Jamie Walker, Chef, Alea Casino, Glasgow
With floor-to-ceiling windows offering views across the River Clyde, the Red Leaf restaurant at Alea Glasgow majors in modern Scottish cuisine using seasonal produce. The restaurant also has a private dining room.
How long have you been in the catering business?
Since I left school in 1986.
What’s your career highlight so far?
I’ve travelled extensively through my work, including Hong Kong, Switzerland and South Africa. I’ve also cooked for various celebrities and members of royalty, including the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
How would you describe your food?
Modern Scottish, using locally-sourced ingredients.
What’s the price of a typical three course meal?
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We offer great food and great service – and a fantastic view of the Clyde!
Describe your staff
I’m very fortunate to have a very patient and loyal staff.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
Chicken and mushroom risotto. My wife loves that – as do the kids.
Is there any food you dislike?
Pungent French cheeses are not for me.
What’s your favourite wine?
A good Chardonnay. In terms of value for money, probably an Isla Negra.
What is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
I like a curry, so Mr Singh’s India.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Prime Scottish beef.
What makes a good chef?
Someone who understands that if you get the basics right, the rest will fall into place.
What’s a tip every chef should know?
Always use a good sharp knife!
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Marco Pierre White, because he understands that cooking is all about good quality ingredients and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
How do you relax outside of work?
With my family, music and football.
Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
My family, first and foremost. And Paul Weller. I always intended to go to the top of the Post Office tower in London, where there used to be a restaurant. I hope that one day they’ll reinstate that restaurant up there.
What makes you laugh in the kitchen?
The guys I’ve worked with over the years – situations too numerous to mention – and I couldn’t put many of them in print!