Chef’s special: Damien Rolain

Chef's special: Damien Rolain

Damien Rolain, Head chef, The Mulroy, Edinburgh

Edinburgh restaurant The Mulroy takes its name from the last inter-clan battle to be fought in Scotland. The property was bought and renovated last year by Clemens and Patricia Hoss-Estenfeld.

How long have you been in the catering business?
I spent two years at catering college in the Languedoc region of France, graduating in June 1989, so this year I celebrate 23 years in the business.

What’s your career highlight so far?
While in France, I worked in Michelin star restaurants, which was a great privilege.

How would you describe your food?
The focus on food at the Mulroy is primarily on seasonal, locally-sourced Scottish ingredients, combined with French cooking techniques. As I’m from the south of France, there is often a Provencal influence in there too.

What’s the price of a typical three course meal?
The price of a three-course meal from our petit menu, available at lunchtime and pre theatre, is £22.50, the a la carte around £39.50 and the tasting menu about £48.50.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We make everything ourselves on the premises and the food is delicious and excellent value for money.

Describe your staff
They are passionate about creating good food and they are hard working, experienced and knowledgeable.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
My current favourite dish to cook at home is stuffed tomatoes. I scoop out the inside of the tomatoes and replace it with a mix of pork mince, garlic and parsley.

Is there any food you dislike?
I dislike processed and pre-packaged food which you can simply re-heat in a microwave. Freshly cooked food is so much tastier.

What’s your favourite wine?
I enjoy a glass of red Cotes du Rhone wines such as Gigondas or white Chilean Chardonnay.

What is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
One of my favourites is the Barley Bree, at Muthil near Crieff, as we have a similar approach to cooking and I love the beautiful countryside of the area too.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Smoked haddock and scallops stand out for me.

What makes a good chef?
I believe passion is first and foremost the quality which makes a good chef. You need to be dedicated.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
There is no end to your education. To be good, you need to keep learning, reading and researching.