Head Chef, The McMillan
The McMillan bar and chop house opened last September following the transformation of a unit that was once home to a garage and, laterally, a carpet shop. Overlooking Queen’s Park, the family-owned venue majors in quality, local produce including dry-aged beef and fresh seafood.
How long have you been in the industry and how and when did you start?
I started in catering 29 years ago when I left school and started training as an apprentice baker. From there I moved into kitchens and developed my career.
What’s your career highlight so far?
My highlights have been all of my time abroad, learning new food cultures, observing skills and techniques that can’t be learned in this country and broadening the horizons of my own cooking.
How would you describe your food?
Ultra-modern, vibrant, sometimes a bit out there, always focusing on combining flavours that work together and never putting something on a plate that isn’t relevant.
What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?
Between £15 and £19.
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
For freshly made, good food made with the best quality ingredients from the top local suppliers. We don’t take any shortcuts with our food and that shows in the end product.
Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Number One at The Balmoral.
What is your favourite wine?
My favourite wine is anything that’s red and expensive.
What is your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Ayrshire potatoes – always.
How do you relax outside of work?
I usually unwind by spending time with my lovely family and my dog.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
I admire Tom Kerridge because he keeps it simple and doesn’t mess around with food. He does it how it should be and that’s why he has two Michelin stars.
What makes you laugh in the kitchen?
My favourite time for a laugh is when we have had a very busy service and at the end of the night we all sit down and chill out; it can be very funny.
Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
I would invite Stephen Fry and Boris Johnson and go for a really good curry and a beer.