By Matthew Lynas
Adam Newth would be one of the first people to agree that at 25, he’s taken on his own restaurant at a young age.
But with a Young Scottish Chef of the Year award and interest from investors, it wasn’t an offer to pass up – and after a long summer of renovations, Tayberry Restaurant opened its doors in Broughty Ferry on November 25, 2015.
“[Opening a restaurant] had always been on the radar for me to do at some point in my career but probably not as early as I did,” Adam told SLTN.
“It’s earlier than I anticipated.”
Adam may only be 25, but the CV he’s built up over a relatively short career betrays a wealth of experience from kitchens across the country.
He first ‘fell into’ the restaurant trade in high school when he was invited to take college classes – and he admits his first motivation wasn’t exactly haute cuisine.
“I thought, ‘cooking – that sounds alright’,” he said.
“Get a scoff, make some stuff – and I kinda fell into it that way.”
After picking up some skills in his school days, Adam was offered a commis chef job by Paul Whitecross at the then Circus wine bar in Edinburgh.
From there the young chef went on to work in a range of kitchens across the culinary spectrum.
His career continued at The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews, which had three AA rosette status at the time, a move he described as a “big jump” in the direction of fine dining.
“That was probably the start of my seafood passion,” he said.
From there, Adam worked for a brief spell at The Kitchin before taking up a role at Number One restaurant in The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.
“I really enjoyed The Balmoral,” he said.
“I loved it there.
“The head chef was Craig Sandle at the time. I really enjoyed that, it was the first time I realised the potential I could do with my career.
“Working in a Michelin-star environment under those kind of pressures, what could I do next?”
What he did next was work as pastry chef with Martin Wishart at Cameron House before returning to work with Whitecross at Angels & Bagpipes.
It was during his stint there that Adam picked up a plethora of prizes including Young Scottish Chef of the Year and Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the year.
“I won both of them on the same day, which was a hell of a day,” he said.
“That was what gave me the platform to attract investors to go and do something.
“That was when Paul McMillan approached me about doing Castlehill.”
While Castlehill in Dundee saw Adam taking the helm in the head chef role for two years and two AA rosettes, when the opportunity to have his own premises in Broughty Ferry came along the young chef took it.
It’s a gamble which seems to have paid off.
The concept at Tayberry is fine dining, “but with a casual dining approach”, said Adam, and it’s a premise that seems to be resonating with the locals.
“We’ve got a lot of local folk coming in at the minute,” he said.
“Christmas was great. We were kind of overwhelmed with the amount of gift voucher sales we did.”
While his career may look like something of a sprint, getting the Tayberry project over the finish line was more akin to an endurance race, according to Adam.
Picking up the keys to the unit in March 2015, the new chef proprietor had to hit the ground running with architect Jon Frullani starting on the project a fortnight later.
From there, builders got to work in August, overhauling the venue’s interior and converting an upstairs apartment into a private dining area.
While Adam is pleased with the result, he may not be in a hurry to go through the process again.
“I’m a bit of a control freak, so I think one of the biggest challenges was not being in control,” he said.
“In the kitchen I’ve got my hands on everything and I can be in control of everything.
“[During the refurbishment] there’s builders and sparkies and guys pulling down walls. I don’t know anything about that stuff which was really the biggest challenge for me.
“Would I ever do building work again? Absolutely not. But we’re here now and it’s done.”
Building work may be out of the picture for the foreseeable, but that doesn’t mean Adam plans to rest on his laurels for the time being, as the team at Tayberry could be cooking up another venture in the near future.
‘We are working on a concept for the future, a bistro concept which we don’t have any set dates for,” said Adam.
“Hopefully sooner rather than later.”