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Chef Andy Thomas

“I love sharing food with people–I think it’s really important.”…

For as long as he can remember, Andy Thomas wanted to work in restaurants, inspired in part by his uncle who ran a crab truck. “I thought he was the coolest guy in the world,” Andy recalls. He was too young to work on the crab truck back then but when his uncle became the chef at The Railroad Inn in Old Bowie, Maryland, a 14-year-old Andy started working there. He worked in all aspects of the kitchen/restaurant which sparked his passion for cooking.  

Andy graduated from Baltimore International Culinary College (BICC) in 1989. He landed a job at The Peabody Court Hotel during culinary school and continued working there upon graduation. As luck would have it, two years later the hotel was sold to a group who hired the famous chef, Michel Richard. Andy was able to learn the art of French California/French cooking while working at Citronelle. 

In 1994, Donna Crivello and Alan Hirsch opened Donna’s in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Andy was asked by a colleague to join him as sous chef. At age 24 Andy became the head chef. Andy’s next job was at The Ruby Lounge, also owned by Crivello, with Hirsch also as the head chef. When the lounge was sold, Andy assisted a restaurant group in Timonium in the opening of an Italian restaurant. From there, Andy went to The Atlantic with Baltimore’s acclaimed restaurateurs Spike Gjerde and Charlie Gjerde. He remained with the Gjerde brothers until 2004, moving from the Atlantic to Spike & Charlie’s. He dabbled as a pastry chef at Gertrude’s, then in 2005 Andy rekindled his chef/owner relationship with Crivello and Hirsch by becoming the head chef at Donna’s, in Charles Village, where he worked for 13 years.

Most recently Andy was nominated as a “Best of Baltimore” chef for his work at the Tilted Row.  He was able to showcase all his cooking methods and touted a Gastro Pub-like menu with a focus on Middle Eastern food. 

Andy has been a friend of Schola since our opening and has taught classes with us through the years. He is excited to teach all the techniques which he has perfected over the years. You will see his passion from the moment you walk into the classroom and taste his passion before you leave. “I love cooking and each cook teaches one another all the time. I’ve been teaching other cooks for a long time, and I am good at it.”