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Chef to the Stars

CHEF to the stars Andy Sprott has come home to Stranraer to launch his latest venture and recalled the time when he cooked for one of the most famous men in the world.

During a globe-trotting career, Andy cooked for the rich and famous in some of the world¹s top hotels and cruise ships.

But perhaps his biggest challenge was when he landed the job of cooking one of the first meals Nelson Mandela had after being released from prison. That was back in 1990 when the man who would go on to become President of South Africa was released from the prison cell in which he had spent 27 years. Andy was working in the kitchen at the Landrost Hotel in Bloemfontein, South Africa, at the time.

Speaking to the Free Press this week, he told of the high hopes he has for his new restaurant in Stranraer and recalled some of the big names he has cooked for in the past. He said:

"It was certainly a bit of a surprise the day we heard Nelson Mandela was coming in, but it was nothing we could not cope with.

"It was one of the first meals he had after being released from the prison. President F. W. de Clerk was there too, but I am relieved to say everything went smoothly.

"I actually cooked for a lot of famous people while I was there. Two of the others which spring to mind are Rod Stewart and Tina Turner who stayed at the hotel when they were out there on tour."

Now, following the career which has taken him from the US to South Africa, Andy has returned home to Stranraer to launch the New Orleans Steak House in the town's Hanover Street. Having been a chef since the age of 15, he first had the idea of starting up such a venture some time ago. He said:

"I was a chef in Florida Keys over ten years ago when the idea first started going round in my head.

"I came back to Stranraer just after that, but then I spent years working all over the world on cruise ships."

It is only recently, therefore, that Andy has had the chance to put his plans for an eaterie in Stranraer into motion. He says of The New Orleans Steak House, which opened its doors for business last month,

"What you get here is good quality food without having to worry about where to hang your hat! We have tried to get it looking authentic with regard to the decor. But although the quality of the food is first class we have tried to create a relaxed and unintimidating atmosphere".

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