Tribute to Andrew Fairlie
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts was very sad to hear of the untimely loss of Academician Andrew Fairlie.
Academician Keith Podmore was one of Andrew's first employers and we would like to share Keith's tribute with all our members.
Academician and past AAE and MCA Chairman, Keith Podmore.
Here is his tribute to Andrew:
Andrew applied, successfully, for an apprenticeship with me in Perth, I think, in 1978. This was the start of a great relationship. He loyally followed me down to London's Charing Cross Hotel and then to Boodles.
There was always a spark in Andrew that was a pleasure to see ignite a wonderful career. We entered him in the first Roux Scholarship in 1984 which he won and became the first Roux Scholar. We travelled down together to Michel Gerard's Restaurant, Eugenie les Bains, to leave Andrew to start his stage. We left him looking slightly bewildered and apprehensive and my heart went out to him, but I knew something that he was soon to find out. He had all the tools in the box to impress his new colleagues as he set out on the most exciting journey of his life so far. I had handed over mentoring to the Roux family and to many of the greatest Chefs in Europe of the modern era.
By his hard work he propelled himself to the very pinnacle of our industry and humanity. Andrew was always constant and coped with pressure in a calm way – typically just getting on with it even when life was unfair. He remained modest and loyal to all who worked with him, taking time with staff and valuing all of them.
He loved Scotland and all its great world quality produce, creating the very finest dishes for Queens and heads of state.
He was impressive because of his qualities as a chef and a person, and leaves a significant legacy. He was a giant of our industry and a great Scot who died too soon. He will be remembered by all those he touched.
I do not wish to sound immodest, but Andrew was my finest hour and my greatest privilege. Should there be a great kitchen in the sky, Andrew put a word in for me and show me the ropes when I arrive!