Chef’s special: Kevin McGhee

Kevixn McGheeNonna’s Kitchen opened in Kirkintilloch in 2013 following the refurbishment of a former benefits office. The bar and restaurant business uses fresh ingredients to create a range of classic Italian dishes in a family-friendly environment

How long have you been in the catering business and how and when did you start?

I started working as a chef part-time at the start of 1999, while I was studying accounts at Glasgow University. During the summer of 2000 I was offered a full time job at Rogano in Glasgow and I never went back to university to complete my degree.

What’s your catering and/or career highlight so far?

Highlights of my career so far include being part of a team that has opened The Italian Kitchen, The Italian Caffe, Nonna’s Kitchen in Kirkintilloch and The Riverbank in Kilmarnock.

How would you describe your food?

Simple home-made food using only the freshest ingredients.

What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?

For three courses a typical meal at Nonna’s Kitchen would be around £20-£25. We also offer a three course lunch menu for £13.95 and a pre-theatre menu for £14.95.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?

Nonna’s Kitchen is a very welcoming restaurant catering for everyone in beautiful surroundings on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal. It is traditional Italian cooking with a modern twist.

Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?

Ox & Finch in Finnieston or The Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore.

What is your favourite wine?

Rioja, Chianti or Barolo.

What is your favourite Scottish ingredient?

Langoustines. They’d be a part of my death row meal.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?

Andy Cummings for all the professionalism I learned at Rogano and Paul Stevenson for giving me the opportunity to run my own kitchen at only 24.

How do you relax outside of work?

I love a holiday. I try and get at least four a year. Also I really enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding and hill walking. I’ve always got a book close by and you can’t beat a good night in the pub.

What makes you laugh in the kitchen?

Guys who think that they are Gordon Ramsay – freaking out and flapping when they have more than three checks on!