By: Alexis Mitchell
Chef Andre does more than cook up culinary treats on UFTV. Chef Andre has been featured in four cooking shows on UFTV but he doesn’t just cook to create. He cooks to help.
“Now you’re going to do something you’ve never done, your guests are going to see something fantastic,” said Andre. “And you just made it yours.”
Chef Andre has worked at different foodservice businesses within the Findlay area, but he gives back to the community while doing what he loves. He trains special needs kids in Hancock County.
“I have to say that is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had,” Andre said.
Andre also says that teaching these kids how to be successful in the hospitality industry and then to see them applying what he taught them is a big joy for him.
Chef Andre is originally from Illinois, where he picked up his passion for cooking from his grandfather and uncle who owned their own restaurant. Andre says he really learned how to give great customer service from them.
After leaving the family business, he earned his degree from West Illinois University in Commercial Recreation and Resort Management. His very first internship was at a ski resort in Vermont, and he didn’t work with food; he was in the sales department.
His plans to move back to Illinois after school took a detour when the food and beverage director asked Andre to work for him. Since Andre was in charge of serving 300 banquet seats, 150 a la carte seats, and 60 auxillary dining room seats, he really had his hands full at his first job.
“It was a lot of juggling, but we had a good time,” Andre said.
After working at the ski resort for three years Andre then ended up managing for York Steak House in Iowa and married his childhood sweetheart, which is how he ended up in Hancock County because this is where she worked.
The thing that Andre loves most about cooking, is not just cooking itself, but rather the happiness he sees from his customers who eat what he made. To him, that’s the ultimate joy and is what makes it all worthwhile.
Viewers who tune into UFTV can expect to learn some new styles, and tricks when it comes to cooking. Watch for Chef Andre on UFTV and check out his cooking shows on the FMN website.