Executive Chef Andy Bouchard is a soft-spoken man, about the size of a bear. He’s a world traveler, is polylingual, and says he believes that there is a proper way to do every task in the kitchen – by doing it consistently, great dishes are made.
Like many chefs, Bouchard learned young, from his mother. “My mother got me into cooking,” he said. “I was 13 or 14, and she is an awesome cook.”
Bouchard trained in Germany at a traditional apprenticeship program. “It was more to my liking,” he said. “Four days working in a restaurant, one day in school.”
His career began in 1987, and he’s been globetrotting ever since. His first restaurants were in Germany, followed by stints in England and Uruguay. He came to the United States in 1996 sponsored by Les Spinasse in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, Bouchard said he was heavily recruited by Andre’s.
“The corporate chef was a good friend, and he was constantly trying to get me to come to Vegas,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard eventually felt the calling of the desert. (Well, that and the fact that Las Vegas is the place for chefs.)
Bouchard said that consistency is the key to a restaurant’s longevity, but there are so many more things that a restaurant has to get right to thrive.
“I don’t do the typical French portions,” he said. “You know, ‘One pea, one carrot.’ Also, I believe that we should do everything we can for our guests. If someone asks for an order of mac and cheese, I’ll make that for them.”
(In fact, he’s done that so many times, he put it on the menu.)
His attention to detail, and his customers have given Andre’s one of the most loyal local followings of any valley restaurant.
“I have one couple that dines here four times a month,” he said. “We tend to see the same people here often.”