Dawid Kaleta, Head chef, Scottish Steak Club, Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa
Part of the recently-refurbished Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa near Falkirk, the Scottish Steak Club majors in quality cuts of meat sourced from local suppliers. The kitchen boasts a state of the art Josper Grill, which is said to ensure no natural moisture or flavours escape during cooking.
How long have you been in the catering business?
15 years. I’ve been at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa since 2005.
What’s your career highlight so far?
Launching the Scottish Steak Club. I’ve worked with some fantastic chefs in the past, including Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, but there’s nothing like opening a new restaurant.
How would you describe your food?
We focus on the best cuts of meat cooked to perfection … it’s simple, honest food sourced from local producers.
What’s the price of a typical three-course meal (without wine)?
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We have extremely high end food but without any pretentiousness. Whether you’re having a business lunch, a night out with friends or you’re celebrating a special occasion, you can just relax and enjoy the food – that’s what makes a great restaurant.
Describe your staff.
We have a great mix of people in the kitchen but everyone is united in their willingness to learn – no matter how long you’ve been in the industry, you can always learn something new.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
I like experimenting with soups. Maybe it’s living in Scotland, but for me there’s nothing better than a good soup to warm you up!
Is there any food you dislike?
I think as a chef you’ve got to be open to trying new things. I don’t think there’s any food that I dislike.
What’s your favourite wine?
Red Rioja is my tipple of choice.
Which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles – it was an incredible honour to work with Andrew and to this day I still draw on skills I learned from him.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Scottish beef and lamb.
What makes a good chef?
Knowledge and passion are key to success in the kitchen – you also have to keep up with new techniques, equipment and growing trends before they become trends!
What’s a tip every chef should know?
Remember why it is you love to cook.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
John Campbell from The Dorchester hotel – his knowledge and passion is truly inspiring.
How do you relax outside of work?
I love to spend time with my children, taking them for long walks in the countryside.