Chef’s special: Alasdair Ritchie

Alasdair Ritchie

Alasdair Ritchie, Head Chef, Melville Castle, Edinburgh


The Brasserie at Melville Castle is located in an 18th century country house hotel on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The venue caters for corporate events and weddings as well as guests enjoying outdoor activities.

How long have you been in the catering business and how and when did you start?
I was 15 when I started work as a kitchen porter. 24 years later I haven’t looked back.

What’s your career highlight so far?
Winning two game cookery awards two years running and being awarded my first AA rosette.

How would you describe your food?
At The Brasserie, Melville Castle we create traditional Scottish dishes with a French influence.

What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?
A three course meal from our a la carte menu is around £25. We also do a special lunch menu where three courses will cost you £15.95.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
The food is good, the castle and grounds are stunning and the service is friendly.

Describe your staff.
Hard working and dedicated.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
Sunday roast.

What’s your favourite wine?
I don’t drink so know very little about wine.

Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Burts Hotel in Melrose.

Is there any food you dislike?
None that I can think of.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Anything from the autumn season, typically game and mushrooms.

What makes a good chef?
Passion for the profession.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
Start a pension from day one!

Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Marco Pierre White for his no nonsense approach.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes and I’d take him down to my local pub for lunch.

Anything else we should know about your restaurant?
We believe in what we are doing and we are getting there one step at a time.