Chef’s Special : Richard Hewat

Richard Hewat, Chef and proprietor, Hewat’s, Causewayside, Edinburgh


Launched in 2004 by husband and wife team Richard and Margaret Hewat, Hewat’s majors in modern Scottish food with classical French influences. Located near The Meadows, the restaurant has a private dining room, which can seat 12.

How long have you been in the catering business?
I’ve been in the business for 24 years now and worked for some of Edinburgh’s best restaurants, including Fishers and the Sheraton, before opening Hewat’s in 2004.

What’s your career highlight so far?
When we won our first award, The Edinburgh Restaurant Association Gold Award, within two years of opening Hewat’s.

How would you describe your food?
Modern Scottish, with classical French influences.

What’s the price of a typical three-course meal (without wine)?
Between Monday and Thursday the price is £22.50 and on Friday and Saturday it costs around £28-£30.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
They will enjoy the best quality Scottish produce, cooked by a team with a genuine passion for food, and at affordable prices.

Describe your staff.
They’re friendly and efficient, without being intrusive.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
I like to make spaghetti bolognese.

Is there any food you dislike?
I’ve never liked kidney.

What’s your favourite wine?
You can’t beat a chilled rose on a sunny summer day, but on other occasions my favourite would be a good red wine, such as Chateau Lagrange Les Tours or a Bordeaux Superieur.

Which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
I like the King’s Wark on the Shore at Leith, as it’s close to home and they do excellent fish dishes.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
There are so many, it’s hard to choose just one, but my favourite ingredients are Aberdeen Angus beef, king scallops and wild mushrooms, especially chanterelles.

What makes a good chef?
Timing – knowing how long it takes to cook food to perfection makes all the difference.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
You should always leave your meat to rest before cutting it – allow it to relax and the juices will stay in the meat. If you cut it straightaway, the steam will cook the meat and it will not be as tender.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Nick Nairn, who I’ve worked with at a few functions. He is very knowledgeable and a great ambassador for Scottish cooking.

How do you relax outside of work?
I really enjoy getting out of doors, to play golf, or go cycling.