Chef’s special: Paul Dow

Paul Dow
Paul Dow, Head chef
The Magnum, Edinburgh

Paul Dow, Head chef, The Magnum, Edinburgh

The Magnum Bar and Restaurant is situated on Albany Street in Edinburgh’s New Town. The restaurant’s menu combines local produce with traditional flavours. The Magnum serves its classic Scottish dishes alongside fresh seasonal game and seafood, all against the backdrop of whisky-inspired poetry which decorates the venue’s walls.

How long have you been in the catering business?
I have been in catering for about 20 years. I started on a two-year YTS scheme and one of my first placements was at the Stade Court Hotel in Hythe, near Folkestone.

How would you describe your food?
At the Magnum we try and replicate classic dishes with our own twist, we also use seasonal produce wherever possible and above all else we try to ensure value for money.

What’s the price of a typical three-course meal?
A three-course meal from our current a la carte menu would be between £29 and £35 depending on your choices. An 8oz ribeye is our most expensive dish at £20.95, and starters and desserts are typically around £6.50.

Describe your staff?
Enthusiastic and determined.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
There are so many to choose from but I think venison lends itself to so many flavour combinations that I always look forward to having it on the menu.
What makes a good chef?
You definitely need to be able to multi-task, work well under stress and be able to think on your feet.

How do you relax outside of work?
Spending time with my wonderful wife and children, football, golf and meeting up with friends.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
Chicken fajitas.

Is there any food you don’t like?

What’s your favourite wine?
Anything white.

What makes you laugh in the kitchen?
Laughing is an essential part of kitchen life if you wish to retain your sanity, so little things can make me laugh. The secret is to know when the time for laughing is over and the time for work has begun.

Do you have any tips for other chefs?
If a supplier tells you you’re getting their best price, there’s definitely usually at least another £1 to get out of them.