A protégé of Michelin starred chef Michael Caines is stepping up to the plate at a centre of excellence for Welsh food.

Andrew Sheridan is vowing to champion Welsh produce at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in the Conwy Valley, aiming to make its restaurant  ”the best in Wales”.

The centre has re-branded the restaurant as ‘Andrew Sheridan at The Hayloft’ to showcase his culinary expertise.

Andrew’s career includes working in restaurants in North Wales and north west England, including Abode Hotel in Chester where he worked alongside Michael Caines.

The high-flying chef, who lives in Anglesey, has won a host of top titles – at 17 he was a semi-finalist in the BBC Young Chef of the Year and later won  North West Chef of The Year, while at his previous post he helped secure the Top Hotel Restaurant of the Year award at the Food Awards Wales.

He’s now executive chef at Bodnant, overseeing the Hayloft restaurant, tea-rooms, bakery, cookery school and delicatessen.

“I want Bodnant to be an amazing experience for food, and for the restaurant to be the best in Wales,” said Andrew.

“The centre has wonderful produce that is made on site – cheese, butter and ice-cream – as well having the butchery counter in the farm shop, and all the fresh vegetables grown locally.

“So I’ve got the very best in Welsh produce right at hand and I want to make the most of that.

“For me, a successful kitchen is having a team that works well together  and who are constantly improving their skills and knowledge. The food is only as strong as the team – that’s why I want to make the food team here at Bodnant the very best.

“I think people eat with their eyes and I want to ensure our customers experience excellent food, whether it’s a meal at the Hayloft, a snack in the tea-rooms or choosing something to eat at home from the farm shop’s delicatessen counter.”

He now offers customers the opportunity to learn how to make dishes featured on the seasonal Hayloft menu within the Bodnant Cookery School, as well as offering other courses such as pasta making, desserts and Welsh meat and fish.

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre operations director Conrad Jones said: “Andrew is a rising star of the culinary world and I am delighted that his name is on our restaurant.

“He is very focussed on ensuring that Bodnant showcases the best of Welsh produce in all aspects of our operation, and so helping us move on to the next stage of our development as a business.

“Diners can expect gourmet food and exquisitely designed dishes that have been carefully planned and refined by Andrew. The elegant surroundings of The Hayloft set the scene for exquisite food with exciting flavour combinations, carefully prepared and beautifully presented.

“Andrew’s seasonal menu is rooted in the exceptional producers of this beautiful region, allowing Andrew and his team to offer you exquisite food in his own distinctive style.

“Our new menu now includes the Amazing Graze lunch option – customers can choose up to five courses for lunch. The dishes are smaller versions of the dishes on the a la carte menu. There are no rules in terms of starter, main and dessert so you can choose to eat three desserts if you wish.”

The award-winning centre, based in the 18th century renovated Furnace Farm, is also home to a farm shop, tea room, wine shop, cookery school and farmhouse accommodation. Its dairy produces award-winning cheese, butter and ice-creams.

More details about Bodnant at bodnant-welshfood.co.uk or call 01492 651100