened the ambitious Craft Dining Rooms in Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. With a huge space to fill, the restaurant offers a vast range of all-day dining options, plus the alfresco Craft English Garden. When Andrew got on board as executive chef of the whole operation, he certainly had his work cut out for him. However, never one to stop pushing, he also set about creating a chef’s table experience housed inside Craft Dining Rooms unlike anything else that’s come before.

That concept – simple called ‘8’ – is an immersive, theatrical, slightly bonkers 16-seater chef’s table that combines light, sound and food into a multi-sensory evening. It’s Andrew’s career on a plate; dishes that encapsulate his cooking style and reference parts of his life and career. What’s more, everything is themed around the number eight; from the titles of the dishes to the price, opening time and number of courses. Andrew has obsessed over every detail to ensure it’s a dining experience like no other, and both 8 and the larger Craft Dining Rooms are set to become another highlight of Birmingham’s already incredible food scene.

It’s clear that Andrew has never really stopped working to improve his skills and offerings, and while 8 is the culmination of all that graft, the restaurant itself is going to continue to evolve and shift over the years. It’s certainly an experience like no other, but the food is what people will remember. Simple on the plate yet inventive and technically complex – with a mad brief and theme thrown in for good measure. What more could you want?

Three things you should know

As well as being the executive chef at 8 and Craft Dining Rooms, Andrew runs Artisan Street Kitchen, a street food truck which collaborates with other top chefs.

Andrew's competitive streak in the kitchen has been there since childhood; he was a semi-finalist in the BBC's Young Chef of The Year when he was seventeen years old.

As lockdown restrictions hit, Andrew and the team at Craft Dining Rooms introduced inventive 'pod' dining concepts, started a takeaway service and reduced the number of covers in his restaurant 8 to – yes, you guessed it – eight.