Stuart Stirling, Head chef, The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
A four-star resort and spa with a strong focus on food, the Kingsmills Hotel is located only a mile from Inverness city centre and makes the most of its location by sourcing the best local produce – from fresh fish, meat and vegetables through to hand-picked fruit – from the Inverness area and throughout the Highlands.
How long have you been in the catering business?
This is my 31st year in the hospitality and catering business.
What’s your career highlight so far?
I was head chef by the age of 23 at the Holiday Inn, Edinburgh.
How would you describe your food?
A mixture of local, Scottish and international cuisine.
What’s the price of a typical three course meal?
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
We endeavour to offer guests a variety and the best of local produce followed up with first class service.
Describe your staff.
A good, strong and hardworking kitchen brigade, the majority of which are local.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
Lobster on the BBQ.
Is there any food you don’t like?
What’s your favourite wine?
I don’t drink wine, so Champagne.
What is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
The Honours in Edinburgh for excellent service and food.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
I have two: langoustines and lobster.
What makes a good chef?
A good chef must be hardworking and be prepared to learn as they go along.
How do you relax outside of work?
I am a big Hibs fan so I like watching my football and I also like hillwalking in my spare time.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Rick Stein. I like how he taught himself and how he travels all over the world bringing different and new ingredients home with him to try out.
Who would you invite to your ideal meal and where would you go?
My wife and we would go to the Maldives – great seafood and tranquillity.