Following trade school and an apprenticeship, Blake joined Fanny’ s in 1980, which was a leading Melbourne restaurant at that time, and had been for some 20 years. After 5 years, Gloria Staley put him in charge of the kitchen at Sydney’ s ‘ Chez Oz’ , her first restaurant out of Melbourne. In 1988 Andrew left Chez Oz for Arthurs (in Sydney) and returned to Melbourne after 3 years in Sydney to establish a name for ‘ Café Kanis’ in Richmond, a trendsetter in its time. He then went into partnership with the Kanis cousins to set up ‘ Kanis, Blake & Kanis’ , an up-market deli in South Yarra. It was one of the first of its kind to market chef-made produce.
‘Blakes’ opened in 1992 at Southgate and in 1994 in conjunction with friends, Geoff Lindsay & Grant Van Every, he opened ‘ Stella’ . Andrew then created ‘ Tonic’ in Sth Yarra in 1995 and in October 1997 renovated a derelict building at South Wharf to create the 300 seat ‘ Events Warehouse by Blake’ s’ . Also in October 1997, Andrew and his partners at Stella took over and renovated the café at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen.
Blake’ s Feast was established in 2000 with business partner Jennie Blake and has been operating successfully ever since. Having sold out of investments other than Blakes Restaurant and observing the trend toward more casual dining, Andrew opened Blakes Cafeteria toward the end of 2001. Departing from convention with no entrees, no mains just one size fits all dishes with sides listed separately, Cafeteria offered a more accessible version of restaurant food and all day dining, a flexible approach suited to any dining dynamic.
In 2001, Andrew was recognised by The Age Good Food Guide with the ‘ Services to the Industry’Award.
Shifting his attention toward catering, Andrew sold out of Blakes Cafeteria at the end of 2003, focusing on Blakes Feast and exploring other catering opportunities. Foodmeisters was established in August 2003 solely to provide food and consultancy to Village Roadshow.
Blakes Feast is now his sole business interest, but has burgeoned into one of Melbourne’ s top catering companies with contracts at Zirky’ s Mt.Hotham, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne & Australian Native Gardens Cranbourne, The Westpac Centre for Collingwood Football Club and Emporia & The Salon at Myer Melbourne.