Marco Hall, Head chef, Tullie Inn, Balloch
Part of the Maclay Inns estate, The Tullie Inn is a 13-bedroom bar and restaurant in Balloch, on the banks of Loch Lomond. Head chef Marco Hall shares some of his likes and dislikes with SLTN.
How long have you been in the catering business?
What’s your career highlight so far?
Working at Sharrow Bay, a great Michelin star restaurant in the Lake District. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from it.
How would you describe your food?
We are a bar/restaurant and inn so we really need to offer something to suit every taste. Our menu ranges from hearty Scottish pub favourites, like steak and ale pie and macaroni cheese, to traditional Scottish fayre like haggis, neeps and tatties and contemporary dishes like spicy tiger prawn tagliatelle.
What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?
We cater for most budgets but on average it’s around £15 -20 per person for a three-course meal.
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We have a lovely restaurant offering freshly-prepared dishes made with local produce and great value for money. We are also lucky to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
Describe your staff
They are a friendly, customer-focused bunch with a sense of humour and enjoy a good laugh but know how to work hard when the heat is on.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
I love cooking Italian food at home….everyone loves a good plate of pasta.
Is there any food you dislike?
What is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
I’m a big fan of Cafe Gandolfi in Merchant City, Glasgow.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Definitely freshly-picked wild mushrooms foraged in the local area.
What makes a good chef?
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication – you have to love food and have a real passion for it.
What’s a tip every chef should know?
This is a really simple tip but purchase a timer. It makes life much easier and you’ll definitely see an improvement in your cooking.
Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
My father, as I don’t see him as much these days. I would take him to Martin Wishart’s at Cameron House.
How do you relax outside of work?
With a cup of tea and my feet up, enjoying the Discovery Channel.