MEET THE TEAM: ANDREW MCKENZIE

by Cafe St Honoré in


Discover what makes our team tick in the third of our series of interviews with our staff. It’s time to meet our chef de partie Andrew. Andrew is from Edinburgh and has been with us since August 2018.

Our chef de partie, Andrew

Our chef de partie, Andrew

What does your job entail? 

Working on the starter section, doing prep, ordering and organising, logging fridge temperatures, and most importantly, cooking the staff meals ensuring everyone gets a good plate of food twice a day.

What’s the favourite part of your job? 

I love butchery. Finding different cuts from different animals. Cafe is a brilliant place to learn butchery as we buy in whole carcasses and game birds in season.

What’s special about Cafe St Honoré? 

It’s a small team and working here has a real family feel. You can talk to anyone about anything. It’s a nice place to work and feel valued as an integral part of the team.

What do you like to cook at home?

I have an Italian family heritage so I love making, cooking and eating all sorts of pasta. I especially like making osso buco and home-made pizza. I have a starter for making sourdough at home and enjoy baking bread on my days off.

What’s your favourite dish at Cafe?

I’m a huge steak fan. At Cafe we have flat iron steak on a lot and it’s incredible! I like it with Béarnaise, chips and a salad. Absolutely classic.

Where do you eat out in Edinburgh?

Ting Thai Caravan is awesome at lunch time with friends - and very reasonably priced. I also like The Outsider, and El Cartel is always a favourite for that authentic Mexican taste!

What are your plans for the future?

There is so much to learn here at Cafe and I can’t wait to work more on the pastry and sauce sections, and cooking main courses. I’m still relatively new to cooking after completing a course at the Edinburgh New Town cookery school, but I just love it. Neil and Joe are brilliant at training and teaching. I’m pretty lucky to be here.


MEET THE TEAM: JUSTINA SUCHOCKAITE

by Cafe St Honoré in


Discover what makes our team tick in the second of our new series of interviews with our staff. It’s time to meet our assistant manager Justina. Originally from Lithuania, Justina has been with us since June 2017. 

Our assistant manager, Justina

Our assistant manager, Justina

What does your job entail? 

I take care of the day-to-day operations at Café - that involves making an action plan for the day, ensuring the restaurant is ready for each service, and that the staff are well briefed. Even a small restaurant like Cafe has so many ‘moving pieces’, keeping everything organised and moving smoothly is of paramount importance.

What’s the favourite part of your job? 

The favourite part of my job has got to be the interaction with people - both the guests and my colleagues. We are very lucky to have so many great regular patrons and that in turn makes it a great place to work. We seem to also attract great staff, so maybe just coming to work is my favorite part of the job!

What’s special about Cafe St Honoré? 

Cafe is unique in so many ways but I would have to say the one thing that makes it really special is that it has such a legacy. There are so few places that have been open for as long as Cafe and, because of that, there are so many stories to be told and to hear about the restaurant. 

What do you like to cook at home?

I did not cook much at home at all before working here, but I am definitely way more interested in food now. I do not have a staple dish as such. I normally buy seasonal vegetables from my local farmers’ market and start experimenting. I do put cheese on everything though. 

Where do you eat out in Edinburgh?

There are so many great places to eat in Edinburgh, but I always chose to dine at Cafe if there is a special occasion. 


MEET THE TEAM: JOE SIMPSON

by Cafe St Honoré in


Discover what makes our team tick with our new series of interviews with our staff. First up, our head chef Joe Simpson, who’s been with us for six years.

Our head chef, Joe Simpson

Our head chef, Joe Simpson

What’s special about Cafe St Honoré?

Having the freedom and opportunity to change the menus frequently prevents the team from becoming complacent, ensures we’re always evolving, and makes Cafe a great training ground for chefs. The restaurant itself is beautiful, with a really special, intimate feel that’s impossible to replicate. Most importantly for me though is that the food we serve, is the food I love to eat. Simple, honest and delicious. I wish there were more restaurants like Cafe that I could dine in on my days off. We’re also highly committed to all things sustainable from sourcing of produce and providing good working conditions, to recycling and reducing waste. It’s a great source of pride for the whole team.

Favourite dish and why?

There are too many to mention. I love the sense of occasion that accompanies a classic roast (the trimmings are often as good as the centerpiece) be it lamb shoulder, chicken, pork belly or a beef rib or sirloin. I have fond memories of these feasts going back to early childhood. I also have a soft spot for classic brasserie fare like confit duck or cassoulet, and I’m intrigued by the traditions associated with these recipes. Nowadays, many classic French dishes are viewed as ‘old-hat’, but despite constantly changing food trends, they will always have an important part to play in European food culture. I adore paella – another dish steeped in history and tradition – and cooked perfectly it is hard to beat. But my list is long and includes risotto, carbonara, tagine, Cullen skink, Thai curry, tacos, burgers, pizza, steak.  I guess so much depends on time, place and company. A good wine to wash it all down is a must!

Favourite cook books?

I own a vast collection of cookbooks. Some I’ve had for years. It’s always nice to revisit and rediscover forgotten gems. A few books always occupy pride of place however.

Anything written by Thomas Keller. I admire his absolute commitment to perfectionism and his meticulous technical approach to cooking at his flagship restaurant The French Laundry, his bistro, or bakery. These are beautiful books that everyone can learn something from.

Fergus Henderson’s ‘Nose to Tail Cooking’ is a great read with a witty and unique writing style. He’s been so influential in defining British cooking since the early 90s. His restaurant St John in Clerkenwell, London, is a true British institution.

The River Café Cookbook(s).  A bible of Italian cooking, with emphasis on regionality and core ingredients. The recipes are generally accessible and I particularly enjoy the sections on pastry. Chocolate Nemisis will always be the ultimate dessert in my eyes!

Favourite restaurants?

I really believe that food is only a proportion of what defines a great restaurant. I’ve eaten incredible food in some of the most highly acclaimed restaurants but haven’t necessarily loved the overall experience. Very occasionally a restaurant will get it just right. The service should be professional, but friendly and genuine; the food and wine should be honest and delicious, with provenance; and the atmosphere should be relaxing and fun. Then it’s really special. For me a few stand outs are River Café in London and Vue de Monde in Melbourne. Closer to home, I’m a huge fan of El Cartel, Locanda de Gusti and Origano. 

What piece of kitchen equipment is indispensable?

Apart from a stove and an oven I would say an ice-cream machine. Even in the depths of winter I love ice-cream, especially freshly churned.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

Cooking in a restaurant on a vineyard with a vast kitchen garden in New Zealand. I would love to have a few vines and produce my own wine. Running a small cook school is another dream of mine.