Chef’s special

Max Hogg, Head chef, Livingston’s, High Street, Linlithgow


Livingston’s is a family-run restaurant tucked away off the High Street in the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow. Set in the shadow of Linlithgow Palace, the two AA Rosette restaurant specialises in modern Scottish cuisine using fresh locally-sourced ingredients.
How long have you been in the catering business?
11 years.

What’s your career highlight so far?
Working as part of the kitchen brigade at The Torridon, which gained its third [AA] Rosette within the first year of us being there; and learning new cooking techniques from Bruno (Torridon head chef Jason Birkbeck).

How would you describe your food?
Some bold flavours shown through different techniques.

What’s the price of a typical three-course meal (without wine)?
It costs £38.95 and this includes an amuse bouche and pre-dessert.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
For a dining experience to be remembered with carefully sourced Scottish ingredients from the local area.

Describe your staff.
Motivated with a cracking sense of humour.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
A simple stir-fry as it’s easy to knock up when I get home from work.

Is there any food you dislike?
I’m not a great lover of eggs apart from in French toast.

What’s your favourite wine?
If I can afford it a nice bottle of Barolo.

Which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
I can’t name one specifically as I eat out at many, but one I would return to is La Garrigue in Edinburgh.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
The fantastic venison and mushrooms.

What makes a good chef?
Being able to cook definitely helps! Plus a good palate and a lot of ambition and flair.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
Assume everything is too hot! It may reduce the chance of you getting burned.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?
I like to see what Tom Lewis is doing with the fresh fish shop in Callander. It’s good to see a chef who cares about local produce for local people.

How do you relax outside of work?
I enjoy fishing when the other half allows it. Failing that it would be to cook some dinner and watch a movie.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
I am still waiting to go for dinner with Bruno, his wife Emma, Paulo and Daniel. We are all supposed to dine out at [Martin] Wishart’s as we were the small brigade to help build the three AA Rosette kitchen at The Torridon.