Chef’s special – Michael Neave

Owner and chef, Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar, Edinburgh

Owner and chef, Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar, Edinburgh

Set over two floors, the Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar combines European cuisine and Scottish produce with a range of whiskies.

How long have you been in the catering business?
I’ve been involved for as long as I can remember. You could say I was brought up in the industry.

What’s your career highlight so far?
I was a finalist in Young Scottish Chef of the Year and part of the team that won Heart of the Experience.

How would you describe your food?
I aim to create dishes that are simple and sympathetic to the products, with lots of flavour.

What’s the price of a typical three course meal?
A typical three course meal would cost somewhere in the region of £25.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We are a young team who are always keen and eager to please our guests.

Describe your staff.
I think it’s fair to describe my staff as a very nice, friendly and happy bunch.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
When I eat at home Spaghetti Bolognese is often at the top of my list.

Is there any food you dislike?
I’ve never been able to get my taste buds around foie gras.

What’s your favourite wine?
There are lots to choose from but I have to say my favourite is Inniskillin Canadian ice wine.

What is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Wedgwood the Restaurant on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is hard to beat.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Scallops have to be my favourite.

What makes a good chef?
I think it’s very important for a chef to be clean, tidy and obsessive and all the best chefs share these characteristics.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
Up and coming chefs should know that it works wonders when you shut up and listen.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Hans Rissmann of the Town House Group for his attention to detail, fair-mindedness and presence.

How do you relax outside of work?
It’s hard to think of anything better than a right good sleep.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
I would invite legendary Rangers FC and ex-Scotland manager Walter Smith and I would choose to go to Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.