The Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans serves contemporary Scottish cuisine with a twist. It has a two AA rosette fine dining restaurant, Meall Reamhar, while the Tarken Room offers more informal surroundings.
How long have you been in the catering business and how and when did you start?
I have spent 34 years in the catering business and started at Smyth’s Baker/Confectioner in Darlington, County Durham, at 15 years old.
What’s your catering and/or career highlight so far?
Living and working in the Highlands of Scotland.
How would you describe your food?
I enjoy cooking seasonally with a high degree of provenance, mixed with ingredients produced by artisan producers in other parts of Europe.
What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?
A six course dinner in our two AA rosette Meall Reamhar restaurant is £38.
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
Good food accompanied by friendly and efficient service and amazing views at a very reasonable price.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
My favourite dish to cook at home is braised oxtail and barley.
What’s your favourite wine?
I don’t have a particular favourite.
What makes you laugh in the kitchen?
Coming into work and seeing my staff ready, willing and able to cope with another day makes me smile every day.
Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
The Fortingall Hotel, not just for the quality of food, you also feel refreshed after a visit.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
What makes a good chef?
Be passionate about food, enjoy sourcing local ingredients, enjoy a challenge, but mainly have a good (dry) sense of humour.
What’s a tip every chef should know?
A good tip for chefs to learn is that ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’. Learn them all.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
I admire Marco Pierre White. He is accomplished, quiet, private and has kept a sense of proportion.